What are the causes of terrorism? It is a loaded question that has plagued even the highest intelligence agencies in the world. Before we answer that question though, let us get some background on what terrorism is. Terrorism has been described as both a tactic and strategy. A crime and a holy duty. It is often described as a justified reaction to oppression. Obviously, a lot depends on whose point of view is being represented. Terrorism has often been an effective tactic for the weaker side in a conflict. As an asymmetric form of conflict, it aligns coercive power with many of the advantages of military hard power at a fraction of the cost.
Due to the way they operate and the relatively small size of terrorist organizations, they often offer opponents no clear organization to defend against. Putting this question into context, we probably need no introduction as to why the causes of terrorism are so important. Terrorism threatens our very lives and poses a huge threat to anyone not aligned with these radical extremists. They have proven that they will resort to the deadliest of tactics and stop at nothing, even if that means killing themselves in the process, to achieve their goal. That very attitude is what makes terrorists so deadly.
We need to know what creates these monsters so that we can hopefully put an end to them and protect the ones that we care for. Aforementioned, the way the operate can make it very hard to pinpoint who we should be fighting against. So if we can pinpoint the root causes, we can have a greater advantage in dealing with them. Now to answer this question, I will be taking a look at some articles that will shed some light on this issue. Those articles being Brigitte Nacos’ “The Making of Terrorists: Causes, Conditions, Influences”, Peter Bergen and Swati Pandey’s “The Madrassa Scapegoat” and lastly, Richard D.
Connerney “ Islam Promotes Terrorism and Violence”. They offer different perspectives on this topic, and through those, we will draw a conclusion. Going into this though, my general conclusion is that terrorism is caused by social factors. I believe that terrorists are born regardless of their socioeconomic conditions and in fact, most terrorists are well-educated. Let us take a look to see if these readings align with my viewpoint, or offer a different conclusion. Firstly, let us take a look at Nacos’ “The Making of Terrorists”, summarizing her points from the article.
Many have voiced their opinion on what they believe causes terrorism. Some say terrorism is the outcome of poor families and groups who take action of their own. Research performed by Berrebi, Krueger, and Maleckova have shown different groups in different time periods have found no plausible evidence tostate that there is a link between poverty and lack of education as a major role in theincrease of terrorism. During the late 1960’s to 1980’s held leaders of some of the most influential terrorist groups located in some of the worlds richest countries with members that came from upper-class families who attended universities.
A lot of the worlds powerful terrorist groups are home to many highly educated men and women who own professional degrees as well as some who have not even graduated high school. Burdman and Berrebi think that one way of reducing the new generation from turning to terrorism is by changing the curriculum of children in terrorist prone countries. Muslims in Saudi Arabia teach their children in schools that hatred is accepted against non- Muslims. While right here in our own country, students of an Islamic school said that they are allowed to deceive or hurt a kuffar or non- Muslim.
Young children are taught at an early age to have this hatred in their hearts and are influenced into thinking this is the right way of life. Next, let us take a look at “The Madrassa Scapegoat”. The Madrassa is an Islamic religious school providing educations for those nterested in furthering their Islamic studies but some may see this as a threat. They even view Madrassas as terrorist factories since the unforgettable September 11th attacks which is still the most devastating attack to date.
Many come to the conclusion the Madrassas promote terrorism by training and teaching students how to carry out attacks. Over the years, Muslim terrorist group have carried out some very extreme attacks around the world but only one these attacks actually involved students from the Madrassas which was the 2002 Bali nightclubs bombing. However the masterminds behind this attack was lead by men with college degrees. It may seem as though we are looking for a direct source to assist in the decrease in number of terrorist attacks but pointing fingers at the Madrassas is the wrong source.
Most terrorist are as educated as the average American because they attend universities, colleges and even go to school right here in the west. An average of 58 percent attained scientific or technical degrees. On the other hand, Engineering was the most popular subject studied by terrorists in a taken sample which was then followed by medicine. In order to perform an extensive attack such as the World Trade Center attack, you will have to achieve a college education and have access to advanced technology.
Moving on to “Islam Promotes Violence” by Connery we see that in almost every religion, different people interpret its meaning differently. Many of these religions such as Islam, Hinduism, Christianity and Judaism have dated back to A. D. and B. C. times. These religions have grown and adapted through the wars and changed thrown its way except one of them, Islam. The world is shared by many different faiths and beliefs In conclusion, we see that the causes of terrorism are varied and independent. Terrorists are created regardless of socioeconomic