The Two Things We Need to Do to Keep Our Youth From Joining ISIS

Filed in Living by on May 28, 2015 0 Comments


ISIS has undertaken a sophisticated social media campaign to lure America’s youth to join their cause both here and abroad. They have developed slick ads that may appeal to some of our disaffected youth. They want our kids to either come to the Middle East to fight or simply kill fellow Americans here at home. We need to take this threat very seriously, since not doing so threatens our children, other Americans, and our way of life.

So far our government’s response has mostly been to try to block ISIS’ social media messages by closing their Facebook and Twitter accounts. This isn’t going to work. First of all, they just open new accounts as rapidly as we close them, in a game reminiscent of Wac-a-Mole. Second, and more importantly, it is impossible to block the flow of ideas.

Here is what the government, and all of us, need to do to thwart the ISIS ideology from gaining any momentum in America:

  1. Clearly Identify the Enemy and Educate Our Youth About Their Evil Message

The administration to this point has been very careful to refer to Al Qaeda and ISIS attacks as just another generic form of terrorism. It has chosen to lump their brand of terrorism with religious fanaticism throughout the ages, and as being akin to other varieties of domestic terrorism.

The huge problems with this are that it tends to downplay the current threat as ordinary and not very concerning, and it fails to clearly identify the enemy and educate people about their depraved beliefs. The administration has been unwilling to specifically identify our enemy as Islamic jihad, and identifying your enemy is always the first step in developing a plan to defeat them. But we need to go further, and also educate our kids about the radical Islamic culture that subjugates women, persecutes non-believers, tortures and beheads people, etc. Our kids need to be educated about all that is wrong and immoral about radical Islam, so they are not caught up in a false, romantic notion of what it is.

  1. Better Educate Our Youth About the Virtues of America and Our Way of Life

“You can’t fight something with nothing,” as they say. We can’t fight radical Islam’s ideology without a competing, and more favorable and just, ideology of our own. As such, our schools and we as parents need to better educate our children about the virtues of the American way of life.

How adequately do we teach our kids about all of the greatly valued aspects of our freedom, including the ability to live and travel wherever you want, freely choose your job and your spouse, select a religion and God to worship (or none at all), and be treated equally under the law regardless of gender, race, income, etc.? And what of our political system that provides each of us a voice? And our justice system that allows you to be judged by a group of your peers? Our systems are far from perfect, of course, but they are immensely better than anything radical Islam has to offer.

I hope our government and all of us soon realize that we need to clearly identify and brand radical Islam as our enemy and promote the virtues of our way of life as far superior to theirs, so we can effectively counter their mounting threat. It’s time to wake up!

About the Author ()

TIM MCINTYRE retired in 2004 from his position as president of Applied Systems after facilitating a successful sale of the company. At only forty-six years old, he made the unusual decision to fully retire to pursue other interests and simply enjoy free time. As a hard-driving Type A personality, this turned out to be a significant challenge for the Notre Dame and University of Chicago-educated MBA, CPA, and Certified Cash Manager.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *