Police in Denmark have instituted a bold new program to stop the spread of Islamic radicalization and its resultant terror attacks. Authorities in Aarhus, the country’s second largest city, are trying to change the minds and hearts of potential Islamic extremists by supporting them and showing them kindness rather than treating them as outcasts and criminals.
Many refer to this nascent jihadi behavior-modification model as the “Have you hugged your terrorist today” approach. This is exactly the tack we need to take! In fact, we need to extend the program! Instead of shaming murderers, rapists and pedophiles, we should all take turns giving them big hugs! If we in the arbitrarily privileged community of those who haven’t committed a heinous crime can’t even find it in ourselves to take a Charles Manson into our arms and make him feel accepted via a warm embrace, then we bear full responsibility for his actions.
Who knows what might have happened had someone given Pol Pot a peck on the cheek? Countless lives may have been saved. Idi Amin Dada might have become a ballet dancer, poet, or first responder if someone had taken him in their arms early on in his rule. I bet if we’d just talked sweetly to Tojo, he wouldn’t have okayed the bombing of Pearl Harbor. If Mussolini hadn’t missed out on an all-over massage, maybe he’d have sided with the allies.
And we can only imagine the carnage, strife and pain that could have been avoided had someone from the U.S. or England given Hitler a hummer.