Terrorism is a term that was coinedduring the French Revolution and has undergone slight alteration in its meaningas years have passed. Initially, it meant that one was a proponent of the Jacobins, who executedand oppressed opponents of their party on a national level. Today, terrorismbares a similar connotation; however,it isapplicable on aworldwide scale. The term gained mass popularity after the attacks on New YorkCity and Washington D.C.
in September 2001. It is an issue that has grown outof proportion and one that isevident that current world leaders are struggling to overcome. Having a problemthat threatenscountless people around the world on a daily basis requires professionals withknowledge in various disciplines. The process of defeating terrorism would bemuch more productive and efficient if one had insights from multiple PPLEdisciplines, as itwould give them a more broad and informed perspective when considering theissue. If examined from a political point of view, there have beenmultiple policies adopted, some of which have proven effective, others – not.
During this process, anumber of political leaders have displayed discriminative behavior towardsethnic and religious groups when attempting to pass certain anti-terrorism policies. For instance, theTravel Ban, which the presidentof the United States, DonaldTrump, has on three occasions tried to pass, has been accused of being racially biased, because the initial ban predominantlyrestricted countriesfrom the Islamic world. Although this policy hasundergone reform, andcountries such as Chad, North Korea and Venezuela have been included in thelist, it is evident that this is just a poor and undeveloped attempt to overcome the underlying issue. Giventhe fact that a vast majority of terrorist organizations come from the Islamicworld, a travel ban may be a common conclusion, which, in reality, should not be made policy.
Thesegroups are representative of extreme beliefs, but are only a smallfraction of the Middle East; therefore, adifference between the ideals of Islam and the actions of extremist Muslimsmust bedrawn. Defeating terrorism is a matter of passing effective laws andrestrictions in order to halt potentialattacks and ensure peace in a long term timeframe. Some laws, however, couldact in a regressive manner.
The Sharia law that is followed by some of theIslamic states has proven to have a negative effect on parts of society. Much ofSharia law infringes on key liberties that should be guaranteed to every humanbeing. Penalties of the law include the loss of a hand for the perpetrator oftheft and stoning to death of those believed to have committed adultery.Therefore, it is much easier for one to interpret such law wrongfully.
Policiesand their legality are interconnected and therefore one cannot be consideredwithout the other. Given this issue is viewed from apsychological perspective, there are two different mindsets worth examining.The first one is the behavior and reaction of society in these troubled times,and the second is the motives of the attackers. On the one hand, much ofthe world is currently not only frightened by the thought of a terrorist attackbut is also aware of the continuous monitoring that governments conduct. Thismonitoring simultaneously makes society feel safer and suggests the idea that aperson’s every move is being traced and could later be used for other purposes.This may result in the conflicting mindset of being both protected on anational or worldwide threat level, as well as threatened by the actions ofone’s own government. For example, recently the United Kingdom adopted theInvestigatory Powers Act 2016, which gives the UK interrogation agencies andpolice the right to hack phones, go through emails and review personal data.This is not only a major infringement on our human rights, but also sets anuneasy atmosphere in which people are constantly thinking whether or not theyhave the privacy of presenting an opinion and not being punished for it later.
On the other hand, there are the motives of attackers. In many cases, theseindividuals are brought up in a hostile environment in which they are given aweapon from a young age and are forced to witness the absolute absence ofequality or societal order. In such situations, these children are brought upwith an altered mindset that is to some extent brainwashed and extended intotheir adult lives. The reasonable action that should be taken is to provideeducation to these individuals from a young age and to teach them that the actof murder in order to fulfill one’s duty in front their God is not justified.An issue as complex as this one cannot be handled appropriately without theexpertise of cultural, behavioral, and psychological professionals. Finally, terrorism undeniably has a crippling effect onthe economy. While there are highly profitable illegal markets of developing,manufacturing and selling illegal weapons, which often fuel terrorist attacks,these do not contribute to the economic well-being of society.
The threat ofterrorism, in fact, puts a strain on global markets in a similar way that anyuncertainty would, such as political turmoil or environmental catastrophe.Simultaneously, countries that are victims of terrorist attacks or terroristthreats have an increased pressure to put aside finances for national securityand defenses, and this could potentially create an imbalanced economy whichwould reflect negatively on society. Any anti-terrorism efforts must be rootedin a consideration of the global economy, among other factors. In conclusion, the major globalissue of terrorism is just one example of a problem that must be consideredfrom a variety of different viewpoints. The solving of almost any problemrequires a complex approach, which could be provided by professionals that haveinsights from different spheres and are able to effectively combine and applythe knowledge acquired from them.