Poverty, Religion, and Terror

What happened in Boston, in Wolgograd in December, it needs to be investigated carefully. There is no excuse for such an act of terror and horror. The motives do not seem to be clear yet.

But we need to understand why people would do this. We will have to be aware that people in Caucasia grow up with a very different set of values,  in an area that is full of arms and violence, that has a history of fiercely fighting people. Among Caucasians, the Chechnies are known for their strong will to fight anything that limits the freedom of their people. In a constant battle with Russia, this part of the Caucasus has been the showplace for dozens of violent acts already for very many years. Chechnya has remained a republic of the Russian federation, if they want or not. Poverty, no development, no hope is what most Caucasians tell me about their fellow Caucasians in Chechnya.

These two brothers from Chechnya, who through bombs in Boston, were given a chance to live a better life in the USA, they were successful and intelligent. But people from Caucasus have very close family ties, no matter where they live and across national borders. Maybe these two young men wanted to raise attention for the situation of their home country. They may have done this horrible act of terror to express their deep desperation about poverty in their home countries as well as in the area, at the same time being confronted with all the luxuries and overabundance to the Western World, that does not care.

When there is no other hope, people turn to religion. Chechnyans have always been Islamic, just like many ethnic groups in the area. When there is no other way, no one to turn to for change, no steps that can be taken, such a deed may seem a heroic end.

How could these two brothers happily live Western lifestyle, when their family members where left behind? By Caucasian standards, that seems impossible. The internet connects the world, and those, who do not take part in wealth and luxury, who fight a daily battle against poverty and disease, they can see how those in luxury do not care!

We need to fight poverty. We need to give people a chance to improve their lives, to let them take participate. We need to take serious steps, in Caucasus as well as in Central Asia, and Afghanistan. We need to realize that the influence of radical Islam will keep on growing, day by day, if we do not care. We need to care!


Rashid, Ahmed: Heiliger Krieg am Hindukusch: Der Kampf um Macht und Glauben in Zentralasien (München 2002)
NDR Info 29.9.02

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