Yesterday John Kerry said that ‘you can’t defeat what you don’t understand’ and went on to explain he believes what motivates Muslims to become terrorists, and it could be anything from discrimination to an empty dinner plate. Seriously.
Why do people make what to many of us would seem to be an utterly wrongheaded choice and become the kind of terrorists that we’re seeing? It’s a question that we need to approach with humility, but also with determination, because you cannot defeat what you don’t understand.
Certainly, there is no single answer. In our era, poisonous ideas can come from almost anywhere – from parents, teachers, friends, preachers, politicians – from the pretty woman on a radical website who lures people or the man in the next cell who proselytizes while in prison.
They might grow from pictures seen on the nightly news or from acts of discrimination or repression that you don’t think much about on the day of occurrence, but which come back to haunt. It could come from the desire to avenge the death of a loved one.
In some cases, they may come from a lost job or from the contrast between one family’s empty dinner plate and a fancy restaurant’s lavish menu. The poison might even come from within, in the form of rebellion against anonymity, the desire to belong to a group, people who want a moment of visibility and identity, or the hunger for black-and-white answers to problems that are very complex in a remarkably more complicated world.
(h/t: CNS News)