WaPo: Want to Stop Islamic Terrorism? Be Nicer to Muslims.

From Sarah Lyons-Padilla and Michele Gelfand writing at the Washington Post:

The discovery that several of the Paris attackers were European nationals has fueled concern about Muslim immigrants becoming radicalized in the West.

Some politicians have expressed views that the best way to avoid homegrown terrorists is to shut the door.

The refugee migration debate turned even more contentious after authorities found a Syrian passport at the scene of the attack. Poland is now turning back refugees, more than half of American governors have vowed to refuse Middle Easterners seeking a new beginning, and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan has asked for a “pause” on the federal Syrian refugee program.

Fearful reactions to terrorist violence are nothing new. Incidents of extremist activity are often followed by anti-Islam protests or hate crimes. Reports of the Islamic State luring Western Muslims abroad are followed by a tighteningof homeland security policy. Just after the attacks in Paris, presidential hopeful Donald Trump said that he would be willing to close mosques in America.

Such displays of intolerance can make Muslims feel like they don’t belong in Europe or the United States.

Our research, forthcoming in Behavioral Science and Policy, and in partnership with the World Organization for Resource Development and Education, shows that making Muslims feel this way can fuel support for radical movements. In other words, many Western policies that aim to prevent terrorism may actually be causing it.

Read the rest of the story at the Washington Post.


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