How do we fight terrorism?
None of us wants to feel threatened by a radicalized person. Extremist ideology can and does cause unstable people to do unthinkable acts. We see it play out around the world. We have seen it play out in the United States. And, yes, it plays out in our own back yard. Unstable people will take an ideology to extremes. And sometimes those extremist, unstable people will seem to be simply people following a passionate viewpoint that appears plausible in the beginning. They adopt tactics to press their issue that cross the line into terrorism. They threaten with words or actions. And sometimes it leads to violent actions.
Where is that line? At what point does a group move from holding a position to creating terroristic tactics? Where does radicalization begin?
There are two parts to this question. How do we recognize the beginnings of radicalization and how do we prevent it?
But first we need to define terrorism.
Terrorism is the targeting of any group or person for the purpose of forcing an ideology through intimidation or violence action that causes a disruption of safety of the targeted group or person.
That may sound very broad to some. Many activists has walked right up to and crossed this line. But if you think of the very best, they did not. We need to be very aware of what Terrorism is.
We know it when we feel targeted.
We live in extremist times. Many of us are passionate about our views. We have need to voice our perspectives. Radicalism breeds radicalism. The more radical one becomes in one direction, the more radical another becomes in the opposite direction. You can actually help create the very thing you are fighting against.
We need to be careful in the words we choose and the tactics we embrace. If you don't believe in terrorism, don't become a terrorist in any form. Don't be radicalized. Stand firmly against violence. Speak up for the marginalized. Take time to know people and understand their challenges and concerns. That's how we fight terrorism.