Thursday, December 17, 2015


When people hear the word radical they almost immediately think of a muslim, as if only muslims can become radicalized. The fact of the matter is anyone of any faith, or those without it, can become radicalized. Yes, certainly muslims can be radicalized, but so too can Christians. We can look back to Torquemada and his inquisition, was he not radical? We can look to the protestant reformation in which protestants killed people, burned churches, disrupted services and even defacated in baptismal fonts. There are also more recent examples we can cite such as the Robert Lewis Dear, the planned parenthood shooter in Colorado, was he not radical? Jim Jones is also an example of radicalization, his radicalization, which consisted of a mix between Marxism and religion, resulted in him leading 918 people to drink cyanide laced kool-aid.

One would think that the problem is nothing other than religion, but that is not true. You can cite many dictators who were radical but were atheist. One example is of Benito Mussolini, a proud and staunch atheist and fascist who committed unspeakable atrocities in African nations, namely Ethiopia. There are also scientists who became somewhat radical in the sense that they used science to justify racism. Thomas Huxley was a proponent of this idea that the white man was superior to the black man saying, "It may be quite true that some negroes are better than some white men; but no rational man, cognisant of the facts, believes that the average negro is the equal, still less the superior, of the average white man."  While Huxley never went out and massacred anyone, these types of ideas led to radicalization of other people who did go out and massacre people, ideas like his essentially led to radicalization. This scientific racism had led to the massacre of the aboriginal people of Austrailia, it led to the African slave trade, or at the very least its justification. People were even put into human zoos for the white public to stand in awe of their supposedly lesser ancestor. Ota Benga is a fine example of this as he was captured and put into a human zoo. 

Radicalization can occur with anything, and it does occur when we allow ourselves to become too zealous in whatever it is that we believe, wether it be religion or some scientific or political ideology. We must remain grounded in reason in whatever it is we believe as not being moderate in anything can lead to one becoming radical and carrying out horrible atrocities. So please remember, radicalization is not something that is a product of islam, it is a product of the human being allowing themselves to become unhinged, not grounding themselves. Allowing themselves to become filled with emotion which turns into fervor. When this happens reason is thrown out the window and we begin justifiying horrible things to meet an end. 

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