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Their hungry bellies began to be filled with sick and twisted lies that fuel the fires of terrorism.
Can hope kill terrorism? Part Two
Part one of "Can Hope Kill Terrorism?" can be found here.
No one is born a terrorist: they are all created. Each and every single violent young suicide bomber who blows himself up in an act of martyrdom, and every single young man who goes off to wage holy war as a jihadist, was forged by evil fires of despair. Somewhere along the way, every single one of these terrorists ' all of whom are equally heading towards their own deaths alongside of their innocent victims ' was brainwashed into believing that these evil acts of violence they commit offers the elusive chance of reaching Paradise. They each were offered an apple so enticing they could not resist, and they reached out and took a hold of it, and ate. In doing so, their hungry bellies began to be filled with sick and twisted lies that fuel the fires of terrorism; that give the courage to push the buttons which explodes the suicide bombers' belts; that sends the young jihadists off to their own deaths in very un-holy, holy wars. Yet none were born monsters such as this. These monstrous, instruments of death were all brought to life by something, by someone, along the way'
And who better ' who easier ' to convince that heinously murdering innocent people is the only way for certain that one can enter into eternal salvation, Paradise with God, than angry, young men, dwelling in urban slums and refugee camps with no hope of ever escaping the awful realities found in their very real worlds of despair? I, personally, can think of no other.
The fact remains that the threat is very real. The reality is that the number of young men who are being recruited into terrorist networks is increasing with each breath we take. The number of European- and American-born young men who are going off to fight as jihadists in Syria is on the rise. The young Palestinians joining Hamas or Fatah with the objective of blowing themselves up on a bus somewhere ' anywhere ' in Israel is increasing. And the number of Syrian refugees living in the filth and squalor of the makeshift refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey the ongoing Syrian civil war has produced, who are inching closer and closer to reaching out, taking a hold of, and sinking their teeth into the forbidden fruit of terrorism is growing with each word I type, and with every word you read. I see it every single day. I am face-to-face with this reality every single moment, every time I so much as look out the window of my home which lies on the edge of one of these refugee camps of which I speak. And all who choose to view the world as she truly is, recognize this as well.
Yet while I consider myself to be one who relatively knows and understands how very real the threat is, and unfortunately believe that in today's world because of this sick reality lethal force must sometimes be used, I still believe an affirmative answer to the question: "Can hope kill terrorism?" is key in fighting, and ultimately winning, the war against the terrorists.
What if the teen-age boys who are daily arriving in the refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, after having escaped the tormenting hell the Syrian civil war has produced, were given the chance to work through their anguish by participating in a creative-writing program being run within the camp, versus their only outlet to release their anger being found in joining one of the violent terrorist organizations that is actively recruiting these young men within the slums and refugee camps?
What if wealthy business-entrepreneurs from both neighboring Arab countries and the West would financially invest in Syria's eventual reconstruction efforts in ways that would focus on creating jobs for the masses of unemployed young men who were made jobless due to the civil war, instead of merely focusing their financial endeavors on ways in which they will be the primary profiteers?
What if one day each week doctors would freely volunteer their services without pay to run a clinic in an urban slum which served those urban-poor slum dwellers who cannot afford health care on their own, versus their only other option to receive the health care they need be by going to one of the clinics run by the Muslim Brotherhood or Hamas?
What if ' just what if both you and I ' would first and foremost ask not what others can do for us, but what we can do for others? What if it was that spirit-from-the-past which we allowed to guide us all? What if, just what if?
Jeff d. Patterson, Middle East Specialist: While the ashes were beginning to settle in New York City with the setting of the sun on 9/11, Jeff D. Patterson was unpacking his bags far, far away from American shores; far, far away from his family and friends; far, far away from his homeland. He was starting a new phase of life in a region of the world he would call ‘home’ for most of the next decade. Jeff was taking his first breaths of Middle Eastern air, thinking of the world becoming a better place… In contrast to most... (more...)