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People and Politics Forum 10. 04. 2009

"How can adolescents be protected from those who preach hatred?"

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More Information:

Death in the Name of Allah -- Islamist Hatemongers in Germany

"Our atomic bombs are called car bombs. Every Muslim can be one of them!" That's the message German Islamic radicals have been sending out via Internet videos in recent weeks. German security agencies say the threat is real. They estimate that some 100 Germans have attended terrorist training camps in the border region between Afghanistan and Pakistan. But who are these German jihadists and where does their hate come from? A former Islamist recounts his experience. After converting to Islam at the age of 18, he was an extremist for five years before realizing he couldn't reconcile many of the practices of radical Islam with his own values.

Our Question is:

"How can adolescents be protected from those who preach hatred?"

James Decker, USA:

"As a teenager growing up in the 21st century and with the technology that is available to us today, protectionism by any means is nearly impossible. The freedom of the Internet has allowed jihadists to preach hate to the world and target the most vulnerable of all groups: the youth. Protection is impossible with the power of the Internet. The only solution is prevention through education. Ever since kindergarten I have been taught not to smoke and to this day I have not once tried it. If governments would put half as much effort into programs promoting the prevention of hate crimes as they do smoking, then I am positive the youth of the world will look at the jihadists for what they really are: pure evil."

Martin Burmeister, Venezuela, advocates using the law to deal with hate-mongering:

"There are enough laws on the books to punish those who preach hatred. They must, however, be more severely applied, especially when the intention is to protect young people."

Erwin Scholz from Costa Rica takes a more lyrical approach to the problem:

"Lost in hate,

the bombs await,

victory is their aim

and popular acclaim.

Set forth a new mission,

experience the vision,

peace conquers pain,

the world’s goal to attain."

Australian Richard Kapp’s thoughts hinge on the future of our children:

"Islamists take our multi-culti-softie mentality as weakness, which they rigorously exploit. They simply laugh at our "offers of dialogue." If we don’t change ourselves, they’ll change us, and the result will be an "Islamic religious state" in Germany. I probably won’t live to experience that, but for our grandchildren, especially females, it would be a fearsome development."

Mada Sukmajati, Indonesia, says the problem deserves a shared solution:

"Teaching Islam to youth is very crucial. Rather than a peaceful religion, in the process Islam can be seen as a violent religion. To avoid such situations we need the government in supervising the process. Also, we need the role of moderate Muslims who interpret Islam in the context of time and place."

Rainer T.G. Salzbrunn of Brazil calls for less religious education:

"True freedom is only possible without a so-called "higher being;" it doesn’t matter what someone calls such a dictator. If only the evolution theories of Charles Darwin were taught earlier and more intensively in schools, young people wouldn’t believe in religious stories and fall for these fairy-tale explanations."

Michael Stanek, also from Brazil, says Islamists should stay put:

"There’s a simple answer. Whoever doesn’t want to live according to Western standards of order should stay in the Islamic world. We don’t need any more Islamists in Germany who don’t accept our way of life. They should all just be thrown out – or better yet, not allowed here in the first place."

René Junghans, Brazil, takes a hard look at the current problem:

"The question should really be: "How has it come this far?" There, the answer is relatively simple: German politicians sent soldiers to crisis zones where Germany really has no tangible interests. That always used to be an American problem, never a German one. That Islamic extremists would train their desire for revenge toward Germany was to be expected. Neither young people nor anyone else can be protected from hate-mongering because it’s everywhere – on the Internet, in the news media, on TV and spoken from person to person. One must get to the root of the trouble, and there are only two extremes: 1) withdrawing from Islamic crisis zones and playing nice with the Muslims, and 2) fighting these extremists to the death, no looking back, which in my opinion just leads to more violent acts, which from a human perspective should be avoided. If the money wasted in these useless military operations had been invested to improve the lives of the poor in Islamic countries, then we wouldn’t have the current situation on our hands. Up until now, the United States has invested billions in its war effort, but how much of it was spent to combat social injustices?"

Karl Heinrich Pflumm from the United States says violence is never the answer:

"We need to demonstrate to our adolescents what effects an extreme and fanatic view has on any society. We need to educate young people that violence has no end other than self-destruction and is unacceptable."

Charles Smyth of Great Britain finds fault in an overly politically-correct culture:

"To protect adolescents from those who preach hatred, it is necessary for adolescents to live within a sound morality and ethics from which to make judgements about what is right and wrong. Unfortunately, since adolescents and their adult counterparts live within a politically correct culture, which hates itself and propagates that one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter, and there is no such thing as superior and inferior cultures, it will be impossible to protect adolescents from those who preach hate."

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