Thursday, 14 January 2010

Global Jihad - Only Graduates and Wealthy Need Apply

For some reason policy makers seem to think that reaching out to the poor will help stem the tide of Jihadist's that are trying to strike at America. You can look at work by Fathali M. Moghaddam and his "The Staircase to Terrorism" to support the view that poverty plays a significant part in radicalisation, but those that lead (or at least try to guide/motivate) this global Jihad or carry out the most successful attacks are educated and relatively well-off.

This post by Douglas Farah takes a fresh look at the mistakes/assumptions being made by some policy makers, worth reading in full by following the link below.

As Anne Applebaum wrote in the Washington Post, we are seeing a "international jihadi elite" that resembles international elites of the Bolshevik days who were no more working class than the Tsar. As she notes:
These people are not the wretched of the Earth. Nor do they have much in common, sociologically speaking, with the illiterate warlords of Waziristan. They haven't emerged from repressive Islamic societies such as Iran, or been forced to live under extreme forms of sharia law, as in Saudi Arabia. On the contrary, they are children of ambitious, "Westernized" parents who sacrificed for their education -- though they are often people who, for one reason or another, didn't "make it," or didn't feel comfortable, in their respective societies.
How to counter this is something we should spend much more time on than trying to figure out how to get the average Yemeni to embrace Western liberal democracy.
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