Don’t just denounce radicalized youth, engage with them

Scott Atran in the Washington Post:

Z_82A2092The violence in Charlottesville last weekend may seem new to some Americans: A white supremacist terrorizing protesters with his car, killing and maiming nearly at random. But in fact, the scene is painfully familiar, recalling recent attacks by vehicles in London, Nice and Berlin — all inspired by the Islamic State.

In the days since, members of the Charlottesville community have grappled with what could have been done to prevent the incident. As the attacker’s former high school teacher said: “I admit I failed. I tried my best. But this is definitely a teachable moment and something we need to be vigilant about, because this stuff is tearing up our country.”

Indeed, the values of liberal and open democracy increasingly appear to be losing ground around the world to those of narrow, xenophobic ethno-nationalisms and radical Islam — similar to attacks on republican values by fascists and communists in the 1920s and 1930s.

More here.