The complex relationship between counterterrorism and discrimination

This week I would like to direct your attention to a piece written by Richard Maass in the Washington Post: Want to help the Islamic State recruit? Treat all Muslims as potential terrorists.

Here is an especially interesting excerpt:

“Many excellent scholars — both before and since 9/11 — have produced research that tells us about the relationship between discrimination and counterterrorism. Here’s what we know. To be most effective, counterterrorism policies need to make an explicit distinction between the individuals who genuinely threaten others with terrorism, on the one hand, and on the other, the broader populations those terrorists claim to represent. Counterterrorism efforts — especially using force — should narrowly target only the former, as much as possible. Groups that commit terrorism often hope to provoke a violent overreaction against the community they claim to be defending. Even though most people in that community are nonviolent, such a reaction might force them to turn to the terrorist group for their own defense, swelling its ranks and realizing its ambition for greater political power.”

Good food for thought.

Follow me on Twitter @eugeniolilli


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