Thursday, 9 November 2017

OPEN DEBATE -- THE ANTIDOTE TO EXTREMISM

The clashes on campus continue. Free speech isn't free any longer, and students are at each others' throats.

One man is calling for open speech about extremism. 

Norwegian Bjorn Ihler is a survivor of the Utoya island attack where Anders Breivik killed 77 people in 2011. Ihler jumped in the lake and saved his life.

Ihler spoke to the BBC about Breivik. "This was a guy who grew up in the same city as me, we had similar backgrounds, we attended similar schools, but he saw the world in a completely different way."

Ihler dedicates his life to help people avoid falling over the edge like Breivik. His idea is to discuss extremist views with students, and today he is part of an initiative called Extremely Together, with the Kofi Annan foundation, the One Young World and the European Commission. (kofiannanfoundation.org)

Ihler's blog is: storyforpeace.com



Extremely Together group visits schools and promotes open debate. Photo BBC


That's what I call "fighting back". 

The real battle is in the mind. If we can talk young people out of an extremist mindset, such as that of Breivik, Kelley, and Paddock; if we promote open debate, we are fighting terrorism.

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