A soldier knocked down and killed with knives on a London Street.
A life- long trauma for his family, friends and colleagues. Then the inevitable questions about how could this happen? What kind of people could do this? Were the security forces aware of them? Did they act alone? What were their families like? Who radicalised them? How did they turn out like this?
We are all experience a form of Radicalism in our families. We are set up for it. It is a part of the human condition.
Radicalism and Extermism has been around since the 17th Century in its present form. It was started by the scholar Muhammad ibn Abd-al Wahhab who confronted the traditional tenants of tolerance and inclusiveness of Sunni Islam. This idea that a religious text can be re-interpreted to support a traditional opposing view has been around a long time. Including the bible.
This sleight of hand where a text is interpreted contrary to its meaning cannot be underestimated? But how does it work?It is about the power of the text and trying to shift that power to an opposite point of view. Usually against believers who hold power over another section of the population. Radicalism supports extremist action which undermines the traditional power structure. Radicalism wants to enforce its beliefs on others, and exclude all other opposing beliefs.
In a sense it is a form of brainwashing.
Brainwashing is an interesting concept as it is usually seen as something that happens to others in extreme situations. Yet we are all brainwashed in our families. Ideas and values are built up over time in children. When they become adults they can find that these values are destructive and sabotage their families and relationships.
For example: a daughter being brought up to be a good girl. She has been brainwashed not to upset her parents and do as she is told. Her career choice was decided by her parents. She ended up in counselling in her early thirties in crisis. She hated her life, her job, and herself. She had to learn who she was. Not who her parents had told her to be. In family brainwashing there is no big event or trauma. No explicit commands. No reason or argument. Just the slow drip of example and modelling over years of living in the family environment.
Radicalism is a compacted form of family brainwashing. Target are carefully chosen. Men and women who are lost. with no sense of direction or purpose. Frightened by the complexities of existence. Wanting to live a black and white life. Avoiding the grey. Seeking clarity. Both poor and wealthy backgrounds breed these targets. A lack of opportunity and an abundance of opportunity can create a sense of being lost and lacking direction.
The brainwashers are skilled natural manipulators who effortlessly and without recognition influence vulnerable minds. Creating clarity, direction, purpose and hope are seductive ideas which can alleviate a depressed and painful life.
In this context it is more understandable how humans can be influenced and controlled. Radicalism.
Copyright Adrian Scott North London Counsellor Blog 2013
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Disclaimer: This weblog is the view of the writer and for general information only.
This article is designed to provoke argument and critique.