"Curing" Radicalism Through Literature

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#1
How do we stop extremism? Is it by violence?

Violence is obviously the quicker response in a case of an attack. We want to defend a population, a city, a building: armed forces are deployed to deal with the attackers. However, this sort of violence, however efficient it is for defusing the threat or punishing the crime, will not kill an ideology. Bullets don't kill ideas.

Ideas and knowledge, however, just might be able to.

The NPR diffused the story of a radical Muslim who became moderate after reading Orwell's very well known novel, Animal Farm.

Exerpt:

It was while in prison, surrounded by several prominent jihadist leaders, that Nawaz realized he wanted to take a different path. He was reading George Orwell's Animal Farm and came to a new understanding of "what happens when somebody tries to create a utopia."

"I began to join the dots and think, 'My God, if these guys that I'm here with ever came to power, they would be the Islamist equivalent of Animal Farm," Nawaz says.

He says he began to see that it's "impossible to create a utopia."

"I'm living up close and seeing [the radicals'] everyday habits and lifestyle, I thought, 'My God, I wouldn't trust these guys in power,' because when I called it, back then, and said, 'If this caliphate, this theocratic caliphate, was ever established, it would be a nightmare on earth,' " Nawaz says.

A year after his release, at the age of 24, Nawaz left the Islamist group and its ideology. He later co-founded the think tank Quilliam, which is dedicated to countering extremist beliefs.
It sort of makes sense. They got into all of this because some extremist decided to interpretate a book and carry their own meaning forward, pushing it to further their agenda. It's only fair that the reading of another book, more contemporary and perhaps more relevant, would open up their mind to different paradigms.
 

Scorpion

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#2
Fighting an ideology by an ideology is the only way to get rid of extremism. Violence isn't going to solve this issue at all.
 
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#3
Well that's great for him but I'm not sure if this is a "cure all". I suspect the majority of terrorists stick to reading Islamic literature and probably wouldn't consider reading something from someone who wasn't Muslim.
 
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#4
Well that's great for him but I'm not sure if this is a "cure all". I suspect the majority of terrorists stick to reading Islamic literature and probably wouldn't consider reading something from someone who wasn't Muslim.
But people are also worried about Muslims becoming extremists in the land they immigrate into; and if those sort of critical books are a part of the general school cursus (the one the immigrants would send their kids to, as well as all of our kids), then we give anyone coming to grow into our country a solid culture, no?
 
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