has the faintest idea how to react—at least within the bounds of decency—to the alarming propensity of young Muslim citizens to become partisans of violence and terrorism.
There is a tendency to think of ‘radicalisation’ as
a kind of disease, one that will appear in the next edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, offering the hope of some technical procedure—pills, perhaps, or psychosurgery?—that will cure it.
Is Islamic extremism a disease, whose ideas (if they deserve to be called such) are like infectious agents? Should those infected be treated in isolation hospitals in the hope that the disease will burn itself out? Prevention is better than cure, of course, but what is the vaccine that immunises people against this disease?