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Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Redemption

The background of so called Islam or Muslim terrorist attacks in Europe isn't what you would expect. Instead of extreme religious believers, these attacks are often performed by ordinary criminals and/or drug users with a Muslim background. It feels like there is a terrorist recruitment website: How to redeem your sins within 90 days.

Muslims usually express grief and anger over terrorist attacks while denying responsibility. Denial and Anger are the first 2 steps in the K├╝bler-Ross model of processing Grief. The other 3 steps are seldom taken: Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. Without acceptance, there's no closure, no solution. Islamic terrorism remains an open wound.

The missing 3 steps in processing grief are strongly related to the denial of responsibility. Why bargain with Muslim extremists if there's no guilt or responsibility involved? Why face depression if there's no guilt or responsibility? Why accept blame if there's no guilt or responsibility?

A 24 May 2017 FT article addresses the above dilemma: “Calls grow for fresh approach to ‘take on ideology’ of jihadis”. Some FT quotes: “This act of cowardice [in Manchester] has no place in our religion, or indeed any other religion”. [] It makes no more sense to blame the mosque a bomber attended for his violence than it would do to blame his university or college.[] “He wasn’t radicalised through the mosques. He was radicalised through the internet.”

It’s important to separate 2 related concepts: accountability and responsibility. See my blogs of 25 October 2015, 26 March 2016 and 27 October 2016. Responsibility requires direct supervision: coach, employer, parents, teacher. Religion offers indirect supervision through its sermons and teachings. Hence, all religions are accountable for the acts undertaken in their name.

Any religion based on Love, should not refute its black sheep or misguided people. Terrorist organisations, which are rooted in Fear and Hate, offer terrorists redemption at the expense of an entire religion. The accountability of a religion lies in the concept of redemption.

In Catholicismredemption is offered through a confession of sins, penance, and prayers. Other Christian religions allegedly envy this approach as it provides an easy way out for the sinner. However, "every disadvantage has its advantage" (Johan Cruyff saying).

The solution in Islam might be as simple as in Catholicism: confession of sins, penance, prayers and redemption while still being alive. Its alternative should however be revokedredemption as a martyr with 72 virgins in paradise. The current choice for Muslim sinners isn't very helpful in preventing terrorism - in the name of Islam.

There will be no Change without acceptance of blame. Acceptance requires assuming responsibility (guilt) or accountability (shame). Without both, only Denial in a victim role remains. The presence of Anger points to a willingness to move beyond Denial and process all grief related steps, including Acceptance. There is still Hope, next to Faith and Love.

Rather Be (2014) by Clean Bandit - artists, FBlyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2