Letter of the Day (Oct. 4): Al-Shabab's threat to Minnesota

  • Updated: October 3, 2013 - 7:01 PM

The problem is rooted in ideology and religion, not youthful disaffection.

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A screen grab from a Al-Shabab video called "Minnesota's Martyrs: Path to Paradise". The video features three young Minnesotans who traveled to Somalia to fight for the terror organization Al-Shabab and, ultimately, to die for their cause.

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The Sept. 30 editorial (“Al-Shabab remains a threat in Minnesota”) was dangerously deceptive. It never mentioned religion, as if all that “disaffected youths” need to avoid becoming suicide bombers are after-school programs, strong father figures and more antiracism talk. That is nonsense. As the recent Boston bombing case and all previous cases of terrorism by Muslim men demonstrate, the perpetrators are not loners and losers, but bright, motivated and successful young people. They are often engineers and other high achievers. What they have in common — always — is that they are newly devout and motivated by an intense religious conviction that makes them feel both morally superior and deeply aggrieved. The problem is rooted in ideology and religion, not disaffection. Why can’t we say this out loud?

KEN DARLING, Golden Valley

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