And here we thought investments in weapons, hiring more intelligence agents, and hiring Internet investigators to search Craig’s List to see who’s trying to furnish caves in Pakistan were the key ways to fight terrorist chief Osama bin Laden and his murder corporation Al Qaeda. Now it turns out a new study suggests that other tools are need to be tossed into the life-and-death battle: satire and ridicule:
Satire and ridicule can help win the fight against Al-Qaeda by stripping it of its glamour and mystique, a team of researchers argue in a report released in London and in comments to AFP.
Beating the Islamist movement is as much about winning the battle of ideas and undermining Al-Qaeda’s counter-culture cachet as it is about conventional anti-terrorism operations, said the report.
“Terrorism must be defeated through the deliberate ‘toxification’ of the al-Qaeda brand; not by making it seem dangerous, but by exposing it as dumb,” Jamie Bartlett, one of the report’s authors, told AFP.
“Al-Qaeda has to be ridiculed as the equivalent of a middle-aged dad at a school disco: enthusiastic, incompetent and excruciatingly uncool.”
Bartlett, together with Jonathan Birdwell and Michael King, published “The edge of violence, a radical approach of extremism” on the website of the London-based think tank Demos on Friday.
The report summarised two years of work in Britain, Canada, Denmark, France and the Netherlands, which included interviews with 58 people convicted of terror-related offences and with 20 radical, but non-violent Muslims.
So, in TMV’s strong desire to make a contribution to the war against terrorism, we did an exhaustive (about 5 minutes) search on the Internet.
Here are some tools to win the war against terror:
THIS JUST IN! Go HERE to read Jules Crittenden who offers some more ammunition.
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Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.