Poverty Causes Terrorism?
By Debi Ghate (Santa Barbara News-Press, Sept. 22, 2007; Mail and Guardian, South Africa, Sept. 25, 2007)
Archbishop Desmond Tutu's statement that "poverty causes terror" indicates a complete disregard for reality.
Poverty exists, for various reasons, in many areas of the world. Yet most of these people do not dedicate their lives to carrying out Jihad against the West. Many of these people, in fact, dedicate their lives to improving their condition. They find avenues by which to educate themselves, they work hard to gain wealth and they remove themselves from poverty. Witness the thousands of immigrants who left their impoverished homelands and who created new lives for themselves. Witness the economic successes of certain countries in Asia, which were once poor and now outperform most of the world.
No, Archbishop Tutu, poverty didn't cause terror. What led Islamists to take up the tactic of terrorism is their ideology, not their economic status. Osama bin Laden hails from a very wealthy family and many of the 9/11 hijackers were middle-class and well educated. It is their absolute commitment and submission to Islam and their bloodthirsty desire to impose their Islamist ideology on the rest of the world that "causes terror." Until we admit the real source of the problem, terrorism will continue to be a part of our lives.