Friday, May 26, 2017

To defeat Islamists, our governments must enter the battle of ideas

Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith, The Catholic Herald.

Lucie-Smith image from article

The best way to fight terrorism is to attack it at the root, namely by countering the ideology that inspires these acts. One fights an ideology not with troops on the street or some other military response (though those are important too) but in the realm of ideas. ...
If the government would only dedicate half an hour a day to proper religious discourse on the telly, this might change minds. It is surely time for moderate or sceptical voices to dominate the air waves and counteract the poison being spewed by the radicals. The government needs to promote what the Americans call “public diplomacy” and what we call more honestly propaganda.
All of this involves government getting involved, getting down into the arena and getting its hands dirty. It also means our government confronting other governments that sponsor extremist ideology: places like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, who, by their actions, give succour to hardliners. Until the government gets brave in the arena of ideas, little progress will be made against terrorism. It’s time for them to get off the fence.

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