Terrorism panel offers students non-violent solutions to terrorism

by Whitney Dowds

Non-violent methods to combat modern terrorism were discussed before a standing room only crowd of students in Cheshire Hall on December 9 from 3-4:30 p.m.

“Terror cannot be solved with terror, and violence cannot be solved with violence,” said Bill Beardslee, the Associate Director of Student Involvement and Spiritual Life.

President Card described how he had to be the person to tell President George Bush that the second plane had hit the South Tower of the World Trade Center and that “America was under attack.”

Both Bush and Card already knew about the first plane hitting the North Tower, but assumed it was just a “terrible accident,” and the pilot had some kind of medical incident or that it was a possible pilot suicide. However once the second plane hit, Card knew that it was terrorism and that Osama bin Laden was responsible.

“Terrorists thrive on fear,” President Card said. “The purpose of terrorism is usually not a political motive, it’s usually to engender fear.”

Professor Mary Kelly, from the History department, has a unique perspective on terrorism, because she lived in Ireland where she knew people who were involved with the IRA. When she grew up during the 1970’s, every time she watched television, she would find out that there was a terrorist incident in Northern Ireland, usually a bombing or shooting.

“I grew up very familiar with that language and very familiar with how difficult it is to counter (terrorism) and resolve it,” said Kelly.

Dr. Jennie Brown, the Associate Professor of Psychology, wanted students to understand the mindset of a terrorist. Most terrorist are not born crazy but become terrorists because of factors such as poverty and unstable home lives that they want to escape from. Her solutions are to fix schools, by making the schools in areas where terrorists are prominent teach more than religious practices and make them more like liberal arts schools.

Brown also wants to see the building of de-radicalization centers where terrorist can have safe haven to escape from terrorist cells and help the US and allies by giving them key intelligence on terrorist groups like ISIS.

The panel was made of eight speakers, including Card, Beardslee and six professors, who came from the Political Science, History, Humanities and Criminal Justice departments on campus.

“I think the most important thing to take away from this learning experience is that all of us are very concerned about making the world safer and that dealing with religious extremist terrorism will take time and creativity,” said Brown.
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Special Note: Check out Kelsey Hausman’s article on why Surveillance cameras will be installed over winter break in response to recent campus vandalism. Find out where camera’s will be set up and how that links to the recent vandalism on campus.

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One Response to "Terrorism panel offers students non-violent solutions to terrorism"

  1. Heather Tullio  December 30, 2015 at 8:21 pm

    Nice job, Whitney. Sounds like a really interesting panel, with well informed participants. Who organized it? I’d also be interested to know who all the professors participating were, so I could ask them about it.

    Reply

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