REWARD OR PUNISHMENT

By William Markiewicz

Was the Norwegian killer a psychopath or an extremist? Assuming he is an extremist, an explanation comes to mind.

Extremists of all calibers try to convert adversaries or the indifferent using, according to their possibilities, reward or punishment. The Turks, invading the Balkans, accorded rewards for converting to Islam. Today's extremists in Iraq and Afghanistan punish girls who don't adhere to strict Islam in dress or who go to school by throwing , for instance, acid in their face. Athletic men have been shot to death for wearing shorts during exercise. Falafel sellers were punished because falafel didn't exist in Mohammed's time (!) There are a lot of other restrictions, like pets forbidden in Iran, because this didn't fit their interpretation of Islam. In the Middle Ages in Europe people in power, like the Inquisitors, punished with torture and/or death, for various acts not conforming to dogma. The Nazis, like the Inquisitors, punished those who didn't fit their model.

Today Western extremists like this Norwegian killer, who have no power to give rewards or orders, apply terror methods to convert those who don't follow their rules. They attack their own population for being indifferent to their ideology. The ultimate question is: are there enough opportunists in the targeted society who will bow to fear?

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