I’ll tell you how: We’ve ALLOWED it to happen…..
The mall takeover in Kenya has had plenty of coverage over the past several days and I’ve noticed a trend on every news story. They keep repeating that there are 2-3 Americans among the terrorists. The main angle of news reporting has an under-lying sense of “How can that BE??? This is America! We’re awesome! Why would anybody in America grow up to be an Islamic extremist?” Now don’t get me wrong, I’m acquainted with a few reporters, and God love them but they are some of the most out of touch people I know once you force them to think about anything outside their little bubble.
“Hey baby, can I borrow your teeth whitener?”
As to the answer of “how can that be in a country that’s so awesome-sauce”, there are many factors we can point to such as open borders or foreign policy in the mid-east. I think if you corrected those two things you would still have extremism. I think the biggest obstacle in tackling Islamic extremists is political correctness. We’re afraid to shame (I use that word a lot in this post) or ridicule anything that has to do with Islam (even if it’s COMPLETELY outlandish and violent) for fear of being called racist, Islamophobic, etc. Yet, we have no problem humiliating other groups that are considered “extreme” such as the Westboro baptists or PETA or the Tea Party. Hell, people consider ME extreme when it comes to some of my views on liberty and gun rights and such. I’ve got enough of a sense of humor about myself when some fifth-columnist hippie calls me a “tea-bagger” to not behead them on Youtube. (Instead I make sexually suggestive gestures) But most extremists don’t. They are people who take themselves waaaaayyy too seriously. In response, we relegate them into a stereotype with humor and ridicule until they’re only a footnote in history. This is what needs to happen to Islamic extremists. The more people see them as ridiculous, the more they are shamed for their belief in violence to propagate their views, the sooner they will lose the grip of fear they have all over the world and be relegated to something we joke about. For proof that it works, let’s look at a similar group that started out strong and has finished last: the KKK.
The klan of the early 20th century was a powerful organization of extremists which operated with the full knowledge and sometimes cooperation of the state. They operated with impunity for a little over 100 years planting bombs, hanging, killing, etc. not unlike the Islamic terrorists we see beheading and bombing people today. They went from this:
Make no mistake, the klan was a full-blown terrorist organization which caused a lot of strife and tension for many generations. In the early 60’s, these people could’ve killed you for making fun of them and gotten away with it. Fast forward to today…. If you saw a KKK rally at the steps of your state capitol, would you fear them? Treat them like a joke? Even PITY them? These people went from an image of fear and power to one of insignificant, ignorant trailer park dwellers. Their power and influence diminished as people first began to grow tired of tolerating their crap, then they grew the courage to begin discrediting and humiliating them until they’re nothing but a joke from one ocean to the other. It’s okay to shame the klan because they’re politically incorrect. They preach violence against those that are different from them. They blame others for the state of their well being or their nation. In a nutshell, they hate and spread that hate. Now, take those descriptive factors of the klan and apply them to Islamic extremists. Are they any different? NO!!! So why is it STILL frowned upon for fear of seeming racist or offending a Muslim to ridicule the same beliefs we already ridicule with the klan?
“We hang taffeta, not people…”
These extremists need to be put in their place. Their beliefs need to be discredited, their actions shamed. As people grow the courage to stand up to them and call them out on their violence, their power will diminish until hopefully, one day we can turn on a TV in Saudi Arabia and see what’s left of al-qaeda throwing a chair at the hosts’ head.