The lives of 22 innocent people have been taken by a heartless terrorist on Monday night. Terrorism has hit us again and all people seem to be concerned with is whether he was a son of refugees? It seems once more they just want to justify their out of date racist ideas and continue to spread hate and Islamophobia. Perhaps it’s time for all of us to start looking at the links between young people, minorities and radical ideas. We all form this society -all regardless of our religion, race or gender- and we all have some sort of responsibility in the way our society functions.
The aftermath: Islamophobia
Yesterday, when I woke up to the horrible news, I soon started reading comments on Facebook that justified the Muslim ban in the US and claimed that a stricter (is that even possible?) immigration policy in the UK will solve the issue. However, no one seemed to be asking themselves why would a 22 year old boy regardless of his religion, background or class kill himself and another 22 innocent people?
When I read the news, one of the first questions that I posed to myself was: How are we treating minorities in this country? How do we treat women, BME, Muslims, the working class? How do we treat gypsies, disabled people? Are they integrate it in British society? Do we let/want them to integrate? Do we make them feel as an essential part of the community as we make white middle class British males feel? Do we make sure they get access to the same resources and have the same opportunities than others? No, we don’t.
These youngster and sometimes the no-so youngsters are invisible to society, to politicians to their neighbors and sometimes even to their parents who are too busy earning money to feed them and pay for their studies to try to grant them a better future.
The real need for a purpose
These boys and girls are in many cases surrounded by misery and have suffered from bullying, alienation and isolation. It is easier for these vulnerable people to succumb to the lie of salvation and eternal peace and calm. It is easier for them to blame the rest of the world for their situation. It is easier for them to fall into the trap of victimization and surrender, instead of daily fighting for their rights. They are the easiest ones to recruit due to their vulnerability. These radical organisations offer them a purpose in life, a purpose that the rest of society seem to be unable to offer them.
This is not a justification of what this heartless coward terrorist has done. This is an analysis, a deeper insight into why there seems to be a link between Western born young males descendants of parents coming from, in many cases, a Muslim majority country and terrorism. They are not Muslim, and they have no religious consciousness at all. The just need a purpose, a goal, something to live -and die- for. Unfortunately, these radical groups give them this needed purpose.
Education and Integration: the solutions?
These young vulnerable adults fail to show any strong adherence to any religion. The need for a purpose has made them be vulnerable to extremist groups whose only focus is to spread terror.
If Islam is not the problem, banning refugees from Muslim majority countries and enforcing stricter immigration policies will never be the solution. Perhaps the solution is to make sure we are educated enough to ensure integration in our communities. It’s time to stop making these vulnerable teens feel like the alienated other and start telling them that they are an essential part of the community- as we all are-, regardless of our faith, background, class, gender or sexual orientation.
Islam is not the problem, it has never been. The lack of integration, racism, isolation, victimization, and sometimes mental health seem to be real problem no one wants to address.