In the U.S. there has been an uptick of anti-Islamic activity (including physical attacks), but there have been relatively few incidents.
Among our 319 million people there are a miniscule number carrying out attacks. Yes, yes, I know that automobiles are much more of a threat than terrorist attacks. There are many, however, who harbor mistrust, fear, and anger towards Muslims. Even so, over 60% of Americans are comfortable with having a Muslim President. This is a growing number, but the 40% who harbor anti-Islamic feelings is significant and damaging to all.
Countering the narratives of ISIS/Al Qaeda and the like is a good thing, but it avoids the deeper, more important facts of the case:
“radicalisation is a youth revolt against society, articulated on an Islamic religious narrative of jihad… These rebels without a cause find in jihad a “noble” and global cause, and are consequently instrumentalised by a radical organisation (Al Qaeda, ISIS), that has a strategic agenda.” [Dr. Olivier Roy]
Scientists have said it before and have been ignored. Scott Atran, among many others, has been talking about this for years. Radicalization a social problem of complexity beyond easy solutions, but it is not intractable. Its roots are in under-functioning societies/communities where the natural rebellious nature of youth is imperfectly channeled into less self-destructive behaviors.
A good start would be spending less for bombs. Spend more for compassionate, engaging education. Let children learn the truth about how our minds work and about how knee-jerk reactions defeat rational thought. Prejudice lives in all of us, even the most educated, but we don’t have to act on it. We can all learn to think about how we think, and move this world toward more peaceful tomorrows.
November 21, 2015 @bruce121Contact