On Air: How do you stop radicalisation?

Five days after the attempted bombing of Northwest Airlines flight 253, lots of questions remain unanswered and one in particular : ‘how do you stop radicalisation?’

Lots of factors are blamed for the transformation of regular guys to suicide bombers including (but of course not limited to)….radical speech on university campuses and in mosques, political and religious beliefs, societal isolation, the internet and even political correctness.

But how do you stop the radicalisation of young men?

Should universities monitor activities of students more closely? Should society do a better job of supporting isolated young men? Do imams need to preach against radical religious ideas?

The Telegraph’s Damian Thompson blogs about America’s view of London universities while John Burns in a New York Times article takes a look at some possible factors that led Abdulmutallab to extremism.

What do you think is the best way to combat radicalisation? Post below.

146 Responses to “On Air: How do you stop radicalisation?”

  1. 1 Dan
    December 30, 2009 at 16:46

    First we need to admit this is Islamic radicalism and that Islam has been hijacked by radicals.
    To combat this type of Islamic radicalism Islam has to be decoupled from the population and replaced with another message. Thus I’d flood the country with Christian missionaries and 24/7 satellite broadcasts with a correct message.
    Furthermore I also belive that radicalization occurs where there is little or no hope for making ones life better. This is caused by corrupt Governments or as we see in the Middle East, Islam itself.
    Militarily we cannot defeat this scourge. We need to be smarter and more sophisticated in our attack and we had better wake up and do it soon.

    • 2 Marty
      December 30, 2009 at 19:23

      If violent indiscriminate jihad is not Islam then title it what it is a CULT.
      By refering to Islamo Terroism as a CULT it deligitimises it and takes away its main source of power.
      It then is marginalized and presented as what it is – not a force for a religion – but a power and political cult. Doing this would allow the entire legitimate Islamic world to condemn terrorism in clear terms and break cleanly with the methods without bringing the religion into question.

    • 3 Albert Judah
      December 30, 2009 at 19:37

      The simple solution is to allow female imans. That will stop radicalisation.

    • December 31, 2009 at 16:06

      DAN, how about looking at the video messages that suicide bombers usually leave behind? Everyone of them has talked about the injustices their Muslim brothers are suffering in Palestine and elsewhere, and they also talked passionately about getting rid of the Western military bases polluting their holy land, Saudi Arabia. I wonder if it is time that we had a good look at their stated grievances and addressed them instead of ignoring them.

      • 5 Yahaya
        December 31, 2009 at 22:37

        This is actually the issue the whole world is shying away from. You have just pointed out the burning issue that sparks up these terror acts. It is left for the world to take a look at it, else the grievances Muslims have over what Israel is meting out on Palestinians has just began.

  2. December 30, 2009 at 16:56

    Should he be treated differently as he is obviously mentally ill (brain washed) and released as the British Government called on China to release the drug smuggler ? I hope NOT.

  3. 7 N.J.
    December 30, 2009 at 17:04

    When I visited parts of the Islamic in the 1970’s what struck me was the the kindness, politeness and open generosity of the general population. I tended to be better received in the Islamic world than in continental Europe, where my nationality tended to make me a target for my nation’s policies. Whether I agreed with them or not.

    What happened over the last 30 years that would create an environment wherein radicalization could occur sometimes escapes me, but when I remember the sort of conversations I would have with people, it becomes clear that radicalization was the result of a strange set of opposing positions taken by the western world.

    Students would ask me when the western world would do something to help create democracies in their nations by taking a stand against the relatively dictatorial regimes they lived under. The west would on the one hand talk the talk about democracy in the abstract. While in reality, it was not in the western world’s economic interests to assist those nations in developing them. So there were two sets of rules. The spoken ones, and the ones that governed what was actually happening to create stable conditions for western investment, and dictatorships are far more reliably stable than democracies when it comes to these sort of things. The people simply gave up on the promises of the west, and turned to those who promised them a return to a “golden age”… a time when Islam was on top when it came to governing.

    • December 31, 2009 at 18:42

      In fact, we have not only failed to help them but the CIA has assisted and trained their “security” forces to actively suppress democratic movements throughout the region, just as we did in Latin America. It is easier for US corporations to do business with (extract resources from) corrupt dictators than democracies.

      The inevitable resistance is then labeled “terrorism,” serving the interests of Israel – which controls our media and Middle East foreign policy – in dehumanizing Arabs and Muslims to justify their land theft and brutal oppression of the Palestinians. The dehumanization also makes possible US/UK/NATO military assaults upon Muslim peoples with minimal public protest whenever the whims of the empire so determine.

    • 9 Sharafadeen A. (Sokoto)
      December 31, 2009 at 20:05

      May Allah Bless you and your taught.

  4. 10 patti in cape coral
    December 30, 2009 at 17:06

    I don’t know how you stop radicalization, but after reading Dan’s post above, I did finally find one sentence I could agree with, “Radicalization occurs where there is little or no hope for making one’s life better.” Just to clear it up, is WHYS’s question about radicalization of young people in general, or islamic youth in particular?

  5. 11 Kelly from Chicago
    December 30, 2009 at 17:09

    I am unsure of how to de-radicalize people. Isolation is going to become more common as technology continues to grow. I think the key is probably to strengthen community unity and true acceptance and celebrations of diversity. We should also focus on reducing the taboos on exploring emotions and mental well-being for all, but particularly young men. It seems to me that much anger and violence stems from covering up fear, sadness, and confusion.

    Additionally, I can say what will for sure NOT work. Attempting to convert Muslims (@Dan!), focusing a bias or hatred on Muslims, or self-segregation will only serve to inflame things further.

    We must all work to find better harmony with one another and to participate more in our communities.

    • December 31, 2009 at 04:12

      To Kelly from Chicago:
      All you said are the must do things and must be done on an ongoing basis. I will only add that the root of all our local and global problems are stemming from our deteriorating system of education. Most readers will not believe this to be the case but the fact is that since mid fifties of the past century our educational institutions especially universities have been watering down key courses specially science courses. For instance a key which used to consist of as many as 60 detailed lectures plus as many as 30 to 40 hands-on lab sessions has now in 2009 been reduced to 30 lectures plus only 8 lab sessions most of which are demonstrations and not hands-on. The question then is: How much knowledge and skills a 2009 graduate will have and what kind of teaching he or she will do if he or she becomes a teacher or an instructor in a community college. Also if such a person becomes an advisor to a foreign institution or a foreign government, of what value will be his or her advise and when students taught by that teacher would feel that they have not learned anything and that they are not able confidently present themselves for a job, they can only be frustrated and eager to take their frustration on someone for the fact is that our built in mechanisms of self survival is designed to find ourselves faultless but ready to externalize the causes of our frustrations by finding an outside culprit who then can be justly blamed and even punished. This is how radical acts of violence are justified even by otherwise sane and well meaning people. The treatment of such ills is removing the underlying causes. Once that is done, humans like any other living thing value survival and when an act or a circumstance assures survival, humans know which side to be on. Definitely not on the side which would lead to self destruction.

  6. 13 Anthony
    December 30, 2009 at 17:11

    Strict punishment. Put people like this in a cell… and don’t feed them or give them water. Let them die that way. It will start to die down.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

    • 14 stephen/portland
      December 30, 2009 at 17:50

      Anthony……….. That’s my first reaction too, I want ten minutes alone with this guy and a 3 foot pipe.But we have tried all this stuff since the dawn of civilization the Spanish inquisition never made the world Catholic and they where pretty hardcore. Even more than you mate:)

      There must be something else!

  7. December 30, 2009 at 17:14

    Radicalisation should be combated from the roots. In the case of Morocco, the terrorists attacks which devastated Casablanca city on May 16, 2003 were perpetrated by people from the impoverished area in the city ( called Sidi Moumen).

    Morocco as a result of this had to restructure its religious field by closing unauthorised religious houses (called Dar Al Koran). It rounded up potential extremists. For the first time, perhaps in a Muslim country, it initiated female clerics to deal with the religious concerns of women. Security vigilance helped foil many terrorist networks. At least Morocco has succeeded in curtailing the spread of radicalism after Bin Laden had started to be seen as Muslim hero.

    In the case of Muslim countries, fighting radicalism should be coupled with just rule and the respect of religious traditions. Authorities shouldn’t be fearful of working out a method to change the archaic views some have about their religion like the role of women in society. All this should start in the home and school. The state should have an aggressive approach towards radicalism by implementing policies that show the benefits of moderation within the nation and in relation to other nations that have other religions or where religion is of secondary importance.

  8. 17 Gary Paudler
    December 30, 2009 at 17:15

    On Air: How do you stop lazy overgeneralization?
    Everything that we’ve learned about Umar Farouk suggests that he does not nearly fit the model of a typical radicalized Muslim. Similarly, a country flooded with Christianity, and the rigor of the US Army, produced Timothy McVeigh who killed 168 of his own countrymen, women and children when he blew up the Federal Building in Oklahoma City. Not religion nor nationality nor economic opportunity could predict the courses that these two young men followed yet, like airport shoe inspection following the Richard Reid attempted shoe-bombing, we will subject ourselves to endless futile amateur psychoanalysis and simple-minded remedies for problems we don’t have the time or intelligence to understand.
    Just a thought: Is radicalization an indirect response to a society that does not care about peace, justice and equality? If we really turned our attention to fundamental rights and well-being, what then would be the allure of radicalization? If everybody thought that they were even minimally represented by the government with so much control (whether active or passive) over their lives, would they still be tempted by anti-social violence and self-destruction?

  9. December 30, 2009 at 17:16

    Well Dan, you have covered the situation efficiently, in a few words as usual, if this debate keeps to this line of sound philosophy it is going to be very educational indeed, going for a brew and a think.
    Cheers H.

  10. 19 Tamatoa, Zurich
    December 30, 2009 at 17:19

    friendship and love.
    Keeping people integrated in the community and make them realize what they would destroy and who they would hurt. Stop the isolation. If a community is healthy all it’s members are more resiliant to radicalism. People who are loved and cared for and love others themselves won’t be effected by radicalist ideas.
    Education would be the second method. Teaching people about life and critical thinking and common sense are a powerful method too. But I don’t think they are as powerful as love and care.

  11. 20 t
    December 30, 2009 at 17:24

    Realize that not everybody in the world wants “American” democracy.
    Many people in Islamic countries like American people. But not much of U.S. govt. policies.
    Not all “terrorists” come from rich families. So, how do you keep them from being radicalized? Work and a sense of hope in their life.

    Then again, if your own country is almost bankrupt, is it your responsibility to save every potential terrorist in the world?

  12. 21 Jim (USA)
    December 30, 2009 at 17:25


    1.) Remove all troops from overseas.

    2.) Spend the money we dedicate towards our military on becoming self-sufficient in energy (also defeating global warming in the process)

    3.) As research money becomes available spend money on more efficiently policing our borders.

    4.) Legalize illegal drugs and dedicate resources towards medical treatment of addicts in order to stop the loss of capital to illegal organizations.

    5.) institute a world minimum wage to improve the living standards of foreign workers while providing markets for more expensive western goods.

    These four actions would remove the root causes of radicalization, starve illegal networks of funding, fundamentally improve the economies of western nations, and improve the lives of workers worldwide.

  13. 22 Donnamarie in Switzerland
    December 30, 2009 at 17:26

    Only Muslims can stop radicalisation of Muslims.

    So far, their efforts have been lower than abysmal. With each new outrage, all we in the West seem to hear are the tired old cries of “Islamophobia,” pleas to avoid profiling, and irrelevant examples of intercommunal peace that are routinely trotted out.

    The father of the Nigerian radical who reported the radicalisation of his son deserves the recognition–and thanks–of all reasonable people. This man stands out as a shinging example of what needs to be done. Now all we need is for a few million other Muslims to follow his example.

    • December 30, 2009 at 20:47

      You are quite mistaken. The rage behind Islamic terrorism is appropriate and inevitable although that form of expression is not. They are frustrated and alone in rightful demands for justice and human rights. We must help them to overcome the massive power of their oppressors, which we now facilitate, and the wellsprings of Islamic rage will then disappear.

      We Americans in particular must stop our own massive state terrorism against Muslim peoples, who happen to sit astride massive natural resources we want to control, and we must end our knee-jerk support of Israel in its 61 years of unabated state terrorism, land theft and brutal oppression of the largely helpless Palestinian people (both Muslim and Christian Arabs).

    • 24 Cyd
      December 31, 2009 at 17:09

      You said it right-on Donnamarie.

      It is their country-men, people who are following the same religion. The religion of Islam. The Muslim community need’s to put a stop to their own people’s desire to kill other Muslims, Jews, Christians, et cetera.

      It is also a depraved government like Iran that would ‘influence’ these young people by keeping them severely oppressed. Influencing them to believe that the ‘West’ is so evil, because we are free.
      The Iranian government needs to look at themselves in the mirror everyday and see how evil they really are! The government that is power now in Iran is the filth of the world! Iran had a great opportunity toward freedom, but the devil got his way back in. I pray that the tyrannical government in now will die, and freedom for Iran’s women and students will win once and for all.


    • 25 margaret
      December 31, 2009 at 20:11

      I agree. The dad is a hero. I think the best solution is for moderate and “liberal” Muslims to try to deal with this problem.

  14. 26 Tom K in Mpls
    December 30, 2009 at 17:28

    How? That is easy, change human nature. If people ever want to quit using others, they will. Until then, the mentally weak are tools. Why do you think the majority is often wrong in elections, fads, stock purchases, etc? Suicide bombers are a ‘worse’ extension of this.

    • 27 Paul
      December 30, 2009 at 18:56

      Then it seems you understand that the problem comes from men who try to control others, and the prayers you mentioned for a bomber might be better served for the children whom have yet to take that path. If we focused on helping children, in a way acceptable to the people of their home nations, would we be the monsters to protect them while they were at school, the doctors office, getting food? One day these children will grow up and replace the men before them.

      Children are the best investment for the future, and if they are taught well they will become stewards and not controlers. Battles are won with bullets and bombs, wars are won with hearts and minds. it a shame the ” the bad guys” seem to have a better understanding of this than the “good guys.”

  15. 28 Ibrahim in UK
    December 30, 2009 at 17:28

    Agree with above, the question is about Islamic radicalisation which leads to terrorism, not Christian or other radicalisation which leads to terrorism (IRA, ETA, November 17, Lords Resistance Army, Tamil Tigers etc).

    * There are a large number of injustices in the Islamic World, most of which point back to Western involvement (toppling democracies, installing dictatorships, supporting oppression and occupation, invasions, torture etc).

    * People have an innate need for justice and are aggitated when they see injustice and feel a need to do something against this injustice. They want a solution.

    * There are little to no solutions being presented, aside from violence against the perpetrators of the injustices.

    So the question really being asked is, how can the West continue with the violent crimes against the Muslim world without Muslims responding with violent crimes.

    • 29 Tom K in Mpls
      December 30, 2009 at 18:23

      While what you say is mostly true, it is the violent Muslims doing the bombing without the ‘West’ asking them to do it. So who is more evil, the ‘West’ for creating instability or the Muslims for using the instability against their own people, both the bombers and the bombers Muslim victims.

      Remember, most suicide bomb victims in the world are Muslim. It is all a game of those that crave power. The blame is everywhere.

  16. 30 Linda from Italy
    December 30, 2009 at 17:31

    There is no universal panacea, no quick one-size fits-all fix. Belief in any ideology taken to the extreme of waging war on its opponents, killing people just because they don’t believe the same things, can only be made to make sense if it is seen as the only option in combating perceived injustice and oppression.
    The spread of radical Islam, the potent cocktail of politics infused with religion and garnished with the idea of a transnational brotherhood, can only be halted from within that very religion and the communities that practice it, by educating the young in the principles of tolerance that so many “moderate” Muslims insist are at the heart of their religion. They also need some good geo-political and history lessons, encouraging critical thinking about why so many supposedly Muslim countries are mired in corruption and cursed by tyranny and oppression, i.e. that it’s not all the fault of “Western Imperialism”, which undoubtedly bears a lot of historical guilt, but not all of it.

  17. 31 audre
    December 30, 2009 at 17:33

    As long as the general population has no objective understanding of the injustice people suffer radicalization will always be with us. The real answer is compassion, which seems to be in short supply.

  18. 32 stephen/portland
    December 30, 2009 at 17:33

    People killing in the name of God is not a new thing and is documented in 99% of the recognized religions we have today.

    And to those who would suggest atheism to cure this problem, I fear the same people will find reason to kill under a different flag or banner.

    Just because the Human animal invented the wheel and i -pod does not mean we have evolved from our primitive state! There is not a day goes by where we see how far we have not come, Mass killings based on old stories in a book being just the tip of the iceberg, Animals in the jungle have more sense…

    I think we need to teach children “To think” and not what to think!

  19. 33 Andrew in Australia
    December 30, 2009 at 17:34

    I’ve thought long and hard about an answer to this, but one thing just wont leave me about this. There are plenty, the overwhelming majority I dare say, of young men, or anyone, who are disadvantaged, isolated, had a raw deal, etc who do not become radicalised. Who do not feel a need to express their hatred and jealousy of others or their lack of self-worth/respect to the world (of those who work hard to make something of themselves and lead a decent life) by killing or maiming others.

    But it is the easiest way after all, and something common to people the world over regardless of culture which is to blame others. Take the responsibility to make your life better or your world better than to sulk and blame the world.

  20. 34 Andrew in Australia
    December 30, 2009 at 17:38


    Tim McVeigh the Oklahoma bomber was not a muslim, nor are those anti-abortionists who kill doctors and bomb clinics.

    Your logic, you might as well suggest we give them all internet access and net porn to keep them occupied, as that makes about as much sense.

    • 35 Jennifer
      December 31, 2009 at 15:11

      This is interesting!

      McVeigh identified himself as a “scientist”!

      Also, why not speak about the people who murder pro-life activists?

      It’s easy to blame; blame someone else.

      As always, Dan brings common sense to the table. Dan didn’t mention “porn” at all. Where did that statement come from? An attempt to be offensive or silly in light of something serious?

      You can’t shy away from the truth simply because it’s offensive or someone thinks you have a phobia.

      There is something WRONG when people go past their beliefs and seek to harm others. No way around that. It is Islam that is fostering this hatred and intolerance.

  21. 36 Paul
    December 30, 2009 at 17:39

    Would saying with love, compassion, and understanding of circumstances leading to such acts be asking to much? As we try to secure “our intrests” (comforts) in the name of peace, we will fail it. A saying comes to mind, ” fight fire with fire.” I don’t know about anyone else reading this, but if a fireman showed up at my house with a flamer thrower and not a waterhose to put out a fire, I would be terrified. Perhaps I would even resort to taking “radical” action.

    • 37 Tom K in Mpls
      December 30, 2009 at 18:29

      You don’t understand that each situation needs a different response. ‘Fight fire with fire’ is the only way to effectively stop wildfires ( forests and grasslands ). A flamethrower at a house fire makes as much sense as giving a bomber some flowers and a prayer.

      • 38 Paul
        December 30, 2009 at 18:43

        Wildfires aren’t allowed to burn themselves out anymore, and in the process of doing so, they release nitrogen back into the soil which is good for future growth. I’m not certain if we have mixed up too many parts of nature and human nature in this exchange. Are we trying to fight wildfires or wildmen? Love and compassion are radical ideas, but not a wild and dangerous one to those whom do not believe in it. Often, it those whom do believe in them place themselves in danger to get others out.

  22. 39 Alan in Arizona
    December 30, 2009 at 17:52

    I think these GUYS are becoming radicalized because they don’t have a strong Matriarchy aspect in their lives. If the guys had more respect for their women in the Islamic Society, they might have a stronger source of wisdom to fall back on instead religious fanatics. Their disrespect and inequality of the Islamic Women seriously limits the balance mothers bring to teaching children and young guys right from wrong. If most mothers in other societies found a son or daughter being brainwashed they would slap them upside the head and give them a good talking to.
    None of those young guys would be wasting their lives in suicide bombings at the behest and amusement of the so called religious leaders that have control of them.

  23. 40 steve
    December 30, 2009 at 17:52

    @ Andrew

    McVeigh was 15 years ago. There have been a handful of abortion clinic bombings over the past several decades. There are acts of islamic terrorism every single day.

    Here’s from just today, 24 dead in twin bombings in Iraq


    So while you can cite to McVeigh, which is a valid point. There are handful of those attacks, maybe once a decade, while I can show you daily bombings due to religion in Afghanistan, Iraq, or Pakistan.

  24. 41 Tom in the USA
    December 30, 2009 at 17:58

    Young men (until the age of 25) are extremely malleable. Their minds are susceptible to all kinds of beliefs. This is true in all cultures. Young men in this age group yearn for approval, but unfortunately they sometimes seek that approval from devious people. The focus needs to be on reaching young men in the age bracket. Technology and the Internet can help, but really it’s up to the elders of each culture.

  25. 42 John in Salem
    December 30, 2009 at 18:04

    There is a book about the cult phenomenon published in 1978 called “Snapping: America’s Epidemic of Sudden Personality Change” that is a great resource for understanding the process.
    Recruiters are adept at spotting people who are emotionally vulnerable. College students away from home for the first time, recent immigrants undergoing culture shock and people involved in a grief process are all prime candidates, as are younger people going through individuation. Even people who have been raised in an ideal nuclear family with plenty of love and support can be seduced by it if caught at a moment of disorientation or shock.
    The problem is that you can’t always insulate the vulnerable from the world. All you can do is learn how the process of recruitment works and share it with those around you so that hopefully they can recognize it when they see it.

  26. 43 Chintan in Houston
    December 30, 2009 at 18:11

    The west gives too much credit to the so called ‘moderate Muslims’ his radicalization was due to sermons, speeches and you tube videos that he saw.
    These Muslims need to come out and tell authorities of some radical speaker/cleric in their mosques so that they can be arrested or somehow forced to soften their views with the help of law. Freedom of speech is important as long as it does not entice violence. If people(moderate Muslims) see such videos on the web they need to be flagged as ‘offensive’.
    Moderate Muslims come out in drones to oppose the cartoon of Prophet Mohammed in a Danish newspaper but as Tom Freidman of the NYTimes always point out, where are these Muslims on the streets when bombs go off in Pakistan or after Mumbai attacks or suicide bombing in Iraq.

    Kudos to Umar Farok’s dad to come out and report to the US embassy and shame on our intelligence, they were probably more worried about their Christmas presents rather than doing their job. The accused dad is a true ‘moderate Muslim’

    PS: I understand radicalization is not exclusive to the Muslim community, it is a truly univeral problem. This topic is being discussed in reference to the NWA attemped attack in Detroit and hence these view. Apologies, if I offend anyone.

  27. 44 Linda from Italy
    December 30, 2009 at 18:15

    Religio-political radicalism is by far the most difficult to stem, including Evangelical Christianity and Zionism by the way, because of the supernatural “reward in heaven” element, which dehumanises non-believers and devalues the lives of those believers for whom martyrdom is preferable to a socially useful earthly existence.
    The three Abrahamic religions which base their entire set of beliefs on books written centuries ago by whom we know not, and which are so far removed from modern life that they are necessarily cryptic and therefore open to many interpretations, are by far the worst offenders. They also pay scant attention to any reason for living other than worship of a single (male) deity so everything we do is done to please Him. Injecting these notions into politics provides the logic for radicalism and the justification for no end of heinous acts, so this is what has to be tackled, put religion back in the home where it belongs and ensure that churches, the mosques and the synagogues are given no subsidies or taken seriously in the media – that might just help.
    Yesterday we were talking about chemical drugs, religion is a psychological and emotional drug, opium of the people any one?

  28. 45 Tom D Ford
    December 30, 2009 at 18:22

    You’d think this guy had the world on a string, he was in a very wealthy family and he was working on a mechanical engineering degree, so he was fairly smart and rich. He’s certainly not an ugly man, in fact he is pretty decent looking, so with all his attributes he ought to have attracted at least some attractive women.

    So what was his beef with the USA? He didn’t try his bomb against Britain, or Holland, or any other European nation, he choose the USA.

    So, what has the USA done that would offend him? The US buys Nigerian Oil, do US Oil Corporations corrupt the Nigerian Government or businesses?

    In other words, is this what the CIA calls “blowback”, some attempt at retaliation for what US Corporations have done?

    Bush declared a New Crusades against Muslims, did that offend him and radicalize him and other Muslims?

    If people are radicalized because of abuses by US Corporations can we modify and moderate the business practices and thus prevent such “blowback”?

  29. December 30, 2009 at 18:24

    1. Stop the wars. More than a million Iraqis have been killed.

    2. Stop the conquest of Palestine. Stop the settlements. If armed men kicked you out of your home, I think you’d become radical too.

    The West has been meddling in the Middle East for 90 years. It has installed kings and overthrown democracies. The CIA hired Saddam Hussein to assassinate the best ruler Iraq has had, Abdel Karim Kassem. Anyone who studies this history might well become radical.

    What did you folks expect?

  30. 47 Sergio Joaquim Dique
    December 30, 2009 at 18:27

    This might well be one of the most dificult questions WHYS has ever posed. Radicalization has become nature in the muslim faith. Therefore naturing would most probably be the best route to go. Having said that, the old english saying ”charity begins at home” comes into play. How can you nature someone into not being a radical if you (the clerics, imams, grand ayatolahs and even presidents) are radicals.

    What is beyond understanding is the fact that muslims do not only kill westeners. They are killing their fellow muslims, in Iraq, Iran, Yemen, even in the USA.

    Once someone has been radicalised they loose touch with rationale. Unless the people at the top of the Islamic faith change their view towards the rest of the world, radicalisation will stay forever.

    In that we all have to come together, and sit on round tables and try and agree on a universal set of principles based on the fact that we all should be equal. This unfortunately should be accepted by Muslims first, as they are the ones that do not want to share the world with non muslims. That might be a starting point.

  31. 48 Jerry L
    December 30, 2009 at 18:35

    Radicals controlled
    Linda from Italy, Stephen from Portland, and Tom K in Mpls sum it up almost precisely. One thing is left out by all, hypocracy and intollerance, both by religion and politics.
    Only with the teaching of the REAL history of ALL peoples and world history with the diminution of the taking of religious texts literal will the ills that create radicals of all faiths be eliminated and/or controlled.

  32. 49 Shannon in Ohio
    December 30, 2009 at 18:38

    Despite what some of my fellow posters have written, I think WHYS is right to keep the question very broad. The lonely Nigerian young man who prompted this ongoing debate will probably not be very happy to hear that he is likely to be remembered as “the underpants bomber”. Perhaps he can take comfort in the fact that it is only slightly more ridiculous than “shoe bomber”.

    My question is as follows: Why do the religious communities that create Abdulmatallabs and McVeighs consistently fail them? Why won’t religious leaders–whatever their religion–take responsibility for calming these young men down by reminding them of the core values preached by that religion?

    Evangelical Christians here in U.S. never looked inward after the Oklahoma City bombing, which was carried out by a deranged Christian man. Meanwhile, Muslim clerics remain silent about this most recent scare. Why?

  33. 50 steve
    December 30, 2009 at 18:45

    @ Per Feraeng

    I suppose that’s why Tibetans are known to be international terrorists, becuase the Chinese came in and occupied them?

    Germans were expelled from eastern europe after WW2, their ancestral homes. I don’t see Germans conducting terrorism. Jews were expelled from Muslim countries after 1948. I don’t see them blowing up airplanes. The Russians expelled Chinese and Koreans from Vladivostok, being a Russian city in the far east, near China. I don’t hear much about Chinese terrorism in response to this.

    Time to stop making excuses for terrorism. There is NO excuse for it.

    • December 30, 2009 at 22:21

      To Steve,

      I am not making excuses for terrorism, I am trying to explain it. There is a difference.

      What the West has done to the Middle East for 90 years is also inexcusable. That’s history — a series of inexcusable acts that are connected.

  34. 52 duckpocket
    December 30, 2009 at 18:48

    Is it true that all Islamist suicide bombers really believe they are going to be welcomed by 72 (or however many) virgins, as they are patiently reassembled in Paradise, and that to prevent their arrival there, it is merely necessary to dab pig fat on them?

    If so, all that remains to be done is to dab pig fat on all airline passengers before they board as a matter of course.

    Wouldn’t worry me, as long as I shouldn’t have to insert it in my underpants, where admittedly it would be best placed to discourage those very virgins at the other end.

  35. 53 Tamatoa, Zurich
    December 30, 2009 at 18:50

    As John in Salem mentions, there are people who are at bigger risk to become radicalist. Those who are lonely and desperate. “Radicalist” suggests to me that people are on the edge. Only radical life changes can bring them back to normality. And in extreme circumstances human don’t listen much to reason and rationality. Only caring for them and beginning friendships with them will help them. This way we are strengthening their social networks. Good social networks can buffer stress. They eliminate loneliness. Friendships also increase social capital. People have more resources to become well-balanced.
    As mentioned in another comment, identity crisis of young men are stressful and therefor make them vunerable. It is our duty to include them in our community. It’s very beneficial to society. We can all see what happens if we dont.

  36. 54 chip johns
    December 30, 2009 at 18:55

    i wonder if the world we live in has evolved faster than humanities ability to adapt to an over crowded. over informed world. Listen to any conversation in the street and in the bar or restaurant and you will witness massive generalities and misconceptions. In such an environment is it surprising that the disassociated are eager to grasp at straws and embrace them.
    we have a lot of growing up to do as a species

  37. 55 Livia Varju
    December 30, 2009 at 19:01

    I could write pages and pages, but let it suffice to say: Universities and mosques must be monitored because that’s where much radicalisation takes place and it’s spreading ever further afield in the world. When I happened to meet a Hungarian man who used to work with the Secret Service, he told me that already in the mid-90s they discovered that Islamic fundamentalists were trying to radicalise young men at the University in an unlikely place, Debrecen, a city in eastern Hungary. I have heard similar stories from North Ameica. IN addition, Muslim clerics and leaders must be enlisted to wipe out these barbaric actions, i.e., murdering innocent civilians. They must convince all Muslims that violence is evil and they will burn in hell if they take part.
    Livia Varju – Geneva

  38. 56 bob in bismark
    December 30, 2009 at 19:05

    how do you stop radicalization? you may as well try to stop the war on drugs or war in general. It’s something we have to learn to live with.

  39. 57 steve
    December 30, 2009 at 19:09

    How come there isn’t any radical christian terrorism in response to the treatment of Christians in Egypt or other muslim majority nations?

  40. 59 Josiah Soap
    December 30, 2009 at 19:17

    I don’t think you can stop radicalisation, there will always be a disgruntled group for one reason or another. But we can do our best to recognise and combat radicalisation. The first step is to recognise it, and by this we have to single out certain groups by ethnicity and religious affiliation. We need to stop this crazy human rights and political correct culture of worrying about offending people. At present it is only certain religious groups and ethnicities that are radical. As soon as the government openly states this fact and openly targets these groups the sooner we can tackle the problem. Innocent peoples lives are at stake and preventing harm to these people is far far more important than worrying whether or not be might cause offence to a group of people.

  41. 60 James
    December 30, 2009 at 19:17

    Nuala, the simple, but very, very, very true answer is. NOTHING MAN CAN DO!
    He’s my backup to that statement. Man, human beings would have to make such a wide spread reversal in think, that I just don’t see happening! Human beings would have to start really trusting in the God we trust. Human being would have bend their knees to a higher being, and it just not going to happen by mans hands alone!
    So we will have to continue most of the following. “universities monitor activities of students more closely? Society do a better job of supporting isolated young men? Imams need to preach against radical religious ideas? Does political correctness stop effective action against radicalisation?” YES! There be a security clampdown on countries that are training grounds for Al Qaeda followers? A better understanding that POLITICAL CORRECTNESS is not all that different from RESPECTING OTHERS!

    Or does it require something completely different?

  42. 61 karl
    December 30, 2009 at 19:17

    Pray for peace and wish that others concentrate on common belief that we are brothers and sisters, all children of god. God abhores voilence.

    Karl oregon

  43. 62 Stephen/Berlin
    December 30, 2009 at 19:21

    This problem would be greatly reduced by an even-handed approach by the West towards the Israel/Palestine problem, the plight of the Palestinians has fed this kind of radicalism for decades.
    It would not be a total cure, but it would deprive the radicals of their most effective rallying call.

    • 63 Dan
      December 30, 2009 at 20:00

      Sadly Islamic radicalization has NOTHING to do with Israel as you assert.
      Israel has nothing to do with the Islamic bombings in Spain, Bali, Iraq (daily), Iran, Yemen, etc or the Muslim riots in France.
      Please note that the Palestinians have created their own plight, no one forced upon them. They have had 5 very good opportunities for a state and they walked away for the simple reason is that any “leader” that agrees to a state will be assasinated by those that have hijacked Islam and teach and preach hate and violence.

  44. December 30, 2009 at 19:22

    To the imams: Silence is complicity. World needs a large scale Islamic media blitz condeming violence in the name of Allah. Otherwise, you JOIN the Islamic terrorists yourselves.

    Can you imagine if such a terrorist committed such a crime in the name of Jesus, what a denouncement there would be from the Christian Clergy?

    To the would be terrorists: There is a D Day invasion coming when the USA and it’s allies have had enough of your bullying. You can only push the world around so much before sufficient military action is taken.

    If you want to act like little Hitlers, you will be dealt with just like he was defeated.

    To the would be terrorists: T

  45. December 30, 2009 at 19:23

    Of course Muslims are “politicized” in response to the virulent Islamophobia in Israel and the U.S., and the wholesale murder of Muslims in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine. How can they ignore this? And how can they overcome helplessness in effectively opposing it? “Radicalism” expressed through senseless attacks can be ended by finding alternative methods to produce radical change (which is absolutely justified and necessary), acknowledging, repudiating and stopping the state terrorism of Israel and the U.S. by their own and the world’s citizens.

  46. December 30, 2009 at 19:26

    So now, radicalisation = Islamic radicalistion lazy,sloppy and incidious.
    The USA unleashed this wave of radicalisation on the world to counter the Soviet Russian Communist System and now “chickens are coming home to roost.”They started it they have to provide the solution.

    All religious groups target students actually you could say that Jewish groups are some of the most active on University of London campuses trying to”radicalise”secular Jews

  47. December 30, 2009 at 19:27

    Profiling would be the fastest trigger of aggressive terrorism.

    Samuel-Biyi, Nigeria

  48. December 30, 2009 at 19:27

    There is no way to stop radicalization as long as it has a breeding ground. There are those who turn into radical because of influence from radicals or those who willingly radicalize themselves. The norm for them is to go to the extremes to make their point regardless of what the others think although they extend to them a hand of friendship.

    There must be a line drawn between idealism and radicalism. Achieving idealism doesn’t necessitate radicalism. People have the right to live their ideal. But it is meaningless and dangerous to impose one’s views, mainly through violence and destruction.

  49. 69 Tom K in Mpls
    December 30, 2009 at 19:28

    The people on air seem to argue the root and the current threat. They are equal in need.

  50. 70 Kacey
    December 30, 2009 at 19:33

    Only the moderates in the same society that spawns the extremism can stop it. Here in the U.S. we had groups like the KKK that try to use religion as a tool to indoctrinate hate. Only when decent citizens stood up to them were they subdued.

  51. 71 Sarah
    December 30, 2009 at 19:34

    Our very hate for terror should drive us towards justice and fairness for people, not further terror. Working with these Islamic Societies is going to help us fight radicalisation.

  52. 72 Bob in Florida
    December 30, 2009 at 19:35

    Perhaps I’m too idealistic but it seems that clerics of all faiths have an obligation by virtue of their position to preach the tolerance, equality and freedom that are supposedly at the foundations of religion.

  53. 73 evets
    December 30, 2009 at 19:36

    It’s the 21st century. There is no such thing as God. That people are willing to kill over a fictional entity shows the lack of sanity involved here. How can you reason with insane people? You cannot.

  54. 74 Todd in Atlanta
    December 30, 2009 at 19:37

    The more information that comes out about Umar Farouq, the more he reminds me of the Virginia Tech shooter from last year. Not so much the rage of that individual, but the way intense loneliness and extreme personal views on life accumulate into a high probability for radical behavior. I was part of an on-campus Christian organization in my college years, which I later got the hell away from because they just got more and more cultish, I can comfortably say that these groups on campus absolutely need to be monitored, confronted, and even challenged in a well thought-out manner.

    Universities and colleges already have their methods of orienting new students to campus life. There are also counselors readily available for students to talk to, since simply talking to someone is very helpful, and a lot of times fellow students just don’t cut it. I can say this because I went to one myself during a stressful time in college,and it was absolutely one of the best things I could have done. These services to help combat isolation are going to have to be implemented a lot more, and students need to know that they are always available. It won’t solve the bigger problem of terrorism, but it’s a start to dealing with one root problem.

  55. 75 Lamii Kpargoi
    December 30, 2009 at 19:37

    I followed a portion of the broadcast and couldn’t help but think that those arguing that people get radicalized because of what other more “influential” people tell them are dead wrong. Everyone should be allowed to use their own discernment regardless of what others tell them to believe or do. Less I be misunderstood, no civilized society should ever allow people who incite people to violence to go free or unchallenged.

  56. 76 john
    December 30, 2009 at 19:38

    Radicalisation is the duty of everyone. The muslims as well as the west. I do know that Islam does not support the killing of innocents so the imams have todo their jobs well.
    The west also has to take out the root of the problem which is the injustice of the west in the middle east and muslim world as this provides the radicals with enough justification to recruit more people. Look at the injustice been perpetrated in Palestine.

  57. 77 Stanley
    December 30, 2009 at 19:38

    In the worldview of the faithful, radicalization is not only logical but mandated. Radicalization will stop only when we see the end of faith (including quasi-religious ideology). We are overdue for a new, rational enlightenment.

  58. 78 Daniele Erville
    December 30, 2009 at 19:39

    there needs to be classes in nonviolence taught not only in all elementary schools everywhere (as in the form of nonviolent communication training), but in the college level as well.
    if you take the spiritual approach to solving conflict, then one must indeed listen to what the so-called “demon” is in fact wanting and needing, and try to provide it for them. in this latest case, i’m sure it would have something to do with rectifying past US policy in these muslim nations, and we need to do more to eradicate poverty, as well, for example.

    daniele erville
    san francisco

  59. 79 evets
    December 30, 2009 at 19:39

    Tibetans are marginialized. i dont’ see them being violent. Stop making excuses.

    If palestinians don’t have money, why can they afford all of those weapons they use to try to kill Israelis with? I’m curious where the money came from the fund the bombs that killed my three cousins in Haifa. Can’t afford to eat but can afford to blow up a restaurant?

    Something doesn’t add up here.

  60. December 30, 2009 at 19:39

    We must be talking about Muslims;again.There are a lot of radical Christians about the world,how do we stop them? Or radical environmentalists? The simple answer is that you don’t stop radicals,you try to combat them.Try to convince their targets of the wrongness of radicalisation.

  61. 81 JB in Lehigh Acres, Florida
    December 30, 2009 at 19:40

    Radicalism can be stopped by discontinuing the allowance of extremist groups to meet in college campuses, and by stopping extremist protests. Universities and local governments have a duty to perform their share of the fight against these extremely bigotted and racist people who claim faith in a god and use the guise of a religious war to kill innocent people. The war in the middle east does not find US troops or affiliates going into a town center with a bomb and killing hundreds of innocent people.

  62. 82 Just A Comment
    December 30, 2009 at 19:40

    The real problem here is that of the ability to connect the dots.

    Pre-9/11 one of the flight trainers perked his ears when he heard that his trainee did not want to learn how to land the plane but only to fly it. He reported this to the relevant authorities but it was apparently lost in inter-agency conflicts or it was an inability to connect the dots.

    The other major problem is that if the Americans were given dots the size of buffaloes they would probably have trouble connecting them! Contrast this with a canny and ruthless enemy; surprisingly composed of rabid religious rubes, which has no compunction while killing children, women and other innocents.

    If the Americans don’t get their act together the terrorists will win!

    The solution is simple-Go Green and STOP buying the oil. All these terrorists would bring down their own rulers as their economies collapse!

    Just A Comment, Here & There and Now & Then

    • December 30, 2009 at 22:30

      Here’s a thought: Maybe our war leaders allowed it to happen in order to provide an excuse to invade Yemen.

      It’s an odd coincidence. Just when our Washington warriors were gearing up for Yemen, along comes the hapless underpants bomber.

  63. 84 Rick (Hillsboro, OR)
    December 30, 2009 at 19:41

    University is, and has always been, the forum for radicalization of youth, However, today there is more opportunity, not to radicalize through exposure to new ideas, but for opportunists to “recruit” new converts (either to the ideas or to the radical side of the “ism”)

    The only way to prevent this is through proper education or by closing universities.

    Proper education would be general studies to expose students to all viewpoints in general, and further that according to desires of the individual students. When they have a broader understanding of the world, they will be less susceptible to the extremes.

  64. 85 Mike
    December 30, 2009 at 19:42

    It seems as most of these extremist muslims are part of a mosque that are lead by Imams that have extremist views. My first question is how do you become an Imam and it seems to me that if muslims remove the extremist Imams then this would make a big dent in the problem, but the muslims must remove them so as to avoid the appearance of a “crusade”

  65. 86 evets
    December 30, 2009 at 19:42

    As a Jew, I oppose the foreign policies of Iran and Syria, yet for some reason, I’m not driven to murder over their foreign policies. Why am I expected to be, and held up to a different standard?

    This political correctness has to stop. there is NO excuse for terrorism, there is no justification, there is no understanding. Just condemnation.

    • December 30, 2009 at 20:33

      You may not be so driven, but that is certainly not the worldview and national conduct of Israel, second only to the US in state terrorism which vastly exceeds the death and destruction of individual terrorism.

      You feel no murderous rage since your land has not been stolen, your home has not been bulldozed, your orchards have not been uprooted, your son has not been killed by an Israeli sniper from a tower, but is it so difficult to empathize with the rage of those who have lost their land, homes, orchards and children to Israeli force and violence for 61 brutal years?

    • December 30, 2009 at 22:33

      Actually Mossad has assassinated people in Iran and Syria.

      There’s no excuse for war either. Why is a car bomb worse than one dropped from a war plane?

    • 89 James, not janes, DeVries
      December 31, 2009 at 19:45

      Sorry about my name, it’s James,

      I love your comments, though disagreeing with them totally.

      There you go; carry on,


  66. 90 karl
    December 30, 2009 at 19:43

    isolate divide and conquer.usa needs to go around the world and help countries build jails and prisions. Let local people punish there own, give them the tools with jails and prisions.

  67. 91 evets
    December 30, 2009 at 19:44

    WHYS did a show on Baader Meinhof terrorists being released, and after serving 25 years for murdering five people, point blank range, the woman released still felt no remorse for what she did.

  68. 92 audre
    December 30, 2009 at 19:45

    @Karl, a careful reading of the bible will reveal that God does not abhor violence. The God of the bible killed millions of people. in fact, chapter by chapter, the bible is a very violent book.

  69. December 30, 2009 at 19:46

    You speak of the IRA. That really isn’t a good example. Why? Thier battle has been progressing since Queen Elizabeth I when she sent Longshanks in to subdue the Irish. 500 + years is not a quick fix per se, just possibly, they have had enough and were willing to try something else for a change.

  70. 94 Z
    December 30, 2009 at 19:48

    Dear BBC
    Radicalisation is a form of perverted NUCLEARISATION of human beings.
    The more ppl are nuclearised, divided, the easier you can rule over them.
    IMHO, radicalisation is most benefiticial for … US military busnessmen.
    Obama, to be correct those are behind him, are winners in Umar’s case.
    This case is a “Christmas present’ for those who defend more budget spending on “war-on-terror”.
    Clearly more war, more drug production, more ppl divideness, are Clondyke for perverted businessmen.
    Thank you.
    Seasons greetings and peace to all!

  71. 95 Chris Caldwell
    December 30, 2009 at 19:50

    I believe the true root cause is the leadership within these countries. there is so much corruption that youth and others can only believe that there only way out is extremism.

    Chris Caldwel

  72. 96 Menik
    December 30, 2009 at 19:53

    How do we rationalize the secret killings of USA in thier operations today? Radicalism will continue to grow as long as certain countries believe that they can control other countries agenda.To address radicalism,the US and other world powers must be able to see the muslims as equals..In so doing,a compromise can only be acheived

  73. 97 CJ McAuley
    December 30, 2009 at 19:55

    This is not rocket science! Poverty, lack of feeling respected and no perception of a better future are what breed any radical. The only possible solution is to remove all three reasons I listed. While there will always be crazies out there, but if a large majority of citizens are relatively satisfied with their lives and prospects, radicalism will wither on the vine.

  74. December 30, 2009 at 19:56

    Through out the history of Christianity, there has been periods of radicalization as bad as, if not worse than Islam’s. For over 1,000 yrs it existed and has shown it’s intolerant, murderous face during the dark through Middle ages into the age of enlightenment. The inquisition was a form. Colonization was another form. It took us Christians this long to become ‘civilized’. We still do not want women in the middle of some parts of our religion. No priests. I am a protestant and we have women pastors. No big deal.
    Islam is in the equivalent of puberty. Christians were doing the exact same thing during their puberty. No, it does not make it right now or then. It is what it is.

  75. 99 Mark
    December 30, 2009 at 19:57

    identify and intervene on thinking errors and cognative distortions of potential terrorists, and reduce their exposure to high risk situations. Treat them, don’t defeat them.

  76. 100 rgkb
    December 30, 2009 at 19:57

    Most salient comment I have heard on air was the person who said that the world’s Muslims should control this from within.

    Not religious myself and see organized religion’s interference as a major reason for lots of the World’s troubles.

    BTW: what is the significance of Muslim radicals referring to their efforts as being against “Crusaders”?

    • December 30, 2009 at 20:28

      The unholy crusades. Richard the Lion-Hearted of England with his knights(crusaders. The battles for Jeruselem was one phase of it. Christians won the first. Saladin won the second and the 3rd was a toss up between Richard and Saladin. The pope issued an edict to take control of the ‘holy lands’ from the barbarian moslims. Even though they had lived their since before Rome, Christians felt they had the right to the area because of Jeruselem. They equate what is happening today with the crusades. The west is trying to take their homes away, again. They have never respected them and still do not. They have never respected the religion and some still do not repect it. A really bad synopsis but that about covers it. You see, it did not just start. It’s been going on for over 1,000 yrs, since the Plantagenets held the throne of England. You British have a great history. I cannot get enough of it.

    • December 30, 2009 at 22:38

      Because they see the 90-year war on the Middle East as a renewal of the Crusades, where Christian warriors slaughtered Muslims and Jews and occupied Jerusalem.

  77. 103 Tom K in Mpls
    December 30, 2009 at 19:57

    Why do the people on air waste time discussing *where* this one individual *may* have received *some* influence?

  78. 104 Bob in Florida
    December 30, 2009 at 19:58

    A lot of posts seem to appeal to a rational way of thinking and behavior. Religion by its very nature is irrational. Ideally it would be good to do away with religion, but that is not going to happen. Muslims seem to use any political excuse to justify their violent behavior.

  79. 105 evets
    December 30, 2009 at 19:59

    So what was the Moorish gripe about Spanish foreign policy that cause The moors to invade and occupy spain for 800 years?

    What did Eastern Europe do to provoke The ottomans to invade them and make it all the way to Vienna?

    If this is about foreign policy only, and there would be no extremism without our foreign policies, I’m curious to know what Spain did..

    or better, stop making excuses?

    • December 30, 2009 at 20:45

      For invaded countries, most did nothing. they were invaded. You know, like America. What did the First Natives do to be invaded? The radicalization in Spain started when the native Spaniards started to fight back. Remember El Cid? Rodrigo was a radical. Remember Isabella and Ferdinand? They were radicals. They fought for thieir lands and eventually won them back. In America, we had Pontiac, Geronimo, Cochise, White Antelope, Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, just to name a few. They fought and lost but they were the radicals of their time. THEY had plenty of excuses.

  80. 107 Just A Comment
    December 30, 2009 at 20:08

    The reasons are two:

    The person is allowed to speak because large swathes of Europe, UK and USA are owned by those who are of the same ilk as the terrorists. The only reason this has happened is because the oil-related MNC’s clamp down on any technology that is alternate to theirs!

    I agree with you, in that the discussion should be about *how much*, *of what nature* and *by whom* was this *definite* influence imparted!

    But the first problem does not allow the media to have the truth spoken. It is something like that movie with Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson:

    “You want the Truth?! Can you handle the Truth?!” (rough quote)

    Just A Comment, Here & There and Now & Then

  81. 108 Scott in Washington
    December 30, 2009 at 20:13

    Radicalization is not a religious issue at heart, it’s one about stupidity and self-control. If religion didn’t exist in the first place, people would be radically fundamental about something else. As a non-believer, it’s not a religion or a lack of religion that tells me what to do, it’s my own knowledge and self-control.

    It’s not that Islam has been ‘hijacked’ by radicalization, per se, but that people’s ignorance and willingness to not control themselves has led them to such situations.

  82. December 30, 2009 at 20:19

    The “foreign policy” answer cannot be minimized or brushed over lightly as the moderator attempted to do. “Terrorism” is the inevitable, universal, low-tech response to colonial domination, economic exploitation and political oppression, an emotionally compelling form of resistance to overwhelmingly superior force.

    Since most people derive some part of their identity from collective sources (national, religious, ethnic) they often identify with victimized populations “like themselves.” If millions of non-Muslims are enraged at Israel and the US for their massive criminality and identify with victims in Iraq and Palestine (e.g., most of the 1,300 Gaza Freedom Marchers gathered at the Gaza border are neither Muslim nor Arab), think how great the empathic grief and rage must be among fellow Arabs and Muslims, and how great their frustration at their impotence to influence the world community to intervene with protection and justice.

    Among psychologically pre-disposed individuals (e.g., obsessive, depressive), acts of violence are inevitable. Part of their unconscious function (I am a psychologist) is to to inject their own feelings of fear and helplessness into the comfortable, indifferent societies that approve and finance the state terror against them. It is a powerful form of emotional communication and psychological justice.

  83. 110 dwaln
    December 30, 2009 at 20:20

    There is an awkward level of intelligence – on the upper end – that is particularly hard for young men in our species who are alienated. Their youth predisposes them to idealism, which they can not square with the reality they see. Our tribal heritage predisposes them to avoid the work of complexity in favor of narratives that have an enemy. They desperately want to save the world and can’t make sense of the existing order, so they attack it.

    What they need are mentors with the wisdom to guide them to an understanding of the world that is in the end more complicated but, more workable. Unfortunately, mentors that are adequate to convince the smartest of these young men to a new more complicated understanding, are few and far between.

    This is not a new process. It happens in all cultures. But it is getting worse as our world continues to evolve faster than our tribally adapted brains. And as noted by one of your guest, the internet makes it less likely that these young men are going to run into a wise elder. They certainly aren’t finding enough of them on campus or in the Mosques.

  84. 111 Janes DeVries
    December 30, 2009 at 20:31

    Use of the term “radicalisation” is inaccurate and misleading. Picking up explosives and trying to blow up faceless others is not going back to roots, which is what radical means. It is futile facade-building, and calling it radicalisation is not helpful. I criticise the BBC for perpetuating this terminology. Potemkin surfaces to justify mass killing have nothing to do with roots and Mr Abdulmutallab, despite his “wonted” thoughtfulness, is less a philosopher than a very confused and stuipid kid. Jeremy Bentham, the originial utilitarian and auto-icon, who sits mummified and headless at the end of the South Cloisters in the main building of University College London, was a true radical thinker. Did Abdulmutallab ever read Bentham? JB asked and tried to answer real questions logically, not contenting himself with simple situational responses from a convenient (and occasionally, a not-so-convenient) angel/devil. Islamic radicals don’t deserve the term they often claim, “jihadists”. They are mere facade-ists. A passing fancy draped momentarily against history’s surreal, ever-changing background. Cheap low-rent government-subsidised, high-rise yesterday’s Bauhaus housing projects. Destined to disappear. Savonarolas, Zwinglis and Calvins. A bit of the old Inquisition. The destruction they wreak is immediate, shocking and horrid; but shortly it will dissipate. By the time the world thinks it has solved Islamic extremism, it will have already been gone for 10 or 15 years, self-consumed like fireworks. JB will puzzle us still.

  85. 112 john
    December 30, 2009 at 20:31

    Please allow speakers to express themselves. When you rush them through or cut them off listeners don’t really understand “where they’re coming from”Also recognize that some speakers speak in heavily accented voices and listeners don’t always understand what they’re saying so if the moderator would briefly try to summarize a point being made by a heavily accented speaker it would help listeners a lot.

  86. 113 Mohamed
    December 30, 2009 at 20:54

    Really I appreciate all of the readers that left their comments and I just want to ask everyone who connected Radicalization with Islam ; what is your opinion in the Israeli policy against Palestanian ??? Isn’t it a clear image of radicalization ??? why don’t you protest against that unhumane behavior of the savage Israelis ???

  87. December 30, 2009 at 20:59

    Man is naturally a radical animal but the degree of radicalism depends on forces mitigating against his view and belief system. In our world today, neocolonialism has become a great enemy of many developing nations and when some people reach breaking point, they fight back. some fight with their pen, some fight via their religion, some also fight with camera/video (movie and music). since the west controls the airwaves, some have decided to fight with their lives thereby destroying innocent lives. radicalism will stop when neocolonialism is stopped. when you show people that they are valued and respected, they will respond appropriately.

    Parents and adults should also mind what they say infront of kids especially when radical views are involved.


  88. 115 Elias
    December 30, 2009 at 22:36

    By offering a reward to any would be bomber to come forward and disclose information as to what was intended. He would also be moved to a safe location for his future safety. The brain washing and encouragement to do a terrorist act which goes on in campuses, in mosques and other religious organisation seem to be a one way street, this should be countered by moderate speakers, clerics and the like to unbrainwash audiences in the opposite way that it is religiously wrong to commit acts by killing innocent people, which may have a neutralising effect for the good.

  89. 116 t
    December 30, 2009 at 22:58

    I agree that the MSM needs to present a balanced view of “what’s terrorism”.

    Did you know:

    In the States, if you support the Palestinians, many label you as a “terrorist”. If you send a donation to a legitimate aid organization for Iraqi civilians, current Stateside regulations say you’re a “terrorist sympathizer”.

    Stop the dumbing down of “what is terrorism”. And actually look at all of the reasons why this happens.

  90. December 30, 2009 at 23:25

    I think that the best way to stop young people from becoming radicalized is to stop abusive economic policies and practices. Stop engaging in economic exploitation.

    To combat radicalism and associated extreme acts of extremist violence: I believe it will be necessary to combat socio-economic/cultural violence, exploitation and oppression.

    People are angry because they and their families and communities are being hurt. If people in the West want to combat radicalism, then they will need to stop hurting the people of the world.

  91. 118 ali
    December 30, 2009 at 23:56

    We should ask the counties that have a long history of pillage and plunder of other counties how radicalization is done. Or ask the IRA, they should know.

  92. December 31, 2009 at 00:35

    Ask,the Freemasons to explain themselves to the world and their objective of distorting the lives of the innocent among the middle east.They watch with laughter when the whole world dances in folly to their Grand master Plan.They are neither Christians or Muslims they are atheists who want to disrupt the peace in the world,if not tell me why peaceful people over 50 years ago turned into the monsters in terrorism today.

  93. 120 Bert
    December 31, 2009 at 00:57

    The solution in similar non-Islamic settings, e.g. with the Red Brigades in Italy, the violent IRA in Ireland, the paranoid survivalists in the US, has come as a result of general public revulsion for the acts of terrorism. That’s revulsion from within those societies. The answer never lies outside.

    Those people who made excuses for the Red Brigades, as one example, were completely discredited when they murdered Aldo Moro. And exactly the same phenomenon occurred after the OK City bombing. What support there was for “survivalist” groups dwindled to zero, after Timothy McVeigh’s barbaric act.

    THIS is what is required of Islam. Public revulsion from within their ranks. As much as the West may sympathize with some of the Palestinians’ plight, and many do in the West, that excuse we keep hearing does not ring true. Too many acts of terrorism continue to be committed among themselves, which only makes the Palestinian cause sound too convenient, too formulaic.

    • 121 Happy
      January 5, 2010 at 04:50


      The Oklahoma Murray building was blown up from the inside with high-explosives. The weapons and explosives expert, retired Brigadier-General Ben Partin found out what was going on but got completely ignored. Please inform yourself!

      The Red Brigade was only a very small player, most of the terrorist acts in Europe during that period where performed by NATO agents. Google for “Operation Gladio”. AGAIN, please get informed.


  94. December 31, 2009 at 02:32


    Radicalism is born of religious intolerance … today , mutual intolerance is the heritage of the Moslem Sunni and Shiite sects …without common ground, the ongoing 1400 years of slaughter continues … and bystanders get caught in the crossfire.

    With respect … what would Mohammed have to say about the family schism?

  95. 123 Ronald Almeida
    December 31, 2009 at 05:29

    Are we sure it is Radicalisation and not Desperation?

  96. December 31, 2009 at 05:45

    I think it can be controlled by proper awareness and getting rid of ignorance. Radicalisation is preying its aims in developing or under developed countries where basic necessities of life are not available and they are suffering from the snese of inferiority. Developed countries do use them for their own purposes like economical, financial and politicals. They don’t have bothering even fluctuating their lives and mineral sources. This difference of living standard and availability of necessities create a sense of violence in them leading to radicalisation.

  97. December 31, 2009 at 09:21

    I’m late to the discussion, but I think that this boy was sucked into a cult of mad men. He was love bombed into carrying a bomb into the U.S… and in a sense is a one off. There aren’t many true believers in the Islamist claptrap that would have a snowballs chance in Hell of getting through “security.”

    However Abdulmutallab will be a great link to tearing down these airplane terrorists. All of the people who “radicalized” him, strapped on the bomb drawers, and built the bomb should arrested soon. All of these characters will lead us to more Islamist jihad cultists. Believe me, anyone who knew Abdulmutallab is trying to hide tonight.

  98. December 31, 2009 at 11:48

    when everyone stops being foolish if not stupid,radicalism will get extinct.foolishness leads masses into hating someone innocent.

    TV(tambua village/jebrock),HAMISI,VIHIGA,KENYA.

  99. 127 steve
    December 31, 2009 at 13:03

    What does Israel have to do with Sunnis and Shiites killing each other on a daily basis? I guess it’s easier to blame the Jews than look in the mirror.

  100. 128 ryan
    December 31, 2009 at 14:34

    it wont stop for now, people need it. they need it to make war, sale guns, i think early this year there was that gathering in Ireland, or something to ban cluster bombs, and guess what, most of the countries on the non Islamic side of terror were the ones finding it hard to mend their ways. my Professor used to say wars kill here and grow there, people make money from them, so long there is a radical to kill, some company makes money, some government collects tax, some guy runs a country!

    id like to know how many radicals get born each time the world kills one, there should be no trace of them in Iraq by now i think or Gaza, but humans have always struggled with human maths.

  101. 129 Togo Kasoro
    December 31, 2009 at 14:36

    Let the world stop pretending that everybody takes care of his or her own survival. Massive consumerism gluttony,segregation and pretense should cease soonest possible. The more people realize that by destroying they are destroying their own…radical tendencies will slow down. Its high time for those who have to give in and share.
    Togo Kasoro

  102. 130 A R Shams
    December 31, 2009 at 17:09

    One who adopts terrorism or is made to do so depends on at what manner he or she was parented or brought up during his or her initial ages.

  103. 131 Richard Neva
    December 31, 2009 at 18:26

    Radical acts of death and mayhem are blow back and frustration of the real terrorist nation that is causing the elimination of Muslims all over the world right now and that nation is America of course! I am an American and I am ashamed to be a citizen here. Moving is no easy matter for a retired handicapper either so don’t run that one on me!
    I have a grip on terrorism and it does not matter to me because America has everyone convinced it is bringing Democracy to the world. This is a common claim for Imperialists since time began! It does not fly anymore either. America just moves in and kills the inhabitants and then sets up corporations and hires the few who are left for slave labor. It’s an old story repeated all over the world. Any resistance is dealt with. Murder!

  104. 132 Jon Crossman
    December 31, 2009 at 19:51

    Please permit me to differ with you on the use of the word “radicalisation”. What we see in increasing measure in Islam is FANATICISM and not radicalisaton.

    To be radical is to go back to one’s roots, one’s origin. If one believes that origin to be God, then, it only stands to reason that such a God must reveal Himself to every individual whose obedience He commands / demands.

    If one came to a point of believing such a God demanded destroying oneself and otehrs wantonly for a mis-perceived cause, the first question that ought to be asked is, “Is this really God or some false deity, a human invention, constructed for the purpose of psychological manipulation of people for a nefarious (political)end?” Inventors and propogators of religions have always been notorious for explotation and manipulation of religious sensibilities for their own political ends. Therefore, the fundamental step in arresting fanaticism – religios or otherwise, is a rational scutiny of ‘religion’ or any idealogy. Unless we create an environment where people are free to question their taught beliefs, without fear of ostracisation and persecution, indoctrination leading to tragic ends can never be brought under control.

    However, on apractical note, as a non-British, non-white uiversity student, I see aboslutely no reason why universities should not co-operate with the State authorities in providing information about overseas students in the interest of national security. The alternative would, inevitably, be the creation of a safe haven for religious fanatics and criminals in the name of , civil liberties & human rights with consequences that beg description!

  105. 133 Barbara
    December 31, 2009 at 20:34

    I think the only true effective means for stopping the radicalization of any religion is for the leaders and followers of that faith to self-regulate. There will always be anger (perhaps rightly so) when persons outside any faith criticize and push against that faith’s beliefs. Unless and until the great majority of those practicing Islam choose to repudiate those who teach hatred, there will be intolerance and continuing hatred. Unfortunately, the rest of the world’s great religions (including Christianity and Judaism) have rarely set good examples of love and tolerance for others.

  106. 134 helen
    December 31, 2009 at 22:26

    The current phemomena of young people being indoctrinated to the extent that they are able to overcome humanity’s strongest instinct,self-preservation, will only be countered by providing these young people with a braoder world view, Many are fed partial and biased information and may not have access to greater sources of information. The Saudis fund Wahabi schools world wide inculcating a very extreme interpretation of Islam. Supporting the introduction of secular schools with free education for all (including girls) and perhaps in time compulsory education for all children would go a long way to preventing the type of radicalisation being sponsored by those evil enough to pesuade another to strap on a suiside vest, but too cowardly to act themselves. Though this would be an expensive option , it may prove cheaper in the long run than the wars being waged. It would also go a long way to rpoviding the means for many of these young people to gain a way out of poverty.
    In addition if for no other reason than to remove hte stated motive for much of the radicalisation, namely the percieved injustices of the palestinian situation, action needs to be taken to resolve that situation. The US must be persuaded to stop funding Israel, or if it will not do that, then to fund Palestine to an equal amount, since niether is an economically viable entity without financial input from the developed world

  107. 135 viola
    January 1, 2010 at 06:31

    When radicals are no longer admired–by anyone–radicalization of the youth will stop. Young men want above everything else to be considered heroes and to this end, they search for a noble cause for which to fight and, perhaps, die, but above all to be admired for.

    There is no shortage of cynical people willing to take advantage of this dynamic and use them as weapon delivery systems. Think of them as guided missiles and you’ll understand what they signed up for when they signed on to the anti-west, anti-U.S., anti-Israel, anti-infidel tripe their mentors spoon fed them.

    Instead of being taught the true spiritual principle of humility, they are taught to embrace the sin of pride and to pridefully seek martyrdom by “going out in a blaze of glory.” Talk about hubris.

  108. 136 Insan Mukmin
    January 1, 2010 at 09:33

    Was Saddam Hussein a radical when he attacked Iran in the 1980s? Are protesters in Iran radical when they smash police cars and attack police stations? Was the US security company Blackwater radical when they massacred 17 unarmed civilians in Iraq? Was the Pakistan government radical when it bombed its minority ethnic groups? Was the Turkish government radical when it bombed its minority Kurds? Was the US government radical when it supported and abetted Israel’s war crimes in Gaza?

  109. 137 Tade
    January 1, 2010 at 12:08

    Radicalism is now spreading very fast. The US is only looking for military solution in Afghanistan, Iraq….. But that is not the solution. The question is why young educated rich muslims joining terrorism? i Think the best way to stop radicalism is simple if US and western leaders are ready to do sacrifices. The solution is
    1. The US should look at both Palestinians and Israelis with one eye. now US is supporting Israel do what ever it likes to do and still blaming palestinians. If the US finds a solution for Palestinians all muslims around the world would be cooperating with US and western countries.
    2.The US should withdraw from Afghanistan and Iraq.
    3. The US should stop supporting dictator regimes in the middle east like Egypt. It is irony that the biggest democracy in the world is always supporting dictatorial regimes to suppress their people. US and western countries should practice what they preach
    It is really irony that the US wants to support Israel and other repressive regimes in the middle east (who are both intimidating and killing innocent civilians) while it wants to get the hearts and minds of the people.
    No one is mad to accept this, if you are not willing to pay sacrifices that it will be difficult to stop radicalism.

  110. 138 viola
    January 1, 2010 at 15:44

    There is no mystery involved when when educated, rich muslims become radicalized. There is and always will be injustice in the world so that bored young people with too much money and perverted spiritual notions can always find a cause to literally give their lives to.

    I repeat, the sin is pride in the seeking of glory for oneself. Cloaking it in a mantle of righteous religious indignation supposedly on behalf of others does not make it any less disgusting and perverted.

  111. January 2, 2010 at 04:53

    The way to stop the radicalisation of young (Muslim) men is to educate ALL of the young women.

  112. 140 James Ian
    January 2, 2010 at 14:09

    Who is being radicalized? I know there are exception i.e. the Christmas day bomber and Osama Binladin and others, but for the most part aren’t a lot of them poor, undedicated people in very over populated areas where resource and land is running low? Aren’t they mostly people coming from, corrupt, violent areas dominated by males using superstition and religion to control, suppress and brain wash women and children?

    If that is true and I don’t know for sure that it is, but if it is, mustn’t the answer lay in those facts.

    What causes the more advantaged people to become radicalized? Well human nature would seem to suggest some age old motivations like greed, power, arrogance, lust and mental illness.

  113. 141 serunkuma
    January 3, 2010 at 18:58

    radicalisation is not some thing that you can stop today or tommorow ,becouse its been there for decades,there cults that coarlition forces skip there eyes and those cults pretend to be muslims ,but their ideology is to sucrifice those who they think are sinners,i know the that america and its allies relialise that terralism will be stoped,becouse i know in quran there is no verse that command to kill people,

  114. 142 Halima
    January 4, 2010 at 10:27

    I know that it is not easy to simply withdraw from Afghanistan and Iraq, but when that happens I think that would help a lot. The other big issue that I am sure feeds indirectly to the idea of Muslims being unfairly attacked is the continuing cancerous running sore that is the Israeli/Palestine conflict. It is so clear to all that Israel is always given and unfair advantage and can run over UN resolutions and international law at will, and that Palestinian rights count for nothing in the international community. I know this is slowly changing – at least among non-government institutions, but until human rights are truly recognised as universal and the rights of Iranians, Palestinians, Pakistanis are the SAME (not more, but not less) as Israelis, then quite honestly I can understand if not condon or agree with, radical anti-Western sentiments.

    We have to practice what we preach. Human rights must be universal, not only for Americans, Europeans and Israelis. We cannot preach democracy and freedom on one side and sell munitions or support brutal oppression on the other. We must also acknowledge historical mistakes. We have to start being honest and honorable.

  115. 143 Halima
    January 4, 2010 at 20:08

    I am worried that the only responses so far are military ones, and increasing division and racism. I worry that all we are doing so far is increasing hatred and radicalism.

    There has to be another way, but it will require some difficult reasoning and not a small amount of looking in the mirror.

  116. 144 helen
    January 4, 2010 at 22:29

    Those best placed to reduce radicalism in Islam,are the majority of moderate Muslims. If they could find a way to denounce the notion of suicide bombing and similar attacks on civilian poopulations as heresy and to do so loudly and unequivocally that would go some way to reducing the numbers who are being brainwashed into beleiving that what they do is in any way holy. It would seem to be self evident that the Creator of life is not going to welcome into heaven wanton destroyers of life
    In addition they might consider giving clear information about the peaceful channels which already exist to bring about an end to injustices they may feel strongly about through patient endeavour. While there are situations where the anger that many feel is justifiable. the radical reaction to it is totally unjustified, as is the attemt to bring about a change in others beliefs by threat and force

  117. January 12, 2010 at 15:50

    Great post, I really liked it. It made me think.

  118. January 25, 2010 at 22:34

    It is also a depraved government like Iran that would ‘influence’ these young people by keeping them severely oppressed. Influencing them to believe that the ‘West’ is so evil, because we are free.
    Sorry, but that’s bullshit. In reality, the Iranian government ‘influences’ Iranians to think the West is evil because of the sanctions against them which leave millions of people in dire poverty. And that doesn’t take a lot of influence really, the only influence being exerted is where the government portrays itself as standing against imperialism and influences people to unite behind it when they should in fact be uniting with the rest of us against both the government and the imperialist sanctions.

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