Joining Terrorist Groups
Terrorism is a major concern in most parts of the world today. Some people especially the youth join the terrorist groups for various reasons. However, their decisions affect the whole society as people strive to stay safe. However, governments across all nations are trying to come up with solutions to this menace. The relevant authority should first try to find out why people engage in these activities. This essay discusses some of the reasons as to why people join terrorist groups with a critical focus on Al-Queda as well as the Rational Choice Theory that relates to this issue.
Definition of terms
Terrorism Groups-These are individuals who get together into cause violence based on political, religious or other issues
Al-Qaeda-A terrorist group comprising of Muslim which is against the Western plans
Rational Choice Theory-A concept explaining peoples behavior and their consequences
People particularly the young may join terrorist groups following various reasons. There are those that are motivated to be part of these groups based on the economic prosperity promised by the members of the group. In the current world, one has to go to school and acquire the necessary professional skills for them to gain a decent pay. However, most of the young generation are not willing to take this long route into being financially stable. As such, they look for shortcuts and other ways that can make them rich spontaneously. As such, they may get into any activity as long as it pays them as they want. The terrorist groups who are determined to destroy others are willing to invest in this teams and pay the perpetrators any amount of money they ask. Additionally, they also join the groups because once they kidnap people, they ask for huge sums of money that make them rich.
People also join the terrorist groups due to religion reasons. For instance, most of the al-Qaeda members are there to attack the non-Muslim groups. According to Venhaus, most of those who join are Muslims who attempt to attack the anti-Muslim group. The group feels that people neglect them and they believe that for them to remain relevant in the community them they must make everyone a Muslim. They, therefore, seek identity primarily because they comprise other marginalized groups.
Some people join this groups unwillingly in that they are forced by their families or peers. For instance, if one is born in a family that comprises of terrorist, there are high chances that he or she will join. Additionally, people who share the same religion with the terrorist will always influence them by showing them how the non-believers are mistreating them. Besides, some people come from poverty-stricken families. As such, they are forced to join the groups to provide for their families. They, therefore, undergo the thorough training and become members.
It is not to mean that these people who join these groups are different from other people. The issues surrounding them are the ones which motivate them to participate. Some feel that they are marginalized groups and nobody pays attention to them. Others need economic stability and think that terrorism can be their ultimate solution. People have challenges, but it all depend on with how they choose to solve them. It is unfair to think that joining such groups that kill people or even extort them is the only solution to their problems. They ought to be creative and find better and just ways of being successful in life. Those who want people to join their religion by killing them should understand that everyone has a right to choose his faith. Therefore, forcing others can never be a solution. Therefore, terrorists are ordinary people, but their way of thinking is what separates them from the rest of the world.
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A Case of Al-Queda
According to research done by Venhaus, one of the primary reason that people join Al-Queda is for revenge. This group of people argues that they are frustrated by the outside environment and are disappointed with it. Therefore, they seek revenge for what is happening around them. A considerable number of the groups members are mainly bitter with the west which is always fighting against Muslims. The research also revealed that the members are also victims of disputes between their families and other members of the society. Thus, the anger triggers them to join al-Queda, and they form approximately 30% of the members. The Al-Queda leaders, therefore, come up with messages that touch any person who is willing to revenge. They distribute them via the social media to most of their targets, and this is how they manage to acquire members and recruit them to the group.
The report further shows that there are those who are in this group for recognition. 25% of the members, therefore, become members to upgrade their status. Most of those that join the group with this intention are in the West. They feel that nobody recognizes their presence particularly because of discrimination. They believe that they are heroes who should be acknowledged but the community that surrounds him fails to realize that. Therefore, those who seek to be recognized are mostly international students trying to adopt in the foreign country. Additionally, there are the immigrants who go to the foreign regions to look for better opportunities, but nobody recognizes them. They expect to be respected the same way their people back at home do whenever they go back. However, the case is different when they are in the Europe region because most of them perform manual work. As such, they are perceived as dirty by the natives and that is why they join these groups to prove their prominence in that area.
The smallest group in the group join because of the spirit of adventure. These are people who have been in unchallenging situations and would like to explore what happens when one becomes a terrorist. They make up 5% of these people. They are always attracted to aggressive video games that usually involve war and are most probably motivated to do the same. They, therefore, seek the al-Queda messages that are full of propaganda and mostly have images of heroism. Their interest builds and they ask to be recruited in the team.
Rational Choice Theory
This concept attempts to explain the economic and social behavior among people. It argues that people are given various alternatives to a given situation. The choice is perceived to have several economic or social consequences. Therefore, this Theory emphasizes that the results that are realized affect people on a social level as they are not individual. The theory also states that human beings make rational decisions based on calculations and mostly focus on alternatives that are likely to be more profitable or pleasurable than the rest. Thus, the concept asserts that people are usually cautious while making a decision to select those that have more economic gain to them. Therefore, this Theory directly relates to those that are members of terrorist groups. As stated earlier, some of the members join the groups for economic gain. These people usually have other available options such as going to school and acquire a decent job. Others may even start their enterprises and become employers. However, they disregard all the other options and choose to join terrorist groups.
Additionally, in the case of al-Queda, there are those who join because they want recognition while others do so for adventure. Others also seek status through this group. There would be other available options to solve their problems such as gaining more education that will earn them better jobs thus gain recognition. Furthermore, those that are angry and may have grudges on those that wronged them could seek counseling that may solve their problems. There are a variety of better solutions to their problems instead of joining the Al-Queda. Their decisions have adverse effects on the community that surrounds them. For instance, when one opts to join Al-Queda, peace is disrupted as these people involve in vigorous attacks. Thus, the government spends a lot of money to curb terrorism. The resources used could be utilized to enhance development in other sectors. Thus, one may think that it is rational for him or her to join such groups. However, the decision to join terrorism affects others in an adverse manner just as explained by the Rational Choice Theory.
In conclusion, each of the members of the terrorist groups has their reasons for joining. There are those that are there to become financially stable as the groups promise the huge salaries. Others may participate because of religious grounds. A majority of those who join Al-Qaeda do so for revenge against wrongful deeds that might have occurred to them. Others are members as they want to be recognized by those that surround them. The foreigners in the Western world feel the need to be accepted by the natives and think that Al-Qaeda is the only way. Others are curious about what goes on in the group and join to fulfill their spirit of adventure. The Rational Choice Theory explains that people, including those in terrorist groups, make a choice out of the several alternatives that they may have. Their choices have consequences not only to them but also to the society.