A Cure for Terrorism

Post date: Jul 5, 2017 8:56:07 AM

By Jaytee A. Cristobal, RN

Last week we witnessed how three ruffians committed a brutal terrorist attack in Paris. Also in the Philippines, and in a single week, more than 2000 people were killed by Maute. The main problem with terrorists is that they are tremendously ignorant. These people grew up under the influence of unstructured families, unfair socioeconomic environments, problematic backgrounds, and very poor or completely inexistent education – not just in terms of scholarship, but also regarding human values, beliefs and morals.

The terrorist´s role models find it very easy to instill a distorted picture of the world in some kids, because these kids lack key elements for any human to become wise and rational, such as a good education in human values and ethics.

Wisdom is the individual ability to think, understand and act using experience and insight to make rational decisions. Wisdom is NOT an inborn ability. Not every human is wise, thus wisdom relies on external factors influencing our ego. The most influential factor in this sense is education, as it is what helps understand our individual identity and develop our ego. Our ego is responsible for our unconscious mind, the part of our brain driving decisions, and mediating between personal identity and our perception of the external reality. Our ego is the mechanism defining our view of ourselves and the world around us.

Thus, the lessons we learn from our parents, alongside the socioeconomic environment, our background, and our education, are key external factors influencing the development of our ego, and as a result, facilitating our ability to act rationally or become a barbarian.

Education is the most powerful weapon to combat terrorism; It is our responsibility to work together and act wisely against terrorism. The best way to prevent terrorism is to invest and promote global education. Education is a global responsibility, and access to it should not be monetized or restricted to any human being.

Terrorism is not a religious problem; Terrorism is clearly a politic and socioeconomic problem, so let´s stop stereotyping. Labelling is a clear sign of ignorance, and we must act jointly and intelligently if we want to resolve this problem. Most Muslims repudiate terrorism as much as any of us does.

Jihadist terrorists kill more Muslims than Christians. Their terror acts are not only committed in Paris, Madrid, London or NYC, but in Syria, Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, every day. In their own countries. Paradoxically, one of the policemen killed in Paris last Wednesday was a Muslim. In the past decades, hundreds of thousands of Muslims have been killed by terrorists in the Middle East and Africa.

Thus, the dominant conflict is not between Islam and the West, but within the Islamic world, between Sunnis and Shiites, Kurds and Turks, authoritarian and democratic, rich and dispossessed, which proves that this is not exclusively a religious conflict between Christians and Muslims. This is a conflict between fanatics and rational people, beyond religion. Our political leaders must realize that the current educational model does not help building a peaceful society, it only expands the gap between the wise and the ignorant.

If only a 10% of the money spent in combating terrorism with weapons, would be dedicated to the education – including human values, ethics and empathy – of those more likely to fall into the terrorism trap, I firmly believe the results would be much more substantial. Remember what Nelson Mandela said that education is the most powerful weapon which we can use to change the world.