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To stop terrorism, we have to look at ourselves

Caricature of SteveFatal violence erupted in Britain again this weekend.  Another sign that the war on terrorism continues unabated sparking once again calls for stronger retaliation.

The principal problem is that too many of the terrorists become radicalized because western nations including the United States fail to make these residents part of our national culture.

When you grow up feeling marginalized, alienated, and rejected by the minority culture, it’s tempting to accept a surrogate family and embrace their ideals. This is why urban gangs proliferate in poor black and Latino U.S. neighborhoods. And young Muslims turn to a violent form of Islam.

It’s easy to argue for stronger anti-terrorism laws and harsher law enforcement response. But until our respective nations, cities and neighborhoods reach out to minority families and embrace them as one of us, this sense of isolation will fester until it explodes as it has in several nations.

The truth is that too many of us in our cultural cocoons ignore others and really don’t want to know them. As long as we keep at arms length those who are different from us, they will choose a different path. Often with violent consequences for all of us.


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