Good Example Of Factors That Encourage Terrorism Critical Thinking
The definition of terrorism and the main factors that encourage it require deep research and the analysis of multiple evidences and scientific works in this sphere. Terrorism is hard to study because terrorists are not volunteering in the scientific experiments and the observations held from distance can result in the erroneous conclusions. Moreover, the terrorists of one group can be the freedom fighters of the other group as it happened to Palestinian bombers that were supported by the serious number of Arab people in the Middle East.
All the complexity of the current theme results in fact the terrorist studies are more based on theories and opinions than the real scientific conclusions. However, the recent findings give the reliable evidence that support the statement that terrorism has to be regarded in terms of group dynamics and political environment. The definition of the main factors that support the fact that terrorism and extremism development is essential for its complex prevention.
One of the main factors that are mentioned by many specialists is the instant lure of terrorism. The majority of scientific researches in this area have been focusing on the definition of the main clues that support people to take part in violent acts. After the series of researches and interviews with more than 60 former terrorists, Horgan defined the number of typical personal characteristics, such as anger, the ineffectiveness of political involvement, the necessity to act, the transformed understanding of morality, experience of being a victim of social injustice, support of family and friends and other (Horgan, 2009).
After the research held over the issues that explain the reason people can get involved in organizations and how the leaders make them act in the particular way, Horgan stated that recruiters tend to romanticize terrorism. That is supported by the evidence provided by former terrorists that have been enrolled since their young age. Moreover, a lot of specialists underline the special role of political lens in the increase of terrorism lure. Solomon Asch defined terrorism as “the warfare of the weak” – the tools used by politically weak groups fight against the forces that they see as oppressive and unfair. In such case, Asch sees the series of actions of terrorist groups and the responses of government authorities as interconnected interplay in which the decision of each factor are followed by the others.
Another important factor that encourages terrorism is the role of cultural values. One of the most significant researches in the sphere has been launched by Tom Pyszczynski, Sheldon Solomon and Geff Greenberg that is known as “terror management theory” that explains the usage of cultural and religious issues as a protection from death fear that is situated on the awareness fringes (Pyszczynski, Solomon, Greenberg, 2003).
The current theory has been applied to the researches that aimed to see whether this factor is primary for the conflict between the Middle East and Western world. The researches that have been held in the United States, Israel and Iran demonstrated that all participants that were reminded of their mortality and therefore motivated to get closer to their group identities were more likely to support violent acts against the other group members. This show the impact cultural issues have on encouraging terrorism and supporting the development of extremist tendencies in any type of social group.
In the recent times, specialists in this sphere have also studied the possible ways of terrorism mitigation and their possible effectiveness in such countries as Egypt, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia and United Kingdom. According to Kruglanski, all of social initiatives that are launched in the counties that have the highest rate of extremism growth and the improvement of number of terrorist attacks, have the series of similar components that are useful in both Eastern and Western society. These components are intellectual, emotional and social (Moghaddam, Marsella, 2003). Intellectual component is based on the series of consultations headed by the contemporary Muslim clerics with imprisoned terrorists about the real nature of Qur’an and its teachings. Emotional component is connected with the series of initiatives that aim to reduce the level of individuals’ anger though the demonstration of the family concerns, the special education programs for their children and professional training courses for their wives. Social component is connected with the experience of re-socialization of former terrorists that often results in the decrease of their radical life views.
Horgan, J.(2009). Walking Away from Terrorism. NY: Routledge.
Moghaddam, F.M. & Marsella, A.J. (Ed.). (2003) Understanding Terrorism: Psychosocial Roots, Consequences and Interventions. Washington, DC: APA Press.
Pyszczynski, T.A., Solomon, S. & Greenberg, J. (2003). In the Wake of 911: The Psychology of Terror. Washington, DC: APA press.