Friday, 3 October 2014

What ISIS Could Teach the West - NYTimes.com

What ISIS Could Teach the West - NYTimes.com


“...the
extremists recognized a basic truth: Their greatest strategic threat comes not
from a drone but from a girl with a book. We need to recognize, and act on,
that truth as well.
For similar
reasons, the financiers of extremism have invested heavily in fundamentalist
indoctrination. They have built Wahhabi madrassas in poor Muslim countries like
Pakistan, Niger and Mali, offering free meals, as well as scholarships for the
best students to study in the gulf.
Shouldn’t we try
to compete?
Shouldn’t we use
weapons in the short run, but try to gain strategic advantage by focusing on
education and on empowering women to build stable societies less vulnerable to
extremist manipulation?... Girls’ education seems to have more impact than
boys’ education, partly because educated women have markedly fewer children.
The result is lower birthrates and less of a youth bulge in the population,
which highly correlates to civil conflict.
I support judicious airstrikes in the short term against the Islamic
State, but that should be only one part of a policy combating extremism. And a
starting point should be to ensure that the three million Syrian refugees mostly in Turkey, Jordan and
Lebanon — especially girls — can get schooling...”
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