An AP story by Philip Marcelo, formerly of the Providence Journal, raises the familiar question of whether Western liberals or progressives understand the world well enough to lead us through it and to protect us from its dangers.
The article is about a “federally backed effort to stem the rise of homegrown extremists” in Massachusetts that is supposed to work by increasing funding for social-welfare-type services for targeted immigrant groups. Here are two of the three programs Marcello describes:
United Somali Youth, which operates out of New England’s largest mosque, the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center, was awarded $105,000 to help Somali, African and Middle Eastern youths build critical life skills through afterschool programs, counseling, college readiness assistance and other efforts.
Empower Peace, which was founded by a communications and marketing executive, was given $42,000 to teach high schoolers statewide how to develop social media campaigns promoting tolerance and combating bigotry so that they can produce them at their schools.
The blindness to circumstances is what shocks. “College readiness” will stop terrorism? One of the Boston Marathon bombers was a student at UMass Dartmouth.
Teaching media campaigns on “combating bigotry”? The Somalia-born Ohio State attacker appears to have been enrolled in a course on just such a subject. Here’s the syllabus. Indeed, the lessons taught may very well have been key to radicalizing the young terrorist, which means these programs, small as they are, may actually increase the chances of radicalizing American Muslims.
Of course, impeding education would be folly, but that some people — who are empowered to take Americans’ money through taxes and implement laws restricting our rights — see such things explicitly as anti-terror measures is worrying.