Monday, February 9, 2015

An Amazing Story Of Courage And Choice - The Terrorist's Son

I stumbled across the Zak Ebrahim's TED Talk last week on his experience growing up as the son of a terrorist and following the amazing nine-minute talk I was glad to find that Zak also has written a book titled The Terrorist's Son.

For me, the idea of terrorism and hatred of a person or group of people because of a particular ideology is incomprehensible. Hearing an account from a family member of a terrorist is eye-opening and incredibly important to share and discuss.  We need to make clear to our children that their is no "guilt by association" for people from a particular ethnic or religious background and that ultimately horrific actions are the result of a choice made by an individuals.

I think the following quote from the book sums up how we need to look at terrorism:
"There's a reason that murderous hatred has to be taught - and not just taught, but forcibly implanted. It's not a naturally occuring phenomenon. It is a lie. It is a lie told over and over again - often to people who have no resources and who are denied alternative views of the world."
The history of violence is clear - "People try nonviolence for a week, and when it 'doesn't work,' they go back to violence, which hasn't worked for centuries."

Zak's powerful and courageous story tells us clearly of the best option - "Everyone has a choice. Even if you're trained in hate, you can choose tolerance. You can choose empathy."


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