The Infection of Radicalism

imgres-1Events like the massacre in Paris yesterday make discussions of moral relativism easy.  There are two cultures of people in the world: those that leap to stop Ebola from killing millions, even when most of those people are different, poor and far away; and those that want to kill other people out of a twisted sense of moral righteousness.  Our students will will wrestle with this duality in their future lives because they have no choice.

Are radical terrorists like a viral plague? I am sure there are arguments both for and against that association.  But it raises again a real puzzlement.  When Africa has an outbreak of Ebola that threatens the world, it is America and Europe that send in the money, doctors, and troops to stop the threat.  When a cultural virus like ISIS rises, countries like Saudi Arabia and the rest of the immediate neighborhood, with all the financial and military resources necessary to take a leading role, barely stick their finger in the dike. And that is why, on days like this, “we” are “better” than “them”. I hate to even think this way, but at least I am honest with myself.

It is days like today that one wants to put a big fence around that part of the world and let them have at it. But then one remembers that, like Ebola, we have yet to find the fence that is impermeable to this kind of infection, an infection that lies dormant and rises through the march of human history, and made more effective, more “spreadable”, with technology that allows messages to spread around the globe and weapons that allow fanatics to keep their fingers on the trigger.

2 thoughts on “The Infection of Radicalism

  1. Adam Lenaarts

    Do you think education can change the zealots? I hope so. I choose to educate people because I believe we can life in a better world. I believe we can offer free people a choice through education and technology.
    Apparently this sword cuts both ways, because it also enables the propaganda.
    Some zealots must be getting scarred, because they are targeting schools now. I don’t know the moral of these actions, but I think it want to prevent education from undermining the root cause for their existence: social-economical diversity.

    Reply
    1. Grant Post author

      “Education” that does not promote, teach, and allow freedom of thought, in any form, is not education; it is indoctrination. While the outcome is not as easy to see today, areas of the US in even recent history have been guilty of indoctrination when certain political or religious viewpoints are promoted in schools. What takes place in madras settings in the Muslim world is an incubator of religious indoctrination that has no place alongside the word education.

      Reply

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