Murder and Terrorism

Murder, She Wrote, continued

Murder and Terrorism

There has been a lot of interest expressed in the media lately regarding mental illness, and the need to address it. Certainly, whether or not the conditions that the term encompasses warrant the designation of “illness,” there is an existential need that society should address. Whether or not there is pathology in those who are vulnerable to being recruited for terrorist activities, there is a need to do something about the mental conditions – and they are not that much different from normal adolescence – that make such destructive behavior an option (speaking as one who doesn’t like to see “innocent” people killed, “innocent” in this case meaning civilians, the “average Joe” who hasn’t chosen to join the military).

Personally, I think that society needs to do a much better job of looking after our young people than it is doing. The Denmark “mentoring” program for young people who have returned home after “travelling to Syria and been disillusioned by what they found there needs to be extended to include those young people who feel socially excluded at home, including those who are at risk of being attracted to any extreme ideology – Christian, Islamic, or entirely non-religious – that offers identity, purpose, adventure, and a chance to do good for someone else.

Years ago, there was a film, The Wave, about a high school teacher whose students didn’t seem to be able to relate to the events of the Second World War. He decided to educate them by creating an identity for the class, its symbol being The Wave. What he recreated was an in-class identity similar to that of “the Hitler youth,” an intensely devoted in-group, before exposing them to their “Führer” through videos of Hilter harranging his thousands of followers. If you want to understandthe radicalization process, I highly recommend that you track down and watch The Wave.

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