Can education end terrorism?

Can education end terrorism?

Terrorism is like a fire that is spreading through the globe. Killing terrorists will not kill terrorism, but further ignite it. Only the light of education can chase away the dark shadows, according to prominent world leaders who have held forth on this issue. Terrorism has no religion or community, it is singleminded in its pursuit of goals through violent means that harm others. Can education make a difference to the bigger picture? Will eradicating illiteracy also remove the scourge of terrorism? Let us examine if education can end the deadlock and ignite young minds to turn to peace.


1. Extremism can be combated through education : Broad based cross cultural education aimed at improving outlooks and fighting fanaticism will yield a positive result in eliminating terrorism from the face of this earth. It has been seen in the Middle East, Central Asia, Far East and parts of Africa. Educating persons in a way that promotes tolerance and respect for diversity and differences will definitely go a long way in combating terrorism.

2. Education is the best tool to reach the youth : Most operatives of terror groups are from young age groups. Reaching young people and helping them to see a just and fair world full of opportunities will empower them and education is the means to achieve this.

3. Education promotes peaceful coexistence : 21st century education is pertinent to national security. Education teaches people to respect others as equals regardless of faith, culture or nationality and to live peacefully within a community.

4. Education mobilises the youth : Education is the perfect medium to mobilise and motivate the youth. It is also the way forward for promoting egalitarian attitudes and mindsets which are immune to radicalisation and extremism.

5. Education eliminates triggers of terrorism : Terrorist groups recruit from largely poor and uneducated sections of society which have no access to employment or money. Education will eliminate poverty and unemployment, which are often motivations for terrorism.

6. Education promotes self discipline : Education helps individuals to become disciplined and trained in peaceful coexistence with others in society. It also promotes self regulation and helps to keep violent impulses in check.

7. Education combats indoctrination : Since the 1970s to present times, domestic as well as transnational and international terrorism has taken root with more than 104,000 cases of deadly violence initiated by terror groups. These include more than 47,000 bombings, thousands of assassinations and kidnappings. At current count, according to a UN estimate, there are 256 international terror groups carrying out attacks in the world for their demands. Terrorism is based on indoctrination to support a cause through violent means. Education can serve to insulate the youth and the adults from this.

8. Killing leaders of terror groups does not stop the militant organisation, education does : Several cases abound whereby prominent leaders of terror groups have been killed, but militancy has not ended. Someone else simply takes over in the chain of command. To end terrorism, lasting social change through education is vital.

9. People can be killed, ideologies cannot : While a person can be killed, an ideology can only be combated through education. This is because education brings about positive social change. Studies show that major reasons why people become terrorists are lack of education and consequent unemployment, social injustice and inequity. Persons who are victims of discrimination also fall prey to terror groups and aim to commit crimes to avenge themselves. Preventing discrimination by promoting adequate education and gainful employment will stand in the way of terror groups. By enlightening people with strong belief systems, values and thoughts, we can change their mindset. After all, the pen is mightier than the sword.


1. Even educated persons commit acts of terrorism : In today’s world, profiles of terrorists show that many of them come from educated and liberal backgrounds and that despite their education, they are prone to extremism and radicalisation. Pervading extremist ideology knows no religion or community. It can promote terrorism despite the protection offered by education.

2. Low incomes are linked to violent crimes such as terrorism : Terrorism is not linked to low education, but low income. People from weaker and underprivileged sections of society are more likely to turn to terrorism out of frustration and anger.

3. Many terrorists are from privileged backgrounds : Educated persons from privileged backgrounds settled in countries worldwide engage in terrorism. Moreover, terrorist groups prefer to use well educated individuals to carry out coordinated attacks as they can better fit into the system and evade detection.

4. Terror groups often try to offer greater benefits to educated persons : Terrorists in some cases have been offered greater benefits such as leadership positions to educated persons who identify strongly with their cause.

5. Suicide bombers are often motivated by welfare benefits for family members : In cases where terrorists are from weaker sections of society, the promise of money to family members serves as a powerful motivator to join the terror group. The economic deprivation hypothesis holds that lack of economic growth and development are the chief causes of terrorism, not lack of education.

6. Breakdown in law enforcement also leads to terrorism : Lack of education is not the only factor motivating people to join terror groups. A breakdown in the constitutional and law enforcement machinery of the State also serves to promote anarchy and convince people to join terror groups.


Terrorism can be combated if education is combined with employment opportunities and empowerment for those who are recruited to terror groups from weaker sections of society. Those facing discrimination and thereby turning to terrorism can only be stopped by bringing about change in collective attitudes and promotion of non violence and peace within a nation. Interventions are required on multiple dimensions including education to bring about lasting social change and battle the scourge of terrorism.
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  • RE: Can education end terrorism? -Can education end terrorism - group disc (06/12/18)
  • Education can kill all demons of the society, turn them into social beings and give better means of life. The cloud of ignorance are the catalyst for the people to live in the terrain of hatred and violence. Only education can seduce evil mindsets and bring them in the world of wellness. Terrorists know the languages of arms and ammunition owning to their wrong education, efforts should be taken to educate them properly where they can learn the beauty of peace and harmony. They have the same organs that we possess, better sense of life is missing owning to wrong direction. Kashmir is facing brutal climate transcending all limits of mankind, the sheer reason is the lack of good education system. Government should establish good institutes that can accommodate young minds to create the place heaven again.
  • RE: Can education end terrorism? -Can education end terrorism? (05/11/18)
  • Education can definitely end terrorism and allow people to be the part of civilized world. Education helps everyone taking rational decision, develop tendency to aspire for good life. It also teaches us repercussion of evil deeds and help us to lead a considerable life. Life lightens up with knowledge and wisdom, it becomes so fulfilling that inhibits people to walk a wrong path. Most of the terrorists are leaving in the darkness of ignorance with no education and means to lead their life. They just play in the hands of their bosses who teach them the religion of terrorism. These bosses hijack cognitive sense of some needy people and include them in their troop with false promises. Education can only stem innocent people from getting lured by fanatic people. It brings sense of responsibility towards society.
  • RE: Can education end terrorism? -Ketki Radke (10/18/16)
  • Many parts of this article have been picked up from Tony Blair's speech at the UN's CTED. Please give credit where credit is due, this is plagiarism. If you have mentioned this anymore and I failed to find it on the article page, kindly ignore this.
  • RE: Can education end terrorism? -Kishor singh (12/27/15)
  • Nowadays the education also leads to terrorism.the terrorist are mostly educated people
  • RE: Can education end terrorism? -puja singh (12/23/15)

  • Terrorism is a criminal act that influences an audience beyond the immediate victim.
    It's a method of exploiting human fear to achieve a desired objective.

    Education can reduce terrorism but not surely end it.As there are many causes for it, not only lack of education.There may be people who became terrorism because they were facing poverty and lack of food.When it comes to hunger ,one can commit any heinous crime.Terrorism may be the outcome of some kind of racism or disrespect faced by people and they want to create terror among people for revenge.Moreover ,there may be more benefits give to them and family.

    Education is definitely the need to consolidate terrorism but to bring it to an end ,it needs the change of mindset .The hatred should reduce.Educating people can only teach them to be disciplined but the respect for other beings has to be developed within oneself.
  • RE: Can education end terrorism? -Deepa Kaushik (12/09/15)
  • Education is not the only reason behind terrorism. We need to look for all the loopholes which creates the terror groups in order to keep a check on the terrorism. Terrorism has no caste, no religion, no dialect, no region of its own. Yet it is the most horrifying trouble across the world. Every country wants to put an end to the terrorism, but it is not the education alone that is going to solve the problem.

    When we talk of education as one of the measures to combat terrorism, we need to know what sort of education do we need to provide the masses. The terror groups have good learned people as well, who are very much educated to understand the meaning of terrorism. But they are the ones who don’t have a strong mind and will power and get influenced very easily by the words. Teach the masses to become mentally strong enough to stick to your decision and not get carried away by the brain-washing speeches of the terror groups.

    Every terror group gives a strong reason for their formation, but no religion or caste promotes cruel terrorist activities. It is just on the name of religion that few deviated people carry out some cruel activities. Every religion has good and bad people. Teach people the way of honesty. Teach them good values. Teaching should not be just on texts but on practical basis. Teaching equality of religion and the leaders backing religiousness in their work and speeches definitely set a bad example.

    If we teach people to be honest, then the authorities kindly stop being corrupt. The corrupt people also have young educated kids at their home who get a wrong message and value. Provide adequate employment so that people don’t get carried away in lure for money. Provide good living conditions to everyone so that people stick to their own means of livelihood. And most importantly teach the masses to be sensible who can have a good sense of good and bad. Teach them to be more broad-minded and think of the world as a whole and not be selfish enough to think just of own family.

    Education can be used as one of the tools to check terrorism, but that education need to be more of a example in practical life and making changes in the living conditions of the common man.
  • RE: Can education end terrorism? -manisha biswas (12/08/15)
  • yes education can definitely eradicate terrorism and this is only possible when the governments of all the countries focuses on the idea of education for all, especially for the youths of the country, so that every youth get eligible for contributing in the society in a good way and make the world a better and a peaceful place to live.