How cults, gangs and extremists continue to grow their ranks

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opinions

December 17, 2014 - 12:00 AM

In their campaign to “spread pain and destabilize the country,” radical Islamists opened indiscriminate fire Tuesday morning in a Pakistan school, killing 145, many of them students, and wounding, some critically, many more.
The siege — lasting over nine hours — was in retaliation to the government’s crackdown against the Pakistani Taliban, members said in a press release claiming responsibility for the heinous act.
Targeting schools also falls in line with the extremists’ belief that public education, particularly that of girls, goes against the teachings of Islam. Over the past four years they have destroyed more than 1,000 schools and colleges.
In one such attack, Malala Yousafzai, a 12-year-old girl, was shot in the head, and miraculously survived. Today, she campaigns around the world for the education of Pakistani youth. Earlier this month she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize — surely a thorn in the militants’ side.
In some instances Tuesday the children were lined up and shot in the head, execution style. So many were injured, local hospitals ran out of blood supplies.
Tuesday’s target was a school run by the army. The terrorists reasoned killing the children of officers and soldiers would weaken their resolve.

THE ONLY civilized response is these people are beyond barbarians, and where on earth do they cultivate such extreme views. Their numbers seem to be growing almost exponentially to their acts of violence. There’s little doubt the seven militants who attacked the Pakistani school — some wearing explosives strapped to their chests — have already been replaced by others lured by the promise of martyrdom.
Al Qaeda and the ISIS militants are other terrorist groups that wage widespread war under the guise of a perverse interpretation of the Koran.
Of course they are not the only ones to commit large-scale slaughter in the name of religion. The Crusades in Europe and across the Middle East were nothing more than a 200-year power and land grab, all in the name of Christendom.
But that was more than 1,000 years ago.
Surely, in today’s world we are more willing and able to stand up to such brazen attacks and reveal the lunatics for what they are.

BUT IT’S NOT so easy. For we will always have the outcast, the gullible and those who seek revenge for perceived slights by society. They make for easy prey by terrorists, even half way around the world, through social media sites.
It’s a time worn plot of science fiction books and movies: despots lure the disaffected with promises of rewards and recognition they could not otherwise earn among their peers.
Which must reinforce our resolve to continue to condemn terrorism, especially when waged against innocents.
— Susan Lynn

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