April 26, 2013

Another View: To understand bomb suspects' motives, closer scrutiny needed

A column delved into the brothers' ethnicity but overlooked issues of gender and mental illness.

By PAMELA M. LEONE

The column "Bomb suspects are occupants of the seam between countries, cultures" (April 23) is an erudite commentary, but it addresses only the outer layers of the onion.

All immigrants must struggle with these issues, yet 99 percent do not maim and kill.

The next layers of concern need to address gender. Why are the majority of terrorists male? What is it about all cultures that leads men to be the primary perpetrators of violence?

The next layers move closer into the intimate circle of family -- or possibly the absence of consistent, predictable family influence on values.

Lastly, the core of the onion: What pathology lurked in the minds of these two young men that could not be changed by kinship, friendship or education?

There are no simple answers, and to overfocus on religious beliefs or cultural chasms leads us down the dangerous path of reactivity and stereotyping when our only hope for peace lies with proactive behaviors and inclusion.

Pamela M. Leone is a resident of South Portland.

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