In the United Kingdom(UK), a father after witnessing his 20-year-old son - a medical doctor prospect, in a video recruiting Jihadists, tearfully pleads with his son to come home. His call is not alone, for as conflicts rage in Syria and Iraq, some 500 Brits, unknown numbers of French, German and American youth, have taken up the call for Jihad. Why? Why would youth want to leave the safety and sanctity of freedom in the West to venture into the jaws of death and conflict in the Middle East?
The answer lies in the self-worth assessment such youth have diagnosed of themselves in light of their brief life-experiences. Youthful excursions for glory(like the Cowboy and Indian games once played) and the grandeur of a self-sacrificing odyssey on behalf of humankind, exuberated by radical cleric teachings and their own shortcomings in assimilating into their own western societies, have all contributed to this Jihad lure. Moreover, some youthful summations that the West lack a strong moral ideology that encompasses their longing desires to serve, have all contributed to driving Western youth to battles seeking glorification, self and vindication.
The loud trumpet calls of democracy and of freedom that brought the parents of many of these youth to the West are not blaring with enough passion for these want-to-be Jihadists. In their assessments, democracy has made compromises with human rights abusers in order to facilitate trade. In the teachings to which these youth are exposed, Jihad is an uncompromising glory for a cause - a cause for which they have found fallible solace and hope.
To retain our Western youth at home, democracy, human rights and equality must again ring loud and clear. Utter condemnation of human rights abusers must never falter. The rights of people could never be placed second to the rights of trade. The evolving acceptance that not all people are capable of democratic institutions is a fallacy. Democracy is freedom - it is the freedom to which all aspire. Democracy must be brought back as a rallying cry.