Terrorism is a term that was coined
during the French Revolution and has undergone slight alteration in its meaning
as years have passed. Initially, it meant that one was a proponent of the Jacobins, who executed
and oppressed opponents of their party on a national level. Today, terrorism
bares a similar connotation; however,
applicable on a
worldwide scale. The term gained mass popularity after the attacks on New York
City and Washington D.C. in September 2001. It is an issue that has grown out
of proportion and one that is
evident that current world leaders are struggling to overcome. Having a problem
countless people around the world on a daily basis requires professionals with
knowledge in various disciplines. The process of defeating terrorism would be
much more productive and efficient if one had insights from multiple PPLE
disciplines, as it
would give them a more broad and informed perspective when considering the
If examined from a political point of view, there have been
multiple policies adopted, some of which have proven effective, others – not.
During this process, a
number of political leaders have displayed discriminative behavior towards
ethnic and religious groups when attempting to pass certain anti-terrorism policies.
For instance, the
Travel Ban, which the president
of the United States, Donald
Trump, has on three occasions tried to pass, has been accused of being racially biased, because the initial ban predominantly
from the Islamic world. Although this policy has
undergone reform, and
countries such as Chad, North Korea and Venezuela have been included in the
list, it is evident that this is just a poor and undeveloped attempt to overcome the underlying issue. Given
the fact that a vast majority of terrorist organizations come from the Islamic
world, a travel ban may be a common conclusion, which, in reality, should not be made policy. These
groups are representative of extreme beliefs, but are only a small
fraction of the Middle East; therefore, a
difference between the ideals of Islam and the actions of extremist Muslims
Defeating terrorism is a matter of passing effective laws and
restrictions in order to halt potential
attacks and ensure peace in a long term timeframe. Some laws, however, could
act in a regressive manner. The Sharia law that is followed by some of the
Islamic states has proven to have a negative effect on parts of society. Much of
Sharia law infringes on key liberties that should be guaranteed to every human
being. Penalties of the law include the loss of a hand for the perpetrator of
theft and stoning to death of those believed to have committed adultery.
Therefore, it is much easier for one to interpret such law wrongfully. Policies
and their legality are interconnected and therefore one cannot be considered
without the other.
Given this issue is viewed from a
psychological 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 of
the world is currently not only frightened by the thought of a terrorist attack
but is also aware of the continuous monitoring that governments conduct. This
monitoring simultaneously makes society feel safer and suggests the idea that a
person’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 a
national or worldwide threat level, as well as threatened by the actions of
one’s own government. For example, recently the United Kingdom adopted the
Investigatory Powers Act 2016, which gives the UK interrogation agencies and
police 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 an
uneasy atmosphere in which people are constantly thinking whether or not they
have 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, these
individuals are brought up in a hostile environment in which they are given a
weapon from a young age and are forced to witness the absolute absence of
equality or societal order. In such situations, these children are brought up
with an altered mindset that is to some extent brainwashed and extended into
their adult lives. The reasonable action that should be taken is to provide
education to these individuals from a young age and to teach them that the act
of 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 the
expertise of cultural, behavioral, and psychological professionals.
Finally, terrorism undeniably has a crippling effect on
the 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 of
terrorism, in fact, puts a strain on global markets in a similar way that any
uncertainty would, such as political turmoil or environmental catastrophe.
Simultaneously, countries that are victims of terrorist attacks or terrorist
threats have an increased pressure to put aside finances for national security
and defenses, and this could potentially create an imbalanced economy which
would reflect negatively on society. Any anti-terrorism efforts must be rooted
in a consideration of the global economy, among other factors.
In conclusion, the major global
issue of terrorism is just one example of a problem that must be considered
from a variety of different viewpoints. The solving of almost any problem
requires a complex approach, which could be provided by professionals that have
insights from different spheres and are able to effectively combine and apply
the knowledge acquired from them.