Arlington VA. May 9, 2015
A recent article in Epoch Times (May 7, 2015) by Professor Alon Ben-Meir of New York University provides new insights in possible reductions in the radicalization efforts which seem to be increasing at exponential rates in the major western nations, including the US.
Professor Ben-Meir suggests that ongoing efforts have borne less fruit, and that a new approach is needed. Currently, the two commonest approaches involve either assimilation—encouraging strongly that recent immigrants adopt the customs and culture of their new country as quickly as possible, or, as an alternative, creating conclaves where immigrants can live and work in their own cultural environment with little interference by the central authorities. We have seen recently in France, Belgium, and the United Kingdom that the second approach—conclaves—clearly is not working.
We have seen similar results in Minneapolis, here in the US, and other cities, where immigrants, particularly Muslim immigrants are congregating in small conclaves, and avoiding the lager communities. This has all the appearances of a ‘hands-off’ policy by governmental authorities, and can easily lend itself to creating and encouraging the environment which will foster and support radicalization among disaffected youth.
In a departure from this approach, Professor Ben-Meir suggested that integration rather than assimilation is possibly a better answer. He defines integration as ‘a mutual recognition and respect of the other—a harmonization that includes difference rather than denies it.’ Further, he suggests that not enough effort is made to understand the psychological aspects of radicalization, something important in its own right, since there appears from what we already know that there is no single reason why youth choose to become radicalized, and otherwise peaceful people.
While I obviously canno0t speak for other nations, I can suggest that my own country and its leaders need to spend more time trying prevent youth radicalization with innovative approaches, as opposed to FBI stings that are often too late to prevent others from pursuing a similar course.
Processor Ben-Meir has a lot of good information here that is worth considering. You can read the entire article here.