Should America Adopt an Educational System More like Finland’s?

Research Outline/Argument Plan

Position Statement: America absolutely should adopt an educational system more like Finland’s.

Rhetorical situation: (Writer. Purpose. Audience. Question. Context) Writer: Shaniqua Harris, Age: 26, Gender: Female. Purpose: My purpose for writing this research argument is to inform and educate my audience of the benefits of adopting a European educational system. Audience: I would like to appeal to high school students those fourteen to eighteen years old as well as their parents. Question: Should America adopt an educational system more like Finland’s? Context: American’s poor test scores and the Finnish being better prepared for life after school and to find work.

Audience analysis: (determine who the target audience for your argument is.) My anticipated audience again would be high schoolers ages fourteen to eighteen years old and their parents. I would anticipate their needs and interests to all center around money and in order to make money being better prepared and ready for the workforce is a must.

Claim: (similar to a thesis statement, this is the claim you will make with this paper.) As a current student and parent of a child who has just entered into America’s education system, I believe that America can benefit greatly by following Finland’s lead of reforming the education system because of their holistic teaching philosophies and logical methods.

Reasons: (these are the points you will make to support your claim and convince your audience.) Finland’s educational system better prepares the students for life beyond college and the job competition in a global economy, whereas America’s educational system prepares the student for college. Finland considers that after the completion of high school that not all students want to attend college, or university as they call it and offer a “dual system. The dual system is a branch of education that a student can choose after completion of the ninth or tenth grade or later that consists of a three-year apprenticeship in business or industry coupled with theoretical studies in a School for Pre-Professional Specialization and Further Development usually twice a week, for students who choose to forgo college.

Challenges: Implementing change

Objection/Rebuttal: America is not in need of an education reform because it is not a teaching issue but instead a poverty issue

Solution: Integrate changes to educational system gradually

Rogerian or Toulmin Model: Toulmin Model

Why do people seek education in America? Although, home to some of the top universities in the world America’s education system needs to be reformed. American students repeatedly rank near the middle or bottom among industrialized nations when it comes to academic performance. The modern-day education system we use today in America was invented by Horace Mann, who advocated for a planned and established curriculum of fundamental knowledge for each student. He established six principles regarding education, separated grades by age, and believed lecturing would be better suited for learning some of these ideals still being used today. Over time many other states began to adopt Mann’s principles leading to the education system as we know it today. America’s education system is past due for a change with many of its public and private schools still operating on the same out-of-date systems and agendas established by Mann. It is time we take a look across the Atlantic at some of the training systems that are outperforming America, specifically Finland’s. Finland over the years has introduced several innovative and modest changes that have wholly transformed their educational system and has been consistently ranked number one in global education. They are leading the way because of logical methods and a comprehensive teaching atmosphere that aims for fairness over superiority. As a current student and parent of a child who has just entered into America’s education system, I believe that America can benefit greatly by following Finland’s lead of reforming the education system because of their holistic teaching philosophies and logical methods.

In America, standardized testing is the way students are tested for subject understanding. Students are expected to fill in circles on a scantron, answering the same questions given to students prior and this is used to determine whether a student has mastered the subject. In reality, this creates a situation the student will either learn to cram or retain the information just long enough to pass the test and teachers who are teaching with only the intent of students passing a test that is connected to their salary. Learning is essentially absent. However, in Finland, there are no standardized tests, beyond the National Matriculation Exam, which is a voluntary test for students at the end of upper-secondary school. All children in Finland are graded on an individualized basis and grading system that is set by their teacher.

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Finland requires that all teachers have a master’s degree before entering the profession. The teaching programs in Finland are the most strict and judicious professional schools in the entire country, with primary education being the most competitive degree to obtain with the elementary department admitting only ten percent of applicants and dismissing thousands more yearly. To become a primary teacher the individual not only has to be the finest and brilliant but must also pass a sequence of interviews and personality screenings to get in. It is essential that they have the natural ability and drive to teach, it is not something that can be taught, you either have it or you don’t. Finland understands that the ability to teach isn’t something that can be gained from studying. It is usually a gift and passion. The bar is set so high for the teachers that there is no reason to have such a strict grading system for teachers, like in America. “There is no word for accountability in Finnish…Accountability is something that is left when responsibility is subtracted.” Pasi Sahlberg director of the Finnish Ministry of Education and writer of Finnish Lessons: What can the World Learn from Educational Change in Finland?  America’s teachers’ educational backgrounds differ, with some having certificates and others having degrees, associate bachelors, masters, Ph.D. or doctorate. Some teachers not even having a background, the degree in teaching or passion for teaching. The bar is set low and most often as stated above teachers are teaching not so that the student will retain the knowledge, but instead so that the student can perform well on these standardized tests that generally provide money for the school and is connected to their pay as well.

Another small, but effective change America can benefit from would be allowing students to begin school at an older age. In Finland, school age starts at seven to allow kids to be just that, kids during the developmental years. Compare that to America where school age starts anywhere from three to four years old. The children in Finland are beginning school when they are developmentally ready to grasp and concentrate.

Finland offers professional selections beyond a traditional college degree as well. America’s current education system as it is currently is at a standstill and inflexible. The students go from teacher to teacher with each grade preparing for the next and then leading to college, which then leads to either more college or the workforce. Finland understands that not all students want to attend college searching for their purpose within a major, get a degree, and acquire large amounts of debt. The children in Finland are only obligated to attend school for nine years and everything after ninth grade or sixteen years old is voluntary. Although it is in a few high schools in the country (I personally only know of one), Finland offers a dual system. The dual system offers upper secondary school, a three-year program that equips students for the Matriculation Test that governs their admission into a University generally depending on specialisms acquired in high school. Then there is the vocational education option for those who choose to forgo university. This is also a three-year program that trains students for different career options. Students choosing to go this route also have the option of taking the Matriculation test if they too want to apply to University.

The Finns allow for less strenuous school days and later start times as well. American school days begin anywhere from 7:45 am to 8:45 am. The students in Finland usually start school anywhere from 9 to 9:45 am with some classes starting a bit earlier. Research has shown that early start times and lack of sleep has been linked with detrimental outcomes in numerous facets of students’ lives such as poor mental health such as depression/depressive symptoms and suicidal thoughts, poor physical health, behavioral problems such as bullying, violence-related behaviors, and physical fighting and poor academic performance.

In Finland, there is reliable education from the same teachers. Students often have the same teachers for up to six years and this is because there are fewer teachers and students in the schools. During the time they are together, it is easier to establish a bond, trust, and respect for one another. Teachers are also able to better pinpoint and accommodate a child and their individual learning style. They can precisely plan and care for the students’ progress and help them reach their goals. The child will not be a “problem” that another teacher has to deal with or “fix” next year because they are there is no teacher to send them to for the following year. In America I have seen this thought process in action, because one teacher does not know how to deal with the student or has no idea of how to accommodate the child’s way of learning they keep them back or pass them along knowing that they (the student) won’t be their “problem” to fix. This is a poor way of thinking and again proves why Finland’s education system is so much greater than ours. Teachers of America don’t think of ways to adapt the lesson plans to all the students and their learning styles. Instead, it is centered around one type of student with one type of learning style and if a child does not fit into the idea or box then they are the issue and not the assembly line antiquated education system that both the student and teacher must abide by.

    Less homework and outside work are required in Finland. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), Finland has the least amount of homework and outside world than any other student in the world, doing only a half an hour of school work a night. Finnish students are getting everything they need to get done in school without the additional burdens that come with excelling at a subject and without having to be concerned about grades and busy-work.

Some may argue that America’s education system is just fine as is and not in need of reform, however, test scores and the disturbing educational gaps that endure across racial-ethnic and income groups tell another story. Some teachers in America argue that the test scores are not a result of teaching, but instead because of poverty. Finland focuses on making the basics a priority using education as a tool to balance out inequality. Various school systems are so focused on increasing test scores they forget what makes for a peaceful, balanced, healthy student, and learning environment. Since the 1980s it has been a priority of Finnish educators to get back to basics. They believe all students should receive free school meals, access to healthcare is easily accessible, psychological counseling should be a provided option, and instruction should be curated particularly for that specific student. 

In conclusion, if over time we integrate changes the current education system, then we will undoubtedly benefit from a system similar or identical to Finland’s. Test scores will rise, students will be more focused, and teachers will be less stressed and more qualified. It is important to try and implement some of their ideas and philosophies when it comes to education into the current system to avoid and eliminate the use of the robotic and rigid assembly line systems, we use today are producing poorly prepared workers and adults who lack direction. Beginning with the individual in a collective environment of equality is Finland’s way, the Finnish are not breeding an environment of competition, but cooperation. Finland outperforms cultures that have an unhealthy school-to-life balance without unwanted and needless stress, focusing on the true task at hand, which is learning and growing as a human being.

Works Cited

Day, / Kelly. “11 Ways Finland’s Education System Shows Us That ‘Less Is More’.” Filling My Map, 12 May 2015, Accessed 1 December 2018.

“Horace Mann.”, A&E Networks Television, 22 Feb. 2018, Accessed 29 November 2018.

Robby-Berman. “An Unexplained Seismic Event ‘Rang’ across the Earth in November.” Big Think, Big Think, 29 Nov. 2018, Accessed 29 November 2018.

“The Top 10 (And Counting) Education Systems In The World.” Edudemic, Accessed 24 November 2018.

Wheaton, Anne G et al. “School Start Times, Sleep, Behavioral, Health, and Academic Outcomes: A Review of the Literature” Journal of school health vol. 86,5 (2016): 363-81. Accessed 2 December 2018.

Yurtoğlu, Nadir. “Http://” History Studies International Journal of History, vol. 10, no. 7, 2018, pp. 241–264., doi:10.9737/hist.2018.658. Accessed 1 December 2018.


Evangelical Christianity and Climate Change Policy in America

As the largest historical contributor to climate change over the last two centuries (Matthews et al. 5), America has an exceptional responsibility to address this pressing global issue. However, it also faces an exceptional challenge to doing so from vocal religious segments of its population. This essay explores the connection between Evangelical Christianity and climate change policy in America, seeking to understand how religious beliefs manifest in the political sphere to support certain policy positions over others. It begins by examining evidence for the popular assumption that Evangelical Christian beliefs and climate change policies are fundamentally antithetical. Then, it considers the theological explanations for this position and wider links to economic and political interests. Lastly, it outlines the alternative narrative of an emerging Evangelical movement in support of environmental activism. This analysis will argue that contrary to conventional beliefs, Evangelical Christianity and climate change policy are not incompatible. Rather, interpretations of scripture can be effectively used to mobilize Evangelicals towards supporting environmental causes.

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Evangelicalism and climate change policy as antithetical
2014, seven out of ten Americans identified as Christian, with Evangelicals in particular comprising approximately
a quarter of the national population (Smith 3). These demographics make them a
veritable voting force on any political issue. However, with respect to climate
change policy, American Evangelicals have a reputation of taking positions
against environmental regulation and are
known for denying the existence of man-made climate change. These positions are observed amongst Evangelicals at the
individual, congregational, elite, and national levels.
instance, a 2015 Pew Report based on a survey of 2002 adults across the country
found that white Evangelicals were the least likely to believe the Earth was
getting warmer due to human activity compared to other religious affiliations (Funk
and Alper 33). Only 28% of the group supported this belief, which is
significantly lower than the overall average of 50% out of all adults surveyed
(Funk and Alper 33). White Evangelicals were also the group with the highest
proportion of respondents that felt there was no solid evidence of global
warming (Funk and Alper 33). Interestingly, this group was the most supportive
of environmentally destructive activities such as offshore oil drilling as well,
with 70% of respondents supporting the practice (Funk and Alper 37).
Importantly, even after “controlling for political and demographic factors,”
evangelicals were more supportive of offshore drilling than the religiously
unaffiliated (Funk and Alper 37). Statistically then, it appears individual
Evangelical Americans tend to hold opinions positioning them in opposition to
climate change policy.
the congregational level, a study of two Evangelical churches in the American
Southwest reinforces these findings. Comparing environmental views between a mostly
white, middle-class Southern Baptist church and a lower socioeconomic status
African American Baptist church, the study discovered consistent attitudes of
apathy towards the environment (Peifer, Ecklund, and Fullerton 378). Interviews
revealed reasons for this apathy as being theological in nature, but also tied
to political affiliations and cynical perceptions of the climate issue as
exclusively Democratic (Peifer, Ecklund, and Fullerton 388). Moreover, among
members of the African-American Baptist
church interviewed, leaders believed the apathy derived from “difficult
material circumstances” of laity who did not have the economic means to make
pro-environmental choices, while the laity often demonstrated “low levels of
scientific knowledge” in general about the issue at hand (Peifer, Ecklund, and
Fullerton 390). Regardless of these variations in reasons, racial and
socioeconomic differences between the two congregations did not change overall negative
opinions toward environmental protection.
for Evangelical elites taking a similar position, the Cornwall Alliance for the
Stewardship of Creation is a key case in point. The self-proclaimed “network of
over 60 Christian theologians, natural scientists, economists, and other
scholars” is led by Edward Calvin Beisner (Cornwall Alliance, “Who We Are”) and
known for its anti-environmental work. For instance, its September 2015
petition entitled “Forget Climate Change, Energy Empowers the Poor” claimed
that climate change policies “fight a non-problem” and divert resources away
from “[helping] the world’s poor meet much
more urgent needs” (Cornwall Alliance, “Petition”). A more recent publication
by Beisner in March 2017 has also supported President Donald Trump’s “Executive
Order on Energy Independence,” praising its enabling of more intense
hydrocarbon fuel development, which will supposedly create jobs and reducing
imports from countries supporting terrorism (“Trump’s Energy Independence
Order”). As seen through its initiatives, this network of Evangelicals holding
expert designations within their fields takes a vocal position against climate
At the national level, the current administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Scott Pruitt, is a committed Evangelical Christian, having served as a deacon for the First Baptist Church of Broken Arrow in his home state of Oklahoma (Oklahoma Office of the Attorney General, “About Scott Pruitt”). His anti-climate policy position can be traced back to his time as Attorney General, when he was known for filing numerous challenges to the EPA on the behalf of the oil and gas industry (Pooley, “Donald Trump’s EPA Pick”). As head of the EPA, he has since publicly criticized the Paris Agreement as being “a bad deal,” (Johnson, “Paris Climate Change Agreement”) and claimed carbon emissions in America were down to acceptable pre-1994 levels due to energy sector innovations allowing for clean coal burning as opposed to government regulations (Lee, “EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt”). While Pruitt’s views on the environment and climate change are not necessarily representative of those of all Evangelicals, he nonetheless boasts support from a significant number of them. For instance, an open letter supporting his appointment to his current position was signed by 143 “expert signers”, as well as 355 citizens as of April 8, 2017 (Cornwall Alliance, “Sign Open Letter Supporting Scott Pruitt for EPA Administrator”).
Theological explanations for antithetical position
Analyzing interviews with
and publications by these individuals, congregations, and organizations, there appear to be three main
theological justifications against climate change policy and environmental
regulation. These include the fear of pantheism, a specific interpretation of passages
in the Book of Genesis to emphasize
dominion, and eschatological beliefs. With respect to the first justification,
Christianity is defined by monotheism distinct from early Pagan religions that
personified nature into multiple gods (Zaleha and Szasz 21). As such, it
considers the Creator as separate from its creation (Phillips 321), with humans
occupying the hierarchical position “a little lower than God” but above the
rest of his creations (Zaleha and Szasz 21). Environmental activism, according
to some understandings of this hierarchy, constitutes
an inversion of this hierarchy, with humans worshiping nature instead of the
Creator. As a result, it is denounced by some Evangelicals as “pantheism” or
“paganism” (Simmons 45).
respect to the second justification, Evangelicals have interpreted passages in
Genesis to underscore humanity’s rights as opposed to responsibilities over
nature. They emphasize Genesis 1:28 and
the God-given right to “rule” and “subdue” the earth and its resources, as
opposed to Genesis 2:15 and the responsibility to “tend” and “keep” the Garden
of Eden (Wilkinson 70).  Hence, groups
such as Southern Baptists have understood the scripture as meriting their unimpeded
ownership and access to natural resources for economic development (Zaleha and
Szasz 24). Beisner of the Cornwall Alliance has gone further to superimpose the
spirit of the first passage onto the second, suggesting that humans are meant
to transform wilderness into garden without worrying about consequences of
environmental deterioration (McCammack 648). Under this interpretation,
stewardship is not about using natural resources in a sustainable manner but
about “[exercising] active dominion” over them for the sole purpose of
fulfilling human interests (McCammack 648).
for the third justification, some Evangelicals use their eschatological beliefs
to justify apathy towards the environment. This is in part due to the logic
that since humanity is predisposed to “inevitable and imminent rapture,” with
the world to be “completely annihilated,”
it is meaningless to be concerned about the environment (Simmons 63). Instead, it
is argued that Evangelicals should be focusing on more pressing matters in the
time being, such as converting as many people as possible to the faith (Simmons
63). Eschatological beliefs also contribute to the assertion that compared to
the scale of the “coming cosmic drama,” environmental issues are not
significant and do not warrant much attention, despite the pressing reports of
the secular media (Zaleha 25). This final category of theological
justifications for environmental disregard appears the most extreme and
difficult to challenge.
Political and economic connections
theological explanations in isolation do not fully account for the position of
Evangelicals who oppose action on climate change. Rather, these beliefs
interact with a wider set of political and economic interests in the public
sphere. For instance, they occur against the backdrop of a political polarization process whereby certain
Evangelicals associate environmental protection with liberal politics and a
package of other issues they do not support. One of these issues is a
reluctance to see greater degrees of American involvement in international
policy. In addition, they occur in a political arena marked by an increasing
alliance between Evangelical premillennialists,
Republicans, and the fossil fuel sector. Each of these wider political and
economic elements will now be examined in turn.
importance of Evangelicals’ political affiliations to their environmental
positions is evident in Peifer, Eckland, and Fullerton’s study of two American
congregations previously mentioned in this paper. In the study, White Southern
Baptists demonstrated cynicism towards Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth because it primarily criticized prominent
Republican leaders such as Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and James Inhofe for
contradicting the claims of scientists, leading them to discredit the issue of
global warming as nothing more than anti-Republican politicking (Peifer,
Eckland, and Fullerton 388). Yet, African American Baptists interviewed were
more comfortable with liberal politics, and hence more receptive to the ideas
of the film (Peifer, Eckland, and Fullerton 388). These findings demonstrate
that in addition to theological beliefs, political ones impact Evangelical’s opinions
about climate change as well.
Sabrina Danielsen’s study of Evangelical beliefs between 1984 to 2010 suggests that
environmental issues have become increasingly politicized
over time. Specifically, her content analysis of three popular Evangelical
periodicals found that earlier discussions about the environment between
1988-95 were mostly theological, while those in 2004-10 were more political,
“with an awareness of Republican versus Democrat political fights in the United
States” (Danielsen 209). World, for instance, claimed that “the
current environmental movement has been hijacked by the far left” alongside
“the whole agenda of today’s socialists, feminists, gays, abortionists, and
pacifists” (Danielsen 209). Hence, Evangelical aversion to environmental issues
must be understood in terms of wider political polarization
between packages of conservative and liberal values.
phenomenon is especially evident in the Evangelical opposition to international
climate change measures. An analysis of the 2011 Faith and Global Challenges
survey and the 2010 Chicago Council Global View survey found that Evangelicals
consistently opposed actions on climate change that were international in
nature, but only actions that were domestic in nature if they were explicitly
related to carbon taxation (Chaudoin, Smith, and Urpelainen). Chaudoin, Smith, and Urpelainen consider a theological
explanation for this finding, drawing from the premillennial idea that global
cooperation and world government would “fulfill
biblical prophesy, paving the way for the Antichrist as the world dictator”
(447). However, they also consider this finding in the historical tradition of
Evangelical criticism of the United Nations as a tool of the “New Age Movement”
aimed at promoting issues such as abortion and contraception
and destroying “national sovereignty and the traditional family” (Chaudoin,
Smith, and Urpelainen 448). This second explanation coincides well with trends
of political polarization of the issue.
It suggests that Evangelicals perceive an alignment of environmental causes
with internationalism and a series of other liberal causes they do not support,
forming the basis of their rejection of environmental policies.
there is also evidence of an increasing alliance of Evangelical elites, Republican
Party elites, and fossil fuel interests in a coalition of convenience. As
alluded to through earlier mention of Scott Pruitt’s contentious record as
Attorney General, Evangelical opponents of climate change policy have been a
natural partner for the energy sector,
especially as they have climbed the ranks within the Republican Party and the
American government. This is not just an emerging coalition. As early as 2003,
for instance, President George W. Bush’s budget provided “billions in subsidies
for oil, gas, coal and nuclear energy” and reduced funds for research on
alternative forms of energy, trends which continued with his 2005 Energy Bill
(Leduc 258). Moreover, his administration actively worked with the industry to
discredit climate change research, “[watering] down the 2003 State of the Environment Report” with
material derived from a report “commissioned by the American Petroleum
Institute” (Leduc 262). As a staunch self-professed Christian and member of the
Republican Party, Bush’s presidency epitomizes
the right-wing coalition of anti-environmental actors.
between the Cornwall Alliance, the Republican Party, and large energy companies
further indicate the strength of this coalition. A recent investigation found
that the group was registered under a larger non-profit organization known as the James Partnership run by Republican Chris
Rogers, whose public relations firm is associated with a host of other
right-wing groups (Wilkinson 71). Interestingly, he is known for his
collaboration with David Rothbard, president of the Committee for a
Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) which “actively works to discredit climate change
and mitigation strategies” (Wilkinson 71). CFACT, in turn, receives significant
funding from companies including ExxonMobil and Chevron, as well as Scaife
family foundations which is “rooted in
wealth from Gulf and oil and steel interests” (Fang, “Exclusive: The Oily
Operators”. This nebulous web of relations corresponds to what William Connolly
calls a “powerful machine as evangelical and corporate sensibilities resonate
together, drawing each into a larger movement that dampens the importance of
differences between them” (871). Within this machine, Evangelicals fearing a
left-wing coalition of causes antithetical to their beliefs are actively drawn
into an opposing right-wing coalition, positioned directly in opposition to
environmental causes.
An alternative narrative
far, this essay has painted a harrowing picture of American Evangelical
attitudes towards climate change, reinforced by an entrenched
political-economic alliance promoting fossil fuel interests. However, the
reality is the Cornwall Alliance and its affiliates do not represent all
Evangelical views about the environment. Instead, there exists an alternative
group of Americans challenging the conservative Evangelical narrative. They are
known as the Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN), and accept the idea of
climate change, as well as interpret bible scripture as necessitating action to
reduce carbon emissions (McCammack 467). In 2006, the EEN launched its landmark
Evangelical Climate Initiative (ECI), with a statement affirming the reality of
man-made global warming, the particularly detrimental consequences of climate
change for the poor, the relation of climate change activism to Christian
beliefs, and the urgency for action (Gushee 195-196). The same year, this initiative
was approved by the National Evangelical Association (Billings and Samson 2). The
work of the EEN and its resulting support indicates that there is a legitimate
Evangelical basis for environmental protection and policies to address global
this movement provides distinct rebuttals to the theological positions of
Evangelical Americans denouncing environmental activism. With respect to pantheism,
a decade ago the EEN focused on drawing attention to the plight of endangered
species (McCammack 650), giving credence to accusations of paganism and nature
worship. However, its ECI has since made the consequences of climate on the
poor a central focus of its campaign, acknowledging the important place of
humans in the Christian hierarchy. While the conservative bloc of Evangelicals
has traditionally used the cost of implementing policies on the poor to support
its opposition to environmental activism (Phillips 322), the liberal bloc has
shifted the terms of this debate by emphasizing
the larger costs of inaction on the poor in the medium and long term. They have
also reconceptualized the notion of
“idolatrous loyalty” to denounce libertarianism and capitalism as ideologies
distracting Christians from their moral responsibilities (Gushee 196). These
arguments effectively challenge the notion of a singular scriptural “truth” against
environmental protection, and call into question the Cornwall Alliance’s
convenient ties to political and economic interests under the guise of Evangelical
response to interpretations of the bible emphasizing
dominion, Evangelical environmentalists have also responded with passages like
Job 39-41, suggesting that God “delights in creatures which have no human-apparent usefulness” (Evangelical
Environmental Network, “Evangelical Declaration on the Care of Creation”).
Hence, despite humanity’s position above nature, they purport that it still has
a responsibility to respect and care for
nature in a similar vein to the Creator. Yet, they argue that humans have
“perverted” the notion of stewardship through their greed, with detrimental
effects not only on the environment but on other humans (Evangelical
Environmental Network, “Evangelical Declaration on the Care of Creation”). To
address these sins, Evangelical environmentalists refer to Jesus’s teachings
which emphasize that life is not solely
about seeking abundance, instead advocating for lifestyles of “humility,
forbearance, self-restraint, and
frugality” (Evangelical Environmental Network, “Evangelical Declaration on the
Care of Creation”. These interpretations of the scripture understand
stewardship as distinct from uninhibited dominion, creating a theological
foundation for the support of environmental regulation.
Evangelical environmentalists have challenged any fundamental incompatibility
between holding eschatological beliefs and caring for the physical world. Conversely,
they have demonstrated a recognition that “belief in a literal rapture,
Christ’s return, and even the eventual recreation of the earth itself do not in
any way really theologically entail environmental apathy and disregard”
(Simmons 64), since no part of the bible directly instructs such apathy.
Following this logic, they insist that the bible should not be held as an
excuse to escape earthly tasks such as stewardship, but rather an affirmation
of the need to faithfully continue these tasks until Christ’s return.
Therefore, even without abandoning beliefs about the end times, there are
literalistic interpretations of scripture that support a continued role for
environmental protection and addressing climate change.
case study of the Christians for the Mountains (CFTM) movement demonstrates
these principles and the alternative narrative of Evangelical environmentalism
in action. According to its website, CFTM is a “network of persons advocating
that Christians and their churches recognize
their God-given responsibility to live compatibly, sustainably, and gratefully
joyous upon this God’s earth” (Christians for the Mountains, “Our Mission”. Moreover,
it is a grassroots organization, which
began with a pure volunteer base as
opposed to through support from corporate interests like the Cornwall Alliance.
Billings and Samson highlight how CFTM produces videos that bring attention to
the negative consequences of mountaintop
removal coal mining while “indirectly asserting . . . theology and ethics
through background hymns and the superimposition of printed but unspoken
Biblical captions” (Billings and Samson 16). As such, their messages reach
other Evangelicals in a powerful but non-overbearing manner. In this way, CFTM
exemplifies pro-environmental activism that effectively communicates its
message, in spite of its Evangelical roots.
this essay revealed substantial evidence of Evangelical opposition to climate
policy in America. However, it has also suggested that much of this opposition
is likely due to political polarization
of the issue as opposed to purely theological prescriptions against
environmental protection. Ultimately, the conflicting interpretations of
scripture on this topic may confirm the cynical view that there is no biblical
truth as to whether or not Evangelicals should support climate policies. Nonetheless,
it means that at the very least, there is room for debate and the opportunity
to appeal to interpretations that support more sustainable forms of economy,
politics, and life. There is also a precedent for this at the grassroots level,
as demonstrated by the work of Christians for the Mountains. For environmental
groups hoping to bolster their bases, then, Evangelical Americans are not a
lost cause. By exposing the ulterior interests of political and economic elites
tied to groups like the Cornwall Alliance, and supporting the work of Christian
environmental groups, more Evangelical Christians may be persuaded yet to
change their views and join the green movement.Works
Beisner, E. Calvin. 2017. “Trump’s Energy Independence Order: A Boon to America and the Environment.” Cornwall Alliance. (April 1, 2017).Billings, Dwight B., and Will Samson. 2012. “Evangelical Christians and the Environment: “Christians for the Mountains” and the Appalachian Movement against Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining.” Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology 16(): 1–29.Chaudoin, Stephen, David T. Smith, and Johannes Urpelainen. 2013. “American Evangelicals and Domestic versus International Climate Policy.” Review of International Organizations 9(December): 441–469.Christians for the Mountains. 2012. “Our Mission.” Christians for the Mountains. (April 5, 2017).Connolly, William. 2005. “The Evangelical-Capitalist Resonance Machine.” Political Theory 33(December): 869-886.Cornwall Alliance. 2015. “Petition: Forget ‘Climate Change’, Energy Empowers the Poor!” Cornwall Alliance. (March 31, 2017).———. 2017. “Sign Open Letter Supporting Scott Pruitt for EPA Administrator.” Cornwall Alliance. (March 31, 2017). ———. 2017. “Who We Are: Cornwall Alliance Key Staff.” Cornwall Alliance. (March 31, 2017).Danielsen, Sabrina. 2013. “Fracturing Over Creation Care? Shifting Environmental Beliefs Among Evangelicals, 1984–2010.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 52(): 198-215.Evangelical Environmental Network. 2006. “Evangelical Declaration on the Care of Creation.” Evangelical Environmental Network. (April 5, 2017).Fang, Lee. 2010. “Exclusive: The Oily Operators Behind The Religious Climate Change Denial Front Group, Cornwall Alliance.” ThinkProgress, June 15. (April 1, 2017).Funk, Cary, and Becka A. Alper. 2015. “Religion and Science: Highly Religious Americans are Less Likely Than Others to See Conflict Between Faith and Science.” Pew Research Center. (March 30, 2017).Gushee, David P. 2008. The Future of Faith in American Politics: The Public Witness of the Evangelical Center. Waco (TX): Baylor University Press.Johnston, Ian. 2017. “Paris Climate Change Agreement is a ‘Bad Deal’, Says Pro-Fossil Fuels EPA Chief Scott Pruitt.” Independent, March 27. (March 30, 2017).Leduc, Timothy B. 2007. “Fuelling America’s Climatic Apocalypse.”  Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology 11(): 255–283.Lee, Michelle Ye Hee. 2017. “EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s Claim that ‘Clean Coal’ Helped Reduce Carbon Emissions.” Washington Post, April 5. (April 6, 2017).McCammack, Brian. 2007.“Hot Damned America: Evangelicalism and the Climate Change Policy Debate.” American Quarterly 59(September): 645-668.Matthews, H. Damon., Tanya L. Graham, Serge Keverian, Cassandra Lamontagne, Donny Seto, and Trevor J. Smith. 2014. “National Contributions to Observed Global Warming.” Environmental Research Letters 9(January): 1-9.Oklahoma Office of the Attorney General.N.d. “About Scott Pruitt.” Oklahoma Office of the Attorney General. 30, 2017). Peifer, Jared L., Elaine H. Ecklund, and Cara Fullerton. 2014. “How Evangelicals from Two Churches in the American Southwest Frame their Relationship with the Environment.” Review of Religious Research 56(September): 373–397.Phillips, Benjamin B. 2009. “Getting into Hot Water: Evangelicals and Global Warming.” Journal of Markets & Morality 12(Fall): 315-335.Pooley, Eric. 2017. “Donald Trump’s EPA Pick Imperils Science—And Earth.” Time, January 17. (April 1, 2017). Simmons, J. Aaron. 2009. “Evangelical Environmentalism: Oxymoron or Opportunity?” Worldviews 13(): 40-71.Smith, Gregory. 2015. “America’s Changing Religious Landscape: Christians Decline Sharply as Share of Population; Unaffiliated and Other Faiths Continue to Grow.” Pew Research Center. (March 30, 2017).Wilkinson, Katharine. 2012. Between God and Green: How Evangelicals are Cultivating a Middle Ground on Climate Change. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Zaleha, Bernard Daley and Andrew Szasz. 2015. “Why Conservative Christians Don’t Believe in Climate Change.” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 71(): 19-30.

Differences Between Drug Related and Organized Crime in America

The Differences Between Drug Related and Organized Crime in America


What are the differences between a drug related crime and organized crime? Defining the terms exposes the conflicts and differences between the two separate but intertwined issues. The issues pertaining to drugs and organized crime is an international battle that directly effects the United States. Crimes committed because of the use, sale, or distribution of drugs are different from organized crime, yet, derive from the international and intranational effects of organized crime. It is important to know the contrast between the two issues to know the correlation and what efforts law enforcement agencies throughout the United States are taking in combination with international efforts, in the war on drugs. 

The Differences Between Drug Related Crime and Organized Crime

The history of America has been filled with some form of organized or drug related crime that dates to the time of the early settlers in the 1600s. Most drugs that are considered illegal and destructive to society today have been misunderstood by the public and interpreted in the medical field as having some sort of medical or healing purpose in early American history. “In 1914, the federal government passed the Harrison Narcotics Act, which made the sale or use of certain drugs illegal” (Hess, Orthmann, & Cho, 2017. Pg.581). Drug related crimes and organized crimes can be directly associated with each other yet are completely different in a sense of what and how criminal activities are committed and by whom they are committed. The differences between a drug related crime and organized crime are established through understanding the definition of each term, the differences of crimes committed and the effects of drugs in relation to organized crime, and what the different issues law enforcement consider in their approach to combat these two issues.

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What is drug related crime? The United States Department of Justice has defined drug related crime as, “A crime to use, possess, manufacture, or distribute drugs classified as having a potential for abuse” (U.S. Department of Justice, 1994, p. 1). Some examples of drugs possessed and related to crime are powdered cocaine and crack, heroin, marijuana, methamphetamines, club drugs, prescription drugs, inhalants, and even some over the counter drugs that are to be used in an illegal manner. Drugs are directly in relation to the smuggling and trafficking organizations that bring narcotics and opiates into the United States from other countries and within the United States itself. Drug related crime today has been a constant battle for law enforcement and require the expertise of multiple agencies ranging from multijurisdictional big government intervention like the F.B.I. and the Department of Homeland Security to local and state municipalities, for example, city police or the Drug Enforcement Agency. Examples of drug related crimes are smoking marijuana or snorting cocaine, manufacturing methamphetamines or growing marijuana, selling or distributing any type of drug like ecstasy or prescription medication whether it was legally or illegally obtained. Large scale smuggling and trafficking of drugs, weapons, and even humans into and throughout the United States from other countries has steadily increased over the last decade. Violence and murder are directly associated with the drug trade and leads to massive human rights violations. 

What is organized crime? Federico Varese states the definition as, “namely that organized crime involves the pursuit of profit through illegal activities by an organized hierarchy that show continuity over time. Among the means discussed, the use of violence and corruption is recurrent” (Varese, 2010, pg. 28). The FBI definition of organized crime is the same. Organized crime enterprises in the United States first started with their focus mainly on illegal gambling institutions and prostitution rings. Today drug trafficking is now a common practice and has been one of the biggest sources of revenue for organized crime syndicates. What is the difference between an ordinary criminal and an organized criminal? As explained by Thomas Schelling, “The basic distinction between ordinary and organized criminals: the former is wholly predatory, and the latter offer a return to the respectable members of society. Nobody will miss the burglars if they suddenly disappear. But if the confederation of employed in illicit businesses were suddenly abolished, it would be sorely missed because it performs services for which there is a great public demand” (Schelling, 1984, pg. 180). Money laundering, human trafficking, drugs, pornography, gambling, loan-sharking, fraud, and infiltration of legitimate business are some examples of the so-called victimless crimes that happen in organized crime networks.

The differences between drug related and organized crimes committed vary considerably but some can say they are intertwined and correlated with each other. Drug crimes usually start at the base of society in which an individual consumes drugs on a regular basis and deals drugs to support his or her own addiction or gets addicted to the product my means of sampling the product over time to make sure of the purity they receive to sell.  The results of drug use and addiction usually lead the addict to perpetuate other crimes that directly affect society to support the habit of the offender and can include robbery, burglary, theft and numerous other violent offenses. The average non drug using American does not perpetuate such crimes. Individuals with an addiction can be associated with these crimes and the level of the offense can be associated by their habitual use.

 According to a research report by Bernard Gropper, he explains the correlation of drug use as it pertains to criminal activity in Harlem, New York. It states, “The results show how the intensity of the criminal behavior- especially property crime- of such addicts tends to be related to their current drug use status. During a nine-year period at risk, their crime rates dropped to relatively low levels during periods when they had little to no narcotic use. While they were actively addicted, however, their criminality was about four to six times higher. Overall, they averaged two thousand crime days (defined as any day in which they committed one or more crimes) per addict. For those who has several periods of addiction and reduction or cessation of narcotics use, the levels of criminality clearly tended to rise and fall with drug use” (Gropper, 1985, pg.2). The average drug addict can become a career criminal or one who consistently commits violent offenses, robbery, burglary, and/or theft in order to support or supplement their use. Drug crimes associated with addiction and peddling can be the difference in an individual maintaining a career criminal status or moving into the more technical sides of crime, like smuggling and trafficking, associated with gangs or more organized crime syndicates.

Organized crime in contrast to drug related crime is focused more around the basis of larger scale smuggling and trafficking of humans, drugs, weapons, and a variety of other victimless crimes that take advantage of the fabric of society for the advantage of the organized crime groups. Murder, rape, assault, extortion, kidnapping, and crimes as such are also correlated with the practice of smuggling and trafficking. It is a practice that can lead to the enslavement of the individuals that are trying to be smuggled into the country. The difference being that if an individual cannot pay the person or group smuggling them into the country the individual becomes a victim of trafficking. The freedom of choice is no longer present, and exploitation ensues. Weapons and human trafficking are other main sources for organized crime organizations and have a drastic impact on society both in the United States and abroad. The biggest issue with organized crime is the extortion of government officials to accentuate and protect the crime group in the name of money or threats of their family being kidnapped or murdered. Corrupt officials and law enforcement can corrode society around them having a direct effect on the innocent.

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 According to Felipe Calderon, “Transnational organized crime erodes the rule of law and that the damaging consequences of this situation go beyond the high crime rates. Organized crime not only deteriorates social order and individual liberties, but it is also a threat to democracy and the state itself, as it tends to displace and substitute law enforcement agencies and institutions. Once it overtakes the government, it extracts the rents of society through violence and the threat of it. Once the state has lost control of its own institutions, reality eclipses Hollywood stories of extortion, kidnapping, and killing. The response to this threat must be global through international cooperation mechanisms, and it must definitely involve national and sub national actions” (Calderon, 2015, Para. 3).

A crime which is described as an illegal activity in which all people involved are willing participants can be considered victimless. Illegal gambling and book making rings tend to corrupt society and take advantage of individuals with addictive traits or financial issues. Loan sharking takes advantage of individuals and businesses at an exorbitant interest rate and is supported by gambling operations. Pornography can lead to the person involved to becoming a victim of human trafficking and forced to perform prostitution acts against their will for the profit of others. Money laundering involves the intrusion of legitimate businesses to launder the illegally obtained money and turn it into a reputably perceived income essentially taking over the business for the benefit of the organized crime group. The main organized crime groups that commit these crimes are varied from small to large gangs, for example MS-13, and Mafia type organizations. One of the first and most famous in the United States being the Italian Mafia. International crime groups like the Russian, Asian, and Latin American groups have made a huge increase in American organized crime in the recent decade. This problem not only makes it a problem for law enforcement agencies in the United States but an international issue requiring transnational agencies all around the world to work together.

What are the different techniques that have been implemented by law enforcement to combat the issues involving drug related crimes and organized crime?  On July 17th, 1971, President Richard Nixon declared the “War on Drugs” in America to combat the spreading issue of drug smugglers, consumers, and distributers among our American society. This effort to combat drugs was the start of a multibillion-dollar war and recognized the drug trade as an essential supplement to organized crime groups. International agencies have been developed and strengthened to fight the onslaught of drugs pouring into America from all around the world. The largest suppliers of drugs coming from Mexico and other Latin American countries.

 Law enforcement has been proactive the fight against the drug trade and its affiliated organized crime groups. Some techniques to combat drug and organized crime involve, “Organized crime investigations in the United States increasingly involve agencies from other countries, as such criminal organizations rarely restrict their illegal activities to the jurisdiction of one nation. Proactive community policing and problem-solving approaches. Intra-agency cooperation is also needed because most organized crime activities cross jurisdictions. Surveillance and undercover operations are also sometime indicated. One strategy that is essential to combating international organized crime (IOC) is the formation of interagency analytical teams to systematically collect, synthesize, and disseminate intelligence information on selected IOC targets as well as emerging IOC threats and trends. Another source for combating organized crime is the local citizenry” (Hess, et al et al, 2017, Pg. 614).  Some investigative aids in the war on drugs and organized crime involve electronic surveillance, pen registers, trap and trace devices, wiretapping, multijurisdictional intelligence sharing systems, asset forfeiture, and traditional surveillance techniques. Although there are differences between drug related crimes and organized crime, the efforts put forth by law enforcement to combat these issues are intertwined due to the correlation of drugs and its relation organized crime.

Understanding the various distinctions between a drug related crime and organized crime is established through understanding the definition of each term, the differences of crimes committed and the effects of drugs in relation to organized crime, and what the different issues law enforcement consider in their approach to combat these two issues. Crime in the perspective of the small-time drug dealer to the most advanced organized crime groups is an international issue that will continue to find its foothold in American culture and society. Despite agencies from all around the world working together to continue this war on drugs, drug and organized crime will always continue to evolve plaguing law enforcement with the necessity to evolve their tactics to improve investigative techniques, legislation, policies to fight back. Strengthening the international cooperation with other countries to decrease the abilities of the crime groups abroad from being able to cross borders is equally important to law enforcement agencies in America. The fight against poverty, restructuring the educational system, and creating new opportunities to keep our youth off the streets to have a chance at a better future is a good start.

Reference page

Hess, Orthmann, & Cho (2017), Criminal Investigation 11th Edition, Investigative    Trends. Chapter 18. A Dual Threat: Drug related Crime and Organized Crime, L01, Pg.581. Book.Boston, Ma. Cengage Learning

U.S. Department of Justice (Sep. 1994), National Criminal Justice Reference Service, Drugs and Crime Data, Fact Sheet: Drug Related Crime, Pg.1. Article. Rockville, MD.

Varese, Federico. (2010). Organized Crime: Critical Concepts in Criminology. Pg. 28.Book. London; New York: Routledge.

Schelling, Thomas. (1984), Harvard University Press, Choice and Consequence: What is the Business of Organized Crime. Chapter 8, Pg. 180, Book. Cambridge, Mass & London, England.

Gropper, Bernard A., (February 1985), National Institute of Justice, Probing the Links between Drugs and Crime: Effects of Drugs on Criminality, Pg. 2, Research-Report in Brief, U.S. Department of Justice.

Calderon, Felipe., (Sep 8th, 2015), Harvard International Review, Drug Trafficking and Organized Crime: Connected but Different, Article, Cambridge, Ma.

Hess, Orthmann, & Cho (2017), Criminal Investigation 11th Edition, Investigative    Trends. Chapter 18. A Dual Threat: Drug related Crime and Organized Crime, Pg.614-616. Book.Boston, Ma. Cengage Learning

Analysis of Public Celebrity Apologies in America

Devin Black
Julia Tofantšuk
Their circumstances and effects via analyzing specific cases
Recently, I have become aware of a trend that has been sweeping across America – the celebrity apology, or precisely, the non-apology. I think I have always been aware of the constant apologies made by celebrities, but it has only been in the past year when I have actually paid attention to the words they were using to apologize, and under what circumstances they were apologizing.

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In fact, the exact moment when I became infatuated with the celebrity apology was when I was listening to a broadcast of the Opie and Anthony Radio Show in March 2014 and the hosts were discussing the numerous celebrity apologies that had been made during the previous week. Their discussion about celebrity apologies began to consume the show daily, until they officially established an “Apology Clock” on June 5, 2014 (Apology Clock, 2014). The experiment was to see if they could go ten days without a celebrity apology. The results showed that they could not, as there was at least one new apology a day and more often than not there were apologies from multiple celebrities. Their research ended unexpectedly one month later when one of the hosts became a victim of the celebrity apology. I will discuss more about this later in the paper.
For the purposes of this paper, I will begin by defining the terms and scope the paper covers. Secondly, I will present some cases from a wide range of circumstances which celebrities apologized, and the results of their apology. Finally, I will discuss Americans’ reaction to the celebrity apology.
According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, a celebrity is defined as “a person who is famous.” For this paper, the definition will be narrowed to only a person who is recognizable in North America and broadened to include corporations, as these are considered individuals under the law.
An apology is defined as “an expression of regret for having done or said something wrong.” For this paper, we also need to consider the definition of a non-apology apology, which is defined as “a statement that has the form of an apology but does not express the expected contrition.” An example of a non-apology apology would be saying “I’m sorry that you feel that way” to someone who has been offended by a statement. This apology does not admit that there was anything wrong with the remarks made, and additionally, it may be taken as insinuating that the person taking offense was excessively thin-skinned or irrational in taking offense at the remarks in the first place (Lazare, 2005).
Case Studies of celebrity apologies and the results of the apology
There are hundreds, if not thousands of examples of celebrity apologies. For this paper, the time frame of the case studies of celebrity apologies examined will begin in 1998, well after the advent of the Internet. This starting point was chosen because the Internet disseminates information almost effortlessly, therefore more people would be aware of the apologies given by celebrities.
Furthermore, the case studies offered are examples of the wide range of circumstances under which a celebrity has had to apologize. There are countless more examples to choose from, but the following examples provide a general overview, so the scope has had to be narrowed.
Case study 1: Bill Clinton apologizes for having an affair
“Indeed I did have a relationship with Miss Lewinsky that was not appropriate. In fact, it was wrong … I misled people, including even my wife. I deeply regret that.”
On August 17, 1998, President Bill Clinton stood in the White House pressroom and apologized to the American people for having an affair with a White House intern, Monica Lewinsky. When the affair first became public, Bill Clinton denied having a sexual relationship with Ms. Lewinsky even though she offered circumstantial evidence to a Senate investigating committee. The news of this extra-marital affair and the resulting investigation eventually led to the impeachment of President Clinton in 1998 by the U.S. House of Representatives and his subsequent acquittal on all impeachment charges of perjury and obstruction of justice in a 21-day Senate trial (Posner, 2009).
This apology most likely saved his presidency. His apology was emotional and appeared sincere. He was able to connect with Americans, while at the same time admitting he was wrong and asking for forgiveness (Bill Clinton apologizing for his affair with Monica Lewinsky, 2008).
However, what makes the circumstances of this apology important is the fact that the political motivations of the Republican Party forced President Clinton into a position where he had to apologize. The results, politically, led to the rise of the Republican Party from 2000 to 2008, and an ever increasing motivation to use the personal affairs of politicians as a weapon in elections, and politics in general.
Case study 2: Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction
On February 1, 2004 during the half-time show of Super Bowl XXXVIII, Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake were performing when suddenly Timberlake removed an article of Jackson’s clothing, revealing an exposed breast to a live television audience. This event has been termed Nipplegate by the media (Apologetic Jackson says ‘costume reveal’ went awry, 2004). The next day Jackson apologized to the public “to anyone who was offended.” This is an example of the non-apology apology.
There are several reasons why the circumstances surrounding this particular non-apology apology is important. First of all, a wardrobe malfunction is considered to be an accident, so the question remains why an apology was even necessary. Secondly, the American sensitivity to nudity is revealed to have a low threshold, while their sensitivity threshold to a violent sport, American football, is high. This means that Americans are more offended by nudity than violence. Finally, the results of this apology led to the Federal Communications Commission to impose higher fines and regulations concerning obscenity in broadcast media on public airwaves, which still continue today (Ahrens, 2006).
Case study 3: Michael Richards “nigger” rant
During a November 17, 2006 performance, Michael Richards, a stand-up comedian who became popular for the role of “Krammer” he played on the successful American sitcom Seinfeld, shouted a racially charged response to black hecklers in the audience, shouting “He’s a nigger!” several times and referring to lynching (Farhi, 2006).
This is only one example of an apology or non-apology apology based on racism, religion, or sexual orientation. Other celebrities who have had to apologize for racist rants or, more importantly, opinions based on race; include Mel Gibson, Gary Oldman, and many others (Hare, 2014).
However, what makes this apology most interesting is the public’s initial reaction and later action. Richards made a public apology on the Late Show with David Letterman, when Jerry Seinfeld was the guest, saying:
“For me to be at a comedy club and to flip out and say this crap, I’m deeply, deeply sorry. I’m not a racist, that’s what’s so insane about this.”
What happened next is surprising; the audience initially laughed during uncomfortable pauses in Richards’ explanation and apology, unable to decide if the interview was a comedy bit; at one point Seinfeld chided the audience, “Stop laughing, it’s not funny. (CNN Newsroom, 2006)”
Later, Richards called civil rights leaders Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson to apologize. He also appeared as a guest on Jackson’s syndicated radio show. This began a new trend in apologizing; the guilty party had to personally apologize to representatives of the groups who might be offended (Sharpton: Comedian’s apology not enough, 2006).
Case study 4: Various corporate apologies
Since corporations, as well as celebrities, are extremely vigilant when protecting their brand, it is no surprise that they find themselves in situations where they have to apologize. Most corporate apologies are sincere because they have directly affected the lives of individuals or the environment. However, many corporate apologies are non-apology apologies because the circumstances around which they have apologized usually involve trivial matters that would not normally offend the majority of the population.
One example of a typical corporate non-apology apology involves Delta Airlines. During the 2014 World Cup competition in Brazil, Delta Airlines posted a message on Twitter congratulating the United States soccer team for their defeat over Ghana. In their message, they posted a picture the Statue of Liberty with the number 2 super-imposed over it and another picture of a giraffe with the number 1 super-imposed over it. These graphics symbolized both the country and the score of the game. The problem with this is that giraffes are not to be found in Ghana (Mendoza, 2014).
Critics found the Twitter post to be “ignorant and offensive,” and some even considered the post racist. Delta Airlines felt they had to apologize the next day on their website saying the “tweet was both inaccurate and inappropriate” and that the company was “reviewing its procedures to ensure that future images and posts reflect both our values and our global focus. (Delta Air Lines Apologizes for Giraffe Gaffe, 2014)”
Case study 5: Celebrities who do not apologize
There are many times when celebrities say or do things which people find offensive, and the public usually waits for an apology a few days after. However, some celebrities refuse to apologize. What makes these cases interesting is the effect their refusal to apologize has on their career. Two recent examples of this scenario involve Charles Barkley, a former NBA basketball player; and Anthony Cumia, a popular radio presenter.
In the first scenario, Charles Barkley was commenting on his travels to different cities in the United States while he was an NBA player during a live television broadcast. During his narrative, he described women from San Antonio, Texas as being “big old women,” referring to their weight. When people from San Antonia demanded an apology, Barkley replied that he will apologize “when hell gonna (sic) freeze over. (Dater, 2014)”
There was no negative fallout from his response. In fact, he continues to be a sports commentator and presenter today. Many believe that Barkley did not have to apologize because this behavior is what is expected from him. The story eventually left the news cycle and is practically forgotten.
On the other hand, the situation is different for Anthony Cumia. Cumia was one half of the radio show Opie and Anthony, the same show that had the aforementioned “Apology Clock” experiment, which lasted from June 5 to July 4, 2014. During the show’s holiday break for Independence Day, Cumia was walking in Times Square, New York City late at night photographing the city lights. While he was taking one particular photograph, an African-American woman happened to walk in the frame of the picture. She heard the camera’s click and immediately began to accost Cumia, and she was joined by a group of African-American men.
Later that evening while he was at home, he began posting the pictures and his comments on Twitter. Many of these comments were charged with emotion, and some of them were construed as being racist and violent towards women. The posts were noticed by a blogger, and the incident was reported in the mainstream press a couple of days later (Perex, 2014).
Cumia refused to apologize. In fact, he appeared on various news programs to explain and defend himself. The only thing he admitted was that he should have “cooled down” before posting his experience on Twitter. His refusal to apologize lead to his firing from SiriusXM radio four days later (MacNeal, 2014).
Americans’ response to and attitudes towards celebrity apologies
Social Justice Warriors
Currently, the trend in America is that celebrity apologies are increasing. This can be attributed to the importance of social media; not only Twitter and Face Book, but also public blogging sites that act as mainstream media, such as TMZ or The Huffington Post. These blogging sites have given rise to the “social justice warrior”.
A “social justice warrior” is a blogger who uses social media to “fight for the rights of the minority, under-privileged, and under-represented (Internet Observation Project).” They actively seek out celebrities, generally white males, and search for things that they say or do which are considered offensive to the people they want to protect and then write about the circumstance. Their blogs are read by a few and then linked in Twitter, where the article is read by many. More often than not, the mainstream press will report on the story if the blog post has been shared enough times.
There is much criticism towards the “social justice warrior.” Many believe that they are nothing more than gossip columnists who do not have the talent to write for established tabloids. Most “social justice warriors” earn money when people view their blog and/or click the advertisements posted on the site, so it is in their interest to write about controversial topics. Furthermore, “social justice warriors” do not have to answer questions about their sources, and usually hide themselves if there is an attack against them (Roosh, 2014).
Backlash against celebrity apologies
More recently, many people are starting to question why celebrities need to apologize, particularly for an unpopular opinion they may have voiced. An example of this backlash is when the actor Robin Williams committed suicide. After this tragedy, many celebrities voiced their opinions about suicide, and one celebrity who voiced unpopular opinions about suicide, the singer and author Henry Rollins, particularly received a lot of criticism (Joyce, 2014). This led to the question, “Do we now have to apologize for our opinions (Norton, 2014)?”
Finally, the celebrity apology has become embedded in humor. A recent example, and one that defines how ridiculous the celebrity apology has become, is the Twitter “#IAmSorry” started by actor Shia LaBeouf, which celebrities now have to use when posting their apologies. He has stated that the celebrity apology has become “an art form now,” and should be instructed in every drama class (Hare, 2014).
The celebrity apology is more than a humiliating moment for an individual or a corporation. The reason why many Americans are obsessed with celebrity apologies is because maybe it is a reflection of American sensitivities. When they see someone apologizing, it makes them feel better, maybe even more perfect. Also, it may be easier for people to look at others’ shortcomings and mistakes instead of looking at their own.
After completing my research, I noticed that their further investigation can be done. For example, it would be interesting to know if there has been a real increase in celebrity apologies recently, or if the publics’ backlash toward celebrity apologies has increased, which in turn makes it seem like there are more apologies. Also, a more quantitative analysis of celebrity apologies would reveal more about the phenomena. Finally, I wonder if the apology culture is only prevalent in the United States or is it common in other parts of the world.
Works Cited
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Bill Clinton apologizing for his affair with Monica Lewinsky. (2008, August 2). Retrieved October 11, 2014, from You Tube:
Dater, J. (2014, May 11). Charles Barkley won’t apologize for his comments about San Antonio’s women. Retrieved October 12, 2014, from SB Nation:
Delta Air Lines Apologizes for Giraffe Gaffe. (18, June 2014). Retrieved October 12, 2014, from NBC News:
Farhi, P. (2006, November 21). ‘Seinfeld’ Comic Richards Apologizes for Racial Rant. Retrieved October 11, 2014, from The Washington Post :
Hare, B. (2014, June 9). Celebrity apologies: The good, bad and uncomfortable. Retrieved October 11, 2014, from Time:
Hare, B. (2014, June 9). Celebrity apologies: The good, bad and uncomfortable. Retrieved October 11, 2014, from CNN:
Joyce, C. (2014, August 25). Henry Rollins Is Still Really Sorry for His Comments About Robin Williams’ Suicide. Retrieved October 11, 2014, from Spin Magazine:
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Mendoza, D. (2014, June 17). Delta’s giraffe gaffe. Retrieved October 12, 2014, from CNN:
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A Comparison of the French and America Revolution

Revolution is the overthrowing of one government followed by replacing with it another.[1]It includes the use of power to rebel against a ruling party or in favor of a new organization. Both the American and the French Revolutions aimed at bringing equality and liberty to the people. Both nations were attempting to gain freedom from their rebellion. France had eyed on abolishing the French realm and establish a restored government on which the citizens would live like a society, unlike America which was fighting to attain freedom from taxes and instructions subjected to them by Great Britain.[2]  While both the French and American Revolution in the late eighteenth century were based on economic struggles and enlightenment ideals, the American Revolution was based on independence from British rule and the French Revolution was based on overturning the French Monarchy.

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The French and American revolutions had so many similarities as well as differences. One of their similarities included that both nations were against the harsh rule by their kings. Both of them were tired of being oppressed. The American and French rebellion both championed for the desire of a republican government and principles of liberty.[3] Americans fought for freedom from high taxations while the French wanted a better government that could rule them equally. Both nations realized that they needed the power to bring democracy back.

Rising opposition among targeted people at the monarchy and it is associated prominent and nobles is one of the most important likenesses between the French Revolution and the American Revolution.3 Even though they existed in both France and America, at the commencement of each revolt, their dominations on both the people and thrifts of every nation were weakening. For instance, in 1763, Britain was on the very peak of universal supremacy, and her old enemies were apparently under her control. At the same time, however, Britain was politically unsteady and was tentative on the verge of economic failure.[4] The response against the British kingdom by Americans only helped to weaken it further, and although it may have been solid in other parts, the unrelenting resistance demonstrated by actions like the Boston Tea party and other rebellious acts against the crown were taking their peal. The immediate cause of the French Revolution was the near collapse of government finances.5

Both rebellions began and were propelled by the enlightenment period. They were both assumed with the aim of mind-independence. The American Rebellion was not originally tussled for liberation. Independence had become a byproduct of the colonialists to do away with the imbalanced levy of taxes upon them by the British Parliament. On the other side, Frances great thinker Rousseau emphasized the importance of human rights.[5] The words and articles of famous revolution front-runners like Maximilien Robespierre and Jacques Pierre powered the urge for freedom in France. These actions led to independence in both revolutions and were debatably acted to be an enticement for revolution.

Both the two revolutions generated seminal and similar political official papers. The assertion of the rights of human beings and for citizens was embraced in 1789 by the French State Constituent Assembly. The document was conscripted by Marquis de Lafayette which was proposed to be part of the shift from a complete to a constitutional empire. It was to present the concepts of dominance and equality. It also disregarded the idea of citizens being deprived of exceptional rights according to the household heredity of prominence which openly pulled apart the French structure of governing. These declarations also impacted the same in the American Revolution. It was also adopted in 1787 in the USA constitution approximately a similar time to that in France.[6]

The American Rebellion was the first weighty revolution of the time, and it was also the first to be fruitful. The reason for it being successful was that it never started being “rebellious” in nature, but quite conventional. In other word, it was not a revolt against the Regime, but rather contrary to too much government governing them. (American Revolution) The French insurgency was a real rebellion against the Ruler and the government in broad. The French were the ones on the invasive, struggling to attain new liberty beginning with the Invasion of the Bastille.

Both revolutions began similarly, but they had different endings. The American Revolution ended in afresh molded independent administration. The French revolution dethroned its government and executed their king. The French Revolution gave rise to a dictatorship that took years.[7]

The key distinction is the setting of the battle. The American Revolt was initiated by a wider number of the Americans who became sad about the British way of governing. They thought that they earned autonomy from Britain. French’s minority geared the French rebellion since they were sad with the treatment they received. Although related reasons triggered both of the revolutions, they were also fueled by an entirely diverse kind of individuals. One of the rebellions began by all diverse groups of individuals but steered by the rich, and the minority in the nation influenced the other.

Another minor contradiction is that the rebellion of the French was more cruel and bloodstained. The insurgents in the French Revolt would murder any individual that they heard was a supporter of the king. The radicals in the revolt of the Americans at no time slew the British supporters and were never intense to Britains not least they were in a combat. The American Revolution was just meant to be between America and Britain until when the French merged.[8] The French Revolution was between the French minority and their regime. It then progressed to become the French fighting against other dominions in Europe like Prussia and Austria.

The American Revolution mainly concentrated on attaining of independence. Later when they won the battle against the British, they were tied up from their guidelines. America was obliged to call off the battle and abolish the high taxation system which the British government had passed in their parliament. The Americans completed the war by making an avowal of independence that was a sweet approach and a great one to begin a compact society. On the other hand, the French masses also attain the same independence, but they were still under the leadership of a king.

The American Rebellion began from 1775 to 1783 where the colonies became the United States of America and got their independence from Great Britain. On the contrary, the French revolution began at around 1789 to 1799 and was a fight against domination and mismanagement and mistreatment of the people whereas the American Revolution was fueled due to economic and political reasons. All in all both activities that happened during the revolutions in the two nations were just facilitated for change, change that was gained in different ways.

The French Upheaval aimed in changing everything be it the social structure, economy, government or even religion. Whereas the American Revolution wanted only to alter the government structure but leave the social system intact.[9] After the revolution period, Americans remained largely narrow-minded and busy in unraveling internal matters like political war while French below Napoleon leadership spread principles of the French revolution of equality, liberty, and fraternity in entire Europe. France was experiencing financial crises due to costly wars and royal extravagance. The government responded by borrowing. Poor taxation policy contributed to the high debt with most of the monarch’s funds coming from the peasantry. 10Also, the American Revolution remain restrained between Americans and British while the French Revolution spread out beyond France and  Napoleon rule led to French ethics to entire Europe.[10] Therefore, revolutions against autocracy and feudalism increased from corner to corner in Europe while socialism spread receiving popularity among common people.

For most sections, the two rebellions majorly and greatly influenced the societies and people of America and France. After the long war, both countries had to endure the war — the societies involved in both fights headed to a time of much important advancement. Though, the French still had a journey to go after the revolution. Both rebellions were very significant and necessary to the commoners and their equality and liberty. Thus the French revolution and the American Revolution had so many contrariety and similarities as per how they have been discussed above. Though on a higher notch the differences of the two revolutions overweighed their similarities in the methods used and how the revolts occurred.


Chisholm, Michael. Britain on the Edge of Europe. Routledge, 2002.

Eisler, Riane. “Human rights: Toward an integrated theory for action.” Feminist Issues 7, no. 1 (1987): 25-46.

Gershovich, Moshe. French military rule in Morocco: Colonialism and its consequences. Routledge, 2012.

Hunt, Lynn. Politics, culture, and class in the French revolution: with a New Preface. Vol. 1. Univ of California Press, 2004.

Lenin, Vladimir Ilʹich, and Todd Chretien. State and revolution. Haymarket Books, 2015.

Olson, Mancur. “Dictatorship, democracy, and development.” American political science review 87, no. 3 (1993): 567-576.

Quijano, Anibal. “Coloniality of power and Eurocentrism in Latin America.” International Sociology 15, no. 2 (2000): 215-232.

Seidman, Steven. Contested knowledge: Social theory today. John Wiley & Sons, 2016.

Spielvogel, Jackson J. Western Civilization: Volume II: Since 1500. 10th ed. Boston: Cengage Learning, 2018

Taine, Hippolyte Adolphe. “The French Revolution. Vol. 1.” Trans. John Durand. New York: H. Holt (1897).

Wood, Gordon S. The creation of the American republic, 1776-1787. UNC Press Books, 2011.

[1] Lenin, Vladimir Ilʹich, and Todd Chretien. State and revolution. Haymarket Books, 2015.

[2] Hunt, Lynn. Politics, culture, and class in the French revolution: with a New Preface. Vol. 1. Univ of California Press, 2004.

[3] Olson, Mancur. “Dictatorship, democracy, and development.” American political science review 87, no. 3 (1993): 567-576.

[4] Chisholm, Michael. Britain on the Edge of Europe. Routledge, 2002.

 5Eisler, Riane. “Human rights: Toward an integrated theory for action.” Feminist Issues 7, no. 1 (1987): 25-46.

6 Wood, Gordon S. The creation of the American republic, 1776-1787. UNC Press Books, 2011.

[7] Taine, Hippolyte Adolphe. “The French Revolution. Vol. 1.” Trans. John Durand. New York: H. Holt (1897).

[8] Quijano, Anibal. “Coloniality of power and Eurocentrism in Latin America.” International Sociology 15, no. 2 (2000): 215-232.

[9] Seidman, Steven. Contested knowledge: Social theory today. John Wiley & Sons, 2016.

10 Spielvogel, J. (2018). Western civilization. 10th ed

[10] Gershovich, Moshe. French military rule in Morocco: Colonialism and its consequences. Routledge, 2012.

The Drug War on Black America


 The history of the United States government has implemented several policies that have in many ways affected our way of life. The subject I have chosen is ” The War on Drugs ” or the Drug War on Black America as my research shows. The policies in the “war on drugs ” in America have led to social inequalities, mass incarceration and show how disturbingly the U.S. government has used this agenda as a policy-making tool to target and imprison African Americans. This “drug war ” has broken up families, destroy Black neighborhoods and has created overcrowding in prisons.

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 It is important to inform the public about this subject. This is not a real war on drugs, but on a group of people. Drugs continue to enter this country and we have seen an increase in both heroin and opioid use, creating an overdose epidemic. I want to find out what issues does the “war on drugs” address and it is with even greater importance to show the disparity that exists between Blacks and Whites.

 Decades later, the same propaganda here about the war on drugs resulted in billions of dollars spent, mass incarcerations and the Black communities that were too largely targeted by this drug war have been the most affected. Today the United States has the highest prison population. There are currently well over 2 million people incarcerated. Information provided by shows that 33% of African Americans are in prison. They only make up 13% of the nation’s population. Since this initiative was launched, Blacks have been disproportionately been arrested and convicted of drug offense more than any other race. A breakdown of this agenda shows that it maintains a long-standing war against Blacks.



Literature Review

The War on Drugs: How President Nixon Tied Addiction to Crime

 The United States government’s initiative on the war on drugs began in June of 1971 when then-President Richard Nixon coined the term the “war on drugs.” He claimed that drug abuse was America’s public enemy number one. The agenda being promoting by Nixon’s war on drugs was to reduce the illegal drug trade in the United States. The policy of this government initiative was to prevent the production, sale, and use of illegal drugs. Nixon started a drug war which labeled young hippies and African Americans, not as young people whose addiction was caused by a lack of resources in society or trauma from serving in Vietnam, yet as hoodlums attacking the morality of the country, depicting them as individuals who deserved incarceration and punishment.  This criminalization of drug abusers pushed a pattern; Nixon’s administration misinterpreted the numbers that linked drug addiction to crime. Nixon did so to create this tough on crime agenda. He didn’t hold the white working class responsible for any drug-related violence in urban communities. He changed the public’s general view of the drug abuser into one that is of danger to the American development. Nixon needed this to strengthen the need for the war on drugs. By changing the public’s perception, which he did, he was able to strengthen the need of the drug war. Drug abusers were no longer regarded as sick victims of a society that systematically excluded addicts, no one cared if they were simply locked up. Incarceration was for the country’s best interest.

 Nixon’s federal policy in the war on drugs would continue to last decades after his presidency. Nixon, aside from being infamous for the Watergate Scandal, only legacy would be that of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), which he created as a result of this initiative. Other presidents have used the “war on drugs” propaganda to maintain a tough stance on drugs and crime, basically to win elections. The motives behind Nixon’s War on Drugs were later revealed by one of his former chief domestic advisers John Ehrlichman, in an interview with Dan Baum, in which he described that the purpose of this initiative was to target anti-war activists, better known as Hippies and African Americans for which Nixon had considered as enemies. Which considering President Nixon did have an enemies list. This should not be surprising the measures taken by this administration. The Nixon Administration knew that they couldn’t just single out these two groups because that would be illegal so instead, they associated them with certain drugs to then criminalize both groups. He created a new agenda to mask his actual agenda. Nixon distracted the people to get an easier and aggressive way to target Hippies and African Americans.

Race and the War on Drugs

Despite the false motives being pushed by the Nixon administration, his efforts in tackling this issue were very small compared to the efforts of President Ronald Reagan. President Reagan expanded his focus on criminal punishment rather than drug treatment and rehabilitation, creating a zero-tolerance policy on drugs and its abusers.  President Reagan used drug resources from healthcare agencies and sent those resources to the Department of Justice instead.  He also had a hand in encouraging to passing the worst federal mandatory minimum drug laws. His initiative went on to create mass incarcerations for non-violent drug offenses in the United States. (

In 1986, Reagan signed the Anti-Drug Abuse Act, which, in addition to strengthening the mandatory minimum sentencing policies, using $1.7 billion to fund the war on drugs, by also shifting the federal supervised release program from a rehabilitative focus to a punitive one. The controlled release program refers to the measures which prisoners must take when released on probation. These programs consisted of regular drug tests and probation counselors’ meetings. The 1986 Anti -Drug Abuse Act reinforced the mandatory minimum sentencing system and added provisions for other drug types. Minimum mandatory sentences were criticized for being inflexible and unfair and contributed to the overall trend of prison overcrowding in the United States. With the passing of the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986, possession of 28 grams of crack cocaine warrants a five-year mandatory minimum sentence for a first-time offender. In order to get the same sentence for possession of powder form cocaine, someone would have to have 500 grams. There are critics and experts who state the crack cocaine is more addictive and therefore should carry a higher sentence. The legal disparity between crack cocaine and powder is deeply rooted in racist beliefs, because crack cocaine had been the most common drug used by African Americans, and cocaine being the common drug of use for White people.


 I understand from the readings that the idea behind the war on drugs is a complete shim sham. It was never intended to get rid of the drugs in this country. As drugs are still very prominent in the United States. The government has continued to use this to cover a less acceptable reality. To make the general public believe that the purpose of it all is to reduce illegal drugs and make the streets of America safer. The reality is that drugs are continuing to come in, drug cartels are still making a lot of money, and it’s a legal course of discrimination aimed to incarcerate African Americans. It can be minimally compared to how genocide is created. Gather a particular set of people; incarcerate them for a long of time. We’ve seen this before, where this discrimination leads to continued acceptance of combating drugs in the United States. There is no other group of people that have been largely affected by this. The whole tough on crime stance has been used to promote the idea that the government is taking matters into their hands by preventing drugs from entering the country and that drug abuse is a crime rather than a health issue. People who are addicted and/or dependent on drugs should not be deemed as criminals.

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 The War on Drugs should be that of its title. An attack on those people in cartels, and any other entities that look to profit from the distribution of illegal drugs. That is really the problem. Looking at the neighborhood that I am from which is Park Slope, Brooklyn. In the early 90’s there was a lot of crack cocaine use going on. I recall not being able to play at the local park because my Mother feared I’d get poked with a syringe. I do remember the police rounded up a bunch of users that were hiding in the park. The irony was that the drug dealers would watch from the corner as Police hauled off some local druggies. That is how I view the war on drugs. It targets the person using the drugs, not the person who is supplying the drugs. I am aware that there are plenty of drug laws aim to target people who get caught selling drugs. We know the existing laws have been successful. But what about the drug supplier. The person providing the drugs. It just a ploy to get someone to pay usually someone who really doesn’t have anything instead of the top person on the drug food chain.

 The United States spend millions of dollars in its “war on drugs” yet there have been more reported overdoses since 2016. The flow of drugs has only increased. More money is being spent housing people for non-violent drug offenses. The U.S. government refrain on spending money on imprisoning non-violent drug offenses and shift that money into schools, and school programs that would help the youth stay in a positive environment. This “war” has only put more people in prison, more drugs on the street, cartels even more rich. Creating mandatory minimum sentencing and the three strikes laws has only guarantee that the U.S. will continue to hold top spot on mass incarceration. I find it absurd, that our government can spend so much on keeping Blacks in prison, but I cannot afford to keep my child enrolled in Public School After School Program because the school wants too much money. What I have notice in the media in the past two years now that involve several cases of heroin or opioid overdose. Politicians want to have a softer approach on handling the overdose epidemic. The reason why is because it’s images of White people overdosing. I highly doubt that if it were the images of lack people, these politicians wouldn’t feel so sympathy for them.

 The racial bias that exists in the criminal justice system is very overwhelming. The criminal justice system framework actually protects racial order and it continues to keep Black people in what they believe in their place: confined, enslaved, incarcerated. Despite of the fact that drug use is moving at an equal rate between racial lines. Blacks are unquestionably bound to be pulled over, searched, arrested, prosecuted and subsequently convicted for drug offense that White people commit as well.


 Our country needs to seriously reformat its approach on our drug policies. They need to create a more humane and efficient strategies. Not target particular groups, increase the prison population all the while drugs are still making it into our neigborhoods. A key conclusion is that drug abusers should not be catergorized as criminal but should be provided with the assistance for treatment and prevention. Drug addiction should be viewed as exactly what it is, a disease. The governemnt needs to work more effectively with all communities but especially urban communities to be able to reall address the issues involving drugs. There are more Americans who recognize that the war on drugs is a failure. This war on drugs is ineffective at reducing illegal drugs but it is counterproductive in keeping minorities in prison. My hope for the future is  that policy makers make the necessary changes needed to actually reduced the  illegal drugs being smuggled into this country but to also maintain that addiction is a disease that should be helped not punished. If there aren’t alternatives to this, then a solution would be too far fetched.

Reference Page

Knapp, W. (1993). The War on Drugs. Federal Sentencing Reporter, 5(5), 294-297. doi:10.2307/20639592

Women and Gender in Postwar America

The study of women in the post war era of 1945-1960 has been neglected by historians in comparison to the history of women in World War II or women activists of the 1960s. This is thought to be because women in post war America had simply slipped back into the domestic ideal of traditional sexual divisions of labor, and resumed their less than interesting lives.  In other words, women had returned to their homemaker identities; contained to activities that fell within the realm of acceptable female roles and responsibilities. They were simply happy housewives whose fulfillment came from marriage, motherhood and family. Or were they?  In this paper I will explore how women navigated their return to domesticity during the post-war era and in the early Cold War era while continuing to maintain their autonomy.  Through the lens of anti-communist activism, we will see how women used their roles in civil and political organizations to challenge the challenge the domestic stereotype that women belonged in the home. For many Americans communism was a threat to their basic civil liberties, and it impacted their thoughts, how they spent money, and how they spent their time. While most believed the government was doing all they could to protect the country against military threats abroad and at home, others believed that if communism found its way in, it would destroy the American family ideal.

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During wartime, government propaganda, media, and film all focused on women’s contributions to the war efforts.  Women assumed positions in factories, filling in for the men who had entered the war to defend the country.  Women were elevated to positions of importance – for without them, the war efforts could not have been successful.  But the shift in post war propaganda removed the power that women had been given, and returned them to their traditional subordinate roles.  However, despite attempts to return women to a conservative position, postwar social and cultural changes did open doors for women in the political and civil arena.

As the end of WW II came, women who were primarily responsible for home, family and domestic duties, began paying attention to foreign policy. These same women who supported the ideal that women belonged at home also believed that the threat of communism to the country was so great that without their actively taking steps to fight communism, they were risking not only their children’s lives, but the whole American way of life.[1] Stepping in to the role of anti-communist activist was not difficult for these women as many had the experience other female activists blazing the trail before them- both before, during and following World War I.  Women of the post war period found a platform on which they could assert themselves.  At this early point in the Cold War with a combination of gender and class issues always at the forefront, women found the anti-communist platform a nice fit with her domestic expectations.

Women in particular saw their ability to participate in the anti-communist movement as a way to protect their homes and families. They found they could spread the anti-communism message through small group gatherings, social meetings, and newsletters. One such newsletter, The Minute Women of the U.S.A., Inc., was born from the efforts of Suzanne Stephenson in Connecticut, 1949. What began as a small group of American housewives, soon grew to over fifty-thousand members across multiple states. Stephenson only instructions were that members never reveal that they were Minute Women and always present themselves as individual concerned citizens. In her view, political activism was more effective when it appeared to be spontaneous.

  The newsletter was a tool to bolster their already strong letter writing and telephone campaigns.  As evident in the March 1956 issue, many of the newsletter articles were a combination of Christian values meets communist conspiracy theory. What better way to reach women than through religion and fear of a communist invasion? In this issue the writer identified only as “Dorothy” writes “Let’s look a moment at Communism. It is the forceful means of bringing about socialism. Who pays the biggest price under socialistic rule? Women. One need but look at the plight of women in the Iron Curtain countries where socialism prevails… the Government owns and controls. Do you think it can’t happen here?”[2] In the mid 1960’s the group finally faded away as the nation turned against McCarthyism and the anti-Communist hysteria had diminished.

 The relationship between men and women in the shifting realities of the postwar world was challenged by not only the trauma of the Great Depression and the two World Wars, but especially during the interwar and post war periods.  These events not only had major economic impacts for the country, but they also undermined traditional family relationships and gender roles as men and women adjusted to their new roles.   This was especially challenging for men who, on returning from war found their work unfulfilling, but also felt threatened by women in the workplace.[3]

Going beyond just the political scene, these anti-communist women also worried about the impact of communism on a scale closer to home.  They worried about the infiltration of communist agents on community organizations and how the Red influence on the economy would impact their household budgets.  This did not abate even in the late 1950’s with the end of the Korean War, the death of Stalin, and televised Army-McCarthy hearings.  The anti-communist groups continued to push for education of Americans to be vigilant against the dangers of communism. This was capitalized on by female politicians and even some of their male constituents to engage women in the political process and show them that they can make a difference.  Anti-communist activists also used this to show the housewives and mothers the importance of taking their voting rights seriously. It is here where it is most noticed that partisan differences in class, education and religion place higher numbers of women in the Republican party since Democrats were more traditionally aligned with the working class who had less leisure time and therefore were less often involved in political polling and election events.

One such woman who had a major impact on the advancement of women in politics was Margaret Chase Smith.  Born in 1897 in Maine, she became one of the prominent voices of 20th century American politics. After taking over her husband’s House seat in 1940, Smith carved out a three-decade career as an independent-minded congresswoman and senator, notably supporting women’s rights and making a high-profile stand in opposition of Senator Joseph McCarthy’s crusade against communism.  Smith began her involvement in politics serving on the Republican State Committee until she left to help her husband with his 1936 run for the U.S. House of Representatives. Once he was elected, Smith became his secretary. She handled everything from filing to helping prepare his speeches. When he died of a heart attack in April 1940, Margaret Smith assumed his position in the House and held on to the post after winning in a special election that June.  During her eight years in the House of Representatives, Smith demonstrated that she acted according to her conscience instead of simply following the party line Smith was an advocate for women’s rights and she co-sponsored the Equal Rights Amendment with Congresswoman Winifred Stanley in the mid-1940s, and worked on improving the status of women in the military.

In 1948, Smith successfully won her bid to become a senator, making her the first woman to serve in both chambers of Congress. Despite her own opposition to communism, Smith spoke out against Senator Joseph McCarthy’s intense persecution of nearly anyone suspected to have communist links. Smith is most famous for delivering a speech called the “Declaration of Conscience” which said “Those of us who shout the loudest about Americanism in making character assassinations are all too frequently those who, by our own words and acts, ignore some of the basic principles of Americanism—The right to criticize; the right to hold unpopular beliefs; the right to protest; the right of independent thought. The exercise of these rights should not cost one single American citizen his reputation or his right to a livelihood, nor should he be in danger of losing his reputation or livelihood merely because he happens to know someone who holds unpopular beliefs.”[4] Throughout the 1960’s Smith held on to her Senate seat and continued to vote based on her own beliefs, not party politics. In 1972, Smith lost her bid for reelection. After leaving office in 1973, Smith served as a visiting professor for the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. She also helped establish the Margaret Chase Smith Library in her hometown of Skowhegan.

Another major contributor to the female political agenda was Phyllis Stewart Schlafly. Born in August 1924, Schlafly was a devout Catholic, and an ultraconservative anti-Communist. She was also a housewife and mother before receiving her law degree in 1978 from Washington University.  Those three things; ultraconservative anti-communist, housewife/mother, and educated woman set her apart from many other women of the time. This is primarily because of the path which Schlafly took in her activism.  While most young women were getting married and having children, Phyllis was earning her education, working, and finding her way into the political scene.

Schlafly made her first unsuccessful run for Congress in 1952, during the Korean War.  While she volunteered in organizations like the Illinois Federation of Republican Women and made statewide speeches as a state officer and national defense chairman of the Daughters of the American Revolution, she did not make an attempt for public office again. Instead she focused on publishing historical records relating to the history of Republican national conventions that told how the “kingmakers”—the party’s eastern, internationalist wing—had cheated the “grass roots” of their choices.[5] She did not make another attempt at a Congressional seat in Illinois until 1970 when she ran a “Cold War issues” campaign. She asserted that it was the federal bureaucrats who had created a permanently poor welfare class and that civil rights and New Left groups full of Communists along with federal poverty workers had organized the riots connected to the Vietnam War and the tense climate surrounding the protests. Schlafly opposed the war and saw it as a Soviet trap to divert U.S. resources from providing a strong defense.

It wasn’t just Cold War politics that drew Schlafly in.  Her support for equal rights for women also kept her activism strong.  In 1972 an amendment passed Congress which prevented ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, a proposed constitutional amendment guaranteeing equality of rights for women. Schlafly opposed it because it struck at traditionalist family and religious values which could open the door to legalization of homosexual marriage and abortion to name a few.  As a writer, Phyllis Schlafly’s work centered on national defense and feminist ideals and values.  In her book The Positive Woman in 1978, she compared a traditional wife and homemaker, pro-family and pro-defense ideal, to feminist ideals and values.  Her style often offended readers across the political spectrum, but some critics acknowledged that her arguments made sense. Eventually the women’s movement became less insensitive to her position. Ultimately, the ratification period for the amendment expired in June 1982.

For thirty years Schlafly fought for her cause and her opponents found her to be an incredibly fierce and capable fighter for her views. She did this while raising a family, writing books, newspaper columns, and appearing on a weekly radio talk show focusing on education. She remained a spokeswoman for conservative causes, presenting her views on day care, comparable worth, and the Family Medical Leave Act to the U.S. Congress. She even weathered through attempts to discredit her family-values message, when the news media reported in 1992 that her son was a homosexual. Still, she was voted Illinois Mother of the Year that same year. 

Both Smith and Schlafly were pioneers in women’s participation in the public and civil arena during the post war era. Yet despite the nearly 30 years between their births, both women had similar experiences with their foray into the political world and the anti-communist movement. Because of their access to their spouse’s political power, Smith and Schlafly were able to affect change for women at a higher level than most, but others still contributed through simple every day efforts of their domestic lives.

Shifting social norms quickly altered the notion of domesticity. In the middle of the daily grind of household duties, many postwar wives and mothers were frustrated by their lack of professional fulfillment. Betty Friedan identified this frustration as “the problem with no name” in her landmark book The Feminine Mystique (1963). The book’s popularity spoke to Friedan’s connection to feeling discontentment. Women who came into adulthood in the 1960s were determined to make their lives less restricted than their mothers. As a result, the women’s rights movement and the sexual revolution of the 1960s challenged many of the traditional notions of motherhood and marital relationships.[6]  Many young women rejected the sexual conventions of their parents’ generation. Open discussion of sexuality and cohabitation outside marriage became more socially accepted. As birth control became more widely available, women exercised greater control over when or if they would have children, and in the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, the Supreme Court upheld on the grounds of privacy a woman’s constitutional right to terminate her pregnancy.

Friedman’s book became an instant best seller because women identified with her argument that both women and men found personal identity and fulfillment through their careers. Without this growth, she states, for women at least they would remain unhappy and unfulfilled leading to an unhappy home life for all.[7]  The struggle for women to find place and purpose in the middle Cold War era was further explored by historians who examined how post-war mass culture – such as magazines portrayed the domestic ideal of the housewife alongside the nondomestic activities involving women. Magazines like the Readers Digest and the Negro Digest highlighted stories of women who had rose above their domestic role. For women of color this acknowledgement bridged not only gender issues, but race as well. Ebony Magazine highlighted one such woman, Louise Williams. Louise was not only a wife and mother, but the only black female mechanic at American Airlines.  The magazine reported “”She is a good cook, but an even better mechanic…she was “never a lazy housewife.”[8]  The post-war period and subsequent Cold War years created opportunities for women that brought them out of home and into their communities as wage earners and contributors to the family. Women weren’t just shedding their domestic housewife/mother roles, but adding and balancing career with family.

As thousands of men were deployed overseas, women’s role within society began to shift in response to changing needs. They began to take on new roles in the public sphere, including working in previously male-dominated positions in factories, shipyards, and defense plants. These women are often called the “Rosie the Riveters” of the war. Many women, though, had a vastly different experience from the glamorized woman displayed in wartime propaganda. As the war came to a close, Americans desperately sought normalcy after years of chaos. Normalcy, as many saw it, was the return to traditional gender roles for men and women, and an increased focus on the family. 

The relationship between men and women in the shifting realities of the postwar world, was challenged by what was considered appropriate for each with regard to sexuality and gender.  During this time the Kinsey Report on Human Sexuality was published and it created an upheaval in the anticommunist ideal of the heterosexual nuclear family. Kinsey published two reports; the first in 1948 was entitled Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, followed by Sexual Behavior in the Human Female in 1953. Each report was based on extensive interviews with thousands of American men and women, and presented an abundance of statistics about their sexual behavior. The report was thorough and included information on virtually every imaginable sexual statistic including incidence of homosexuality and lesbianism. The reports came at time when Americans were clinging to traditional beliefs that sexual intercourse should only take place within the confines of marriage and only between man and woman.

During this time, the government was also attempting to purge gay and lesbian individuals from holding any political office as it was a general belief that homosexuality would weaken national strength and ability to fight communism. This belief came out of Philip Wylie’s theory that homosexuality was caused by mothers raising boys to be weak physically and mentally- therefore making them easy targets for the temptations of communism. “Sexual perverts” were investigated and outed by the FBI which is what drove many into unnatural relationships to hide their true selves and led to the creation of the ‘closet’ homosexual. The term ‘momisms’ was also coined at this time. This was the theory that women who ignored their husbands drove them to infidelity, and women who ignored their children, raised criminals, or women whose sons were overindulged, developed into weak, effeminate men who would succumb to communist ploys.

  As the government was working to weed out anyone viewed as a potential threat to national strength, the baby boom of the mid-late 1940’s was occurring.  Birth rates rose in all social groups regardless of race, ethnicity and class.  Pop culture belief was that motherhood was the route to fulfillment of female sexuality and the primary source of a woman’s identity[9]. However by the end of the boom in the mid 1950’s, the push to conform to responsible family planning and the dissemination of contraception and contraceptive information by physicians was passing legislation in most all states.  Contraceptives were endorsed as a means of strengthening the family unit and responsibly spacing childbirth. Sexual and reproductive freedom provided more options for women, who previously chose either a career or marriage. By the 1970s, many marriages involved two careers, as both the husband and the wife worked and increasingly shared familial duties, accelerating a trend already well underway in the post–World War II period. These responsibilities added stress to family life. The divorce rate rose, and the phenomenon of the single, working mother became more commonplace.  Yet, throughout this period, more young women pursued careers in traditionally male-dominated fields, such as law, medicine, and business, loosening their bonds to the domestic ideal of a homebound life and shifting the course for a new generation of women in state and national politics.

Throughout the course of the post-war period, primarily between 1947 and the middle 1960’s women struggled to construct their own identities outside of the normal expectations of housewife and mother. Many Americans saw family as the strongest bond in the fight against communism, and women especially, took upon themselves the mission to combat communism on the homefront. After World War II, America was obsessed with family life and traditional gender roles. This obsession grew further during the Cold War as the traditional domestic roles of women were challenged.  Women were merging their domesticity with work outside of the home.

Through their activism, women found their voice. They used their positions as housewives and mothers to gain support of other housewives and mothers, and broke down the stereotype that women were ignorant to political issues and foreign policy. Both Phyllis Schlafly and Margaret Chase Smith showed that women could juggle families, husbands, and political work, and that women could have an impact on the political process. Anticommunism was traditionally recognized as a male fought crusade. Women who identified as anticommunist crusaders weakened the stereotype of normalized female behavior during the post-war era.  They encouraged women to get involved in local politics and where communism was concerned, there could be no compromise.

The traditional story of the postwar years has historically left out, slighted, and misinterpreted the contributions made by women during this period. The fact is that women were central to the anticommunist movement. In contrast to public perception that women were only interested in home and family, these crusaders wrote and spoke with great intelligence on foreign policy and were unafraid to challenge the government when the situation arose. The activism of women in the 40’s and 50’s provided a bridge for social and political change linking earlier generations of women  activists to those involved in the social movements of the 60’s. This is important because it had created the foundation for women’s social reform efforts that younger generations could build upon.


Brennan, Mary C. Wives, Mothers, and the Red Menace: Conservative Women and the Crusade against Communism. Boulder, Colo: Univ. Press of Colorado, 2008.

Critchlow, Donald T. Phyllis Schlafly and Grassroots Conservatism: A Woman’s Crusade. Politics and Society in Twentieth-Century America. Princeton, NJ Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2005.

Meyerowitz, Joanne J., ed. Not June Cleaver: Women and Gender in Postwar America, 1945 – 1960. Critical Perspectives on the Past. Philadelphia: Temple Univ. Press, 1994.

Nielsen, Kim E. Un-American Womanhood: Antiradicalism, Antifeminism, and the First Red Scare. Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2001.

“Oral History Excerpt | Ruth Young Watt on Her Role with the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.” U.S. Senate: Contacting the Senate Search. July 20, 2018. Accessed November 30, 2018.

Sherman, Janann. No Place for a Woman: A Life of Senator Margaret Chase Smith. Rutgers Series on Women and Politics. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2000.

“The Minute Women of the U.S.A., Inc. Newsletter, Number 11,” Panama Collection, February/March 1956,, accessed November 30, 2018,

[1] Mary C. Brennan, Wives, Mothers, and the Red Menace: Conservative Women and the Crusade against Communism (Boulder (Colo.): University Press of Colorado, 2008) 32.

[2]“The Minute Women of the U.S.A., Inc. Newsletter, Number 11.” Panama Collection.

[3] Mary C. Brennan, Wives, Mothers, and the Red Menace: Conservative Women and the Crusade against Communism (Boulder (Colo.): University Press of Colorado, 2008) 116.

[4] “Margaret Chase Smith: Declaration of Conscience.” Top 100 Speeches of the 20th Century – American Rhetoric. Accessed November 29, 2018.

[5] Donald T.  Critchlow.  Phyllis Schlafly and Grassroots Conservatism: A Woman’s Crusade. Politics and Society in Twentieth-Century America. Princeton, NJ Oxford (2005) 59

[6] Betty Friedan, the Feminine Mystique (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2013), 22.

[7] Joanne J. Meyerowitz, Not June Cleaver: Women and Gender in Postwar America, 1945-1960 (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2006), 230.

[8] “Lady Plane Mechanic,” Ebony, January 10, 1948.

[9] Elaine Tyler May, Homeward Bound: American Families in the Cold War Era (New York, NY: Basic Books, 2017), 135.

A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America

A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail
A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail, a novel by Bill Bryson takes you through the journey of a man looking to connect with more then just his local environment, but explore nature and go where many do not dare to go. Although Bryson does not touch every single mile he wishes to, at the end of his journey he fulfills more then ever imagined.

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Bryson creates a sense of place in a variety of different ways. Bryson’s feelings towards his preparations for the Appalachian Trail give us a better understanding of the sense of place. “Are you saying, Dave, that I pay $250 for a pack and it doesn’t have straps and it isn’t water proof? Does it have a bottom in it?” (Bryce, 10). Bryce heads to his local sporting goods store to talk with an expert on the trail. Dave Mengle tells Bryce he must purchase sleeping bags, boots, tents, thermal clothing, cook sets, and packs. We can infer that the trail is not simple and requires previous preparation in order to assure ones safety. Bryce begins to realize that this task may not be as easy as he thought and must prepare for any dangerous encounters he may face with nature.
We get a more clear view of the sense of place and began to see the surroundings that Bryce encounters when they enter what seems to be his favorite part of the trip so far, the Shenandoah National Park. He enjoys the lively scenery which includes grouse, deer, owls, and turkeys. Not to mention the easier terrain, this being their favorite part. However, not every animal encounter is pleasant. Bryson remarks, “I think I have a right to be a trifle alarmed, pardon me. I’m in the woods, in the middle of nowhere, in the dark, staring at a bear, with a guy who has nothing to defend himself with but a pair of nail clippers.” (Bryson, 142). Bryson becomes fearful when he hears an animal in their cam, but this quickly fades when he realizes that the bear only wishes to drink from a nearby stream.
As Bryson says, “It was a miracle, I swear to God. Just when I was about to lie down and give myself to the wolves and bobcats, I look up and there’s a white blaze on a tree and I look down and I’m standing on the AT.” (Bryson, p. 266) We can conclude that towards the end of the novel a final connection was made between Bryson and Mother Nature. Although Bryson didn’t complete every step of the 2,200-mile trail he realized that this is not necessary in order to get the fulfillment he desired before seen starting his journey through the Appalachian Trail.
First, Bryson demonstrates human-environment interaction when he must quickly learn to adapt to his environment and knows that this is necessary in order for him to begin his hike down the Appalachian Trail. One of the more clear themes is location of the story which takes place on the Appalachian Trail. The “AT” is a marked hiking trail in the eastern United States, extending between Springer Mountain in Georgia and Mount Katahdin in Maine. Bryson’s new location to Hanover, New Hampshire gives him the urge to begin traveling the trail after coming across part of the trail. There were many landmarks throughout Bryson’s journey to demonstrate place. Springer Mountain is the southern trailhead of the AT. Amicalola Falls Lodge is seven miles from their starting point at Springer Mountain in northern Georgia. While they are still in northern Georgia, the trail takes Bryson and Katz over a narrow ledge along Big Butt Mountain. Finally, Bishop Boarding House welcomes Bryson and Katz as they emerge from the Maine woods. Mrs. Bishop assures them that the woods will still be there if they decide to try again.

The Cults In America Religion Essay

There are so many cults in America that there is no room to mention all of them. It is just enough to mention that America has more cults than genuine churches that preach the truth. The country has actually been inundated with so many false religions that majorly concentrated on domestic church planting. According to Zuckerman (2003), the countries population has increased by a third within a short period of time and the greatest number of the increased population comes from immigrants if not their decedents. These people have come along with so many religions such of which cannot be really described on what they are really after. One such religion is scientologist religion. This paper gives a discussion on the scientologist religion as a cult in America.

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Scientologist religion was founded in 1953 by an author by the name L.Ron Hubbard who claimed to have the power to clear people of unhappiness, trauma, and ethical transgression and make them reach a state of complete control or ‘Operating Thetan’. Hibbard, was born in 1911 in Nebraska and took part in the World War II as a member of the US Navy. He however later made complaints of the administration of the Veterans about what he claimed to be a seriously affected mind and some suicidal inclinations (Zuckerman, 2003). Nevertheless he was also a moderately successful writer, part filmmaker, and part story teller. After some time outside the Navy, some of the church brochures falsely described him to be an extensively decorated hero of World War II who was unfortunately blinded and crippled while at work just to make people attracted to the cult. Hubbard was in fact pronounced dead on two different occasions after which he was said to have been miraculously resurrected by the power of Scientologist religion. The doctorate that he claimed to have received from Sequoia University was only but some fake male order degree. In one case where the cult sued one researcher looking into the Hubbard’s biography, the judge made a ruling that Hubbard was only but a pathological liar.
In reality this religion is actually a huge global racket which survives by tearing its followers in a Mafia-like behavior. In the past decade, there was a time when its prosecution seemed to be cutting down on its menace. Zuckerman (2003) argues that there were eleven top leaders of the religion including even the founder’s wife who were actually sent to prison some times back in the early 1980s. They were charged for burglarizing, infiltrating and wiretapping several government and private agencies to tray and prevent their investigations from going on.
In the recent past, hundreds of long term followers of Scientology religion, most of who claimed to have been physically or mentally abused made up their minds and decided to quit the church and even went ahead and criticized the kind of work the church was involved in. Some even sued the church on several occasions and won: the church has compensated some of them to a value of $500,000. In a number of times, judges have labeled the religion as paranoid individual and dangerous because you could never tell what he might be thinking of. West & Maclean (1999) state that despite all these outrage and litigation, Scientology has not been stopped. It boasts of about 700 centers in a total of 65 countries and even threatens to become pervasive and insidious than ever.
Scientologist religion has been said to be working on going mainstream but this strategy has drawn so much criticism and even drawn a renewed law that enforces campaign against it. Most of its followers have been accused of committing a number of financial crimes as the church is busy on the other side trying to attract the unwary using a number of front groups in ways like publishing, healthcare, remedial education and even consultation. One of the group sacred texts was written by this same founder in 1950. In the first part of the book, he uses a crude psychotherapeutic skill which he refers to as auditing (West & Maclean, 1999). He also made up a simplified lie detector which he referred to as an E meter. This technique was apparently supposed to measure electronic changes within the skin of a human being while subjects made discussions about intimate details about their past. It is the same E-meter technique that he used to hold counseling sessions where he claimed to be in apposition to cure blindness, and wash away their sorrows in addition to improving their appearance and intelligence.
As West & Maclean (1999) put it, n Hollywood, the religion has attracted so many stars as their followers by recruiting most of them aggressively and regally pumping most of them at its Celebrity centers. This is actually a collection of clubhouses which offer very expensive counseling together with career guidance. Some of the celebrity followers include people like John Travolta, Tom Cruise, actresses like Mimi Rogers, Kirstie Alley and Anne Archer. Others include Palm Spring mayor Sonny Bono, Nancy Cartwright, Bat Simpson among many more.
According to Dawson (2006) the Cult Awareness Network revels that there is no other group that prompts a great number of telephone pleas like Scientology. Cynthia Kisser, the network’s executive director, Chicago branch even describes Scientology to be the most ruthless and terroristic cult in America. She adds that there is no cult that extracts more money the same way Scientology does. A former six key leader of the church, Vicki Aznaran also agrees with this fact and claims that its one of the reason he left it. He even goes ahead to call it a criminal group in all its spheres.
There was a time when TIME conducted a research to find out the reach of Scientology by interviewing over 150 people and reviewing several court records related to it. It was very evident that the church officials did not want to be interviewed and they completely stood their ground. This investigation gives an impression that the religion is a depraved but still thriving enterprise making so much money than most of the most profitable business organizations. While most cults do not succeed to outlast their founder, Scientology has prospered by a great margin since the death of Hubbard’s that occurred in 1986 (West & Maclean, 1999).
One of the court filings describes the church as being a church of spiritual technology. Record has it that it made an income of $503 million within the first year of his death. Most of the defectors explain that the original organization has stashed millions of dollars amounting to $400 in foreign accounts in places such as Cyprus, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein (Dawson, 2006). The religion is estimated to have about 50,000 active members which is less that the 8 million that it claims to have. However, this figure might ring true because so many people have been affected by the group either directly or directly.
At present, the group’s leader is David Miscavige, who is only about 31 years of age. To make matters worse, he is even said to be a high school drop out. Some of the defectors describe him as a ruthless cunning and paranoid individual that he even covered his glass of water with a plastic wrap because he is scared of his enemies. His main obsession is to obtain credibility for the group within the 21 century. Dawson (2006) also adds that the group also has other tactics that helps it in its operations with examples being the public relation powerhouse Hill that is aimed at helping the church to get rid of the negativity that it has been associated with. It also joined the group of household names like Pepsi and Sony in sponsoring Ted Turner’s Goodwill Games also in an attempt to shade the negative image that it has been associated with.
You can never miss, full page advertisements of the group in some of the common publications like Business Week and Newsweek. Such ads normally refer to the religion as a “philosophy”. It also supplements these ads with a couple of TV adverts which tout various books published by the group. One strategy that has definitely kept the group in the line light is its recruitment of respectable and wealth professionals through a number of consulting groups that normally hind their ties to the group but in real sense they carry the agenda of Scientology. These groups normally come in the name of charitable groups or career advisory groups and attract the respectable professionals as support people. In the long run, these people find themselves advocating for the values and agendas of Scientologist religion (Dawson, 2006).
Currently the religion makes costly investments in new services with the passion of its founder. Its doctrines also warn that even followers who have been cleared of any engrams still face huge spiritual dangers if they are not pushed to a greater and more expensive level. Psychiatrists claims that these sessions have the potential of producing a drugged-like euphoria controlled by the mind that can keep its customers coming back each and every time to get more of the sessions and its teachings (Zuckerman, 2003). New comers can also earn commissions for every new member they recruit so that they could use this commission to pay for their fees. All this is done with the aim of either joining the church staff or becoming auditors themselves. Such promises would therefore keep people coming back as they bring in new members.
According to Becker (2008), one victim of such a business of selling religion was one Harriet Baker. This is an old lady whose husband died of cancer while she was at 73 years old. A member of the Scientologist religion turned up at he home in Lost Angeles with a $1,300 auditing package that he claimed would cure her grief. After $15,000, the Scientologists realized that Baker’s house was debt free. It is after this that they came up with a plan for a $45,000 mortgage. They lured her and gave her so much pressure to tap more of their auditing to a point where she was to be assisted by her children to get out of the shock. When she came to demand for $27,000 refund for the services she did not use, she never received even a single cent of what she wanted. She had no option other than sell her house.
Another victim was Noah Lottick who even decided to take his life because of the influence he got from this group. He had paid over $5000 towards church counseling. Close relatives and friends say that his behavior had also changed to the worse. He even told mentioned to his parents the idea that mentors of Scientologist religion had the powers to read minds. It is because of the kind of brain washing he had received from the group that he did not agree to the fact that his father had been affected by a major heart attack. According to him, this was purely psychosomatic. Some five days before he took his life, he burst into their home as demanded an explanation from the parents on why they were spreading some false rumors concerning him (Becker, 2008). This even made his father to call for a psychiatrist because he was certain that something was wrong with his son. It was however too late because he had committed suicide soon after. One fanny thing is that no member of the cult bothered to show up. They did not even return the money that he had paid for services he did not receive. In fact the story changed and stated that he had given the $3,000 as a donation which is therefore not supposed to be returned. A genuine church cannot do such as thing.
Becker (2008) is also of the view that there are several goods and services that the church has invented in to lure its members to make more donations. For instance, they charge reviewing of cases of members who have failed to move up the ‘the Bridge” for what they term as only $1,250 in form of donation. To lure the richer people and gain more influence, Scientologist religion has also developed a variety of strategies and groups to make money and gain more members. Some of these groups include:
The group’s Sterling Management Systems that was created in 1983 has been said to be one of the fastest growing private companies in America. It regularly mails one free newspaper at a time to over 300,000 professionals in health care, most of them being dentists. These newsletters promise the professionals of the fact that they will be able to make increased incomes in their jobs. There are also a number of seminars offered by the firm which cost about $10,000. The main strategy here is to attract more customers to Scientologist religion (Becker, 2008).
Public influence
According to Slack (2008) the Way to Public foundation is one front which has distributed over 3.5 million copies of a booklet that was written by Hubbard to children in various national schools. This scheme is a dissemination project that is even attempting to come up with tutorial programs mostly in primary schools that have more children from the minority groups in America. There is also plans to set up 1,000 acres of land on which it will contract a campus to educate the public on various methods approved by Hubbard. One group known as the “Citizens Commission on Human Rights” is an affiliate group to the Scientologist religion and it’s at war with psychiatry which is its major competitor.
Health care
HealthMed is a chain of clinics that belongs to Scientology religion and promotes a demanding system of exercise, saunas, and vitamins which were actually designed by the founder of the movement in the name of purifying the human body. Most experts however denounce this regime as potentially harmful and yet HealthMed has gone a head and solicited various agencies for contracts. The group also argues that common foods are dangerous to the body (Slack, 2008).
Drug treatment
Narconon is a chain of rehabilitation centers for drug and alcohol addicts. Some of the centers have also been set up in different prisons in different countries. Facilities located in prisons go by the name Criminon. This is a very classical method that is used by Scientologist religion to draw drug and alcohol addicts into joining the group (Slack, 2008). It even has a plan to set up what it refers to as one of the largest treatment centers in the world with a capacity of 1,400 beds. This is only but an avenue to recruit more members.
Financial scams
In a case accusing there Florida Scientologist, of using the famous rare coin dealership against the law as a money laundry, they all pleaded guilty of the offense. As Slack (2008) puts it, there are some other financial scams that the group has been involved include staging plant operatives in world financial bodies such as the IMF and the World Bank including even the Export-Import Bank. These are actually high level deals that are bound to make high returns. What makes it even worse is that they are conducted at the top level or international levels.
From its website, the religion defines Scientology as the study of truth. This idea is even supported by one of their celebrity members, Tom Cruise in his video that claims that being a Scientologist makes one to see things the in the right manner. Scientology also teaches its members that human beings are immortal and they did not originate from the earth as other religions might say. Its through their process of auditing that salvation is achieved. Generally, this is a very expensive religion to take part in considering that offerings and donations are so expensive. New members have to also keep attracting more people for them to earn commissions. No church should force people to make offerings and this is one of the many reasons that Scientologist is a cult. Its main purpose seems to be making profits judging from various financial scams it’s involved in.

Homegrown Radicalisation and Counter-Radicalisation in Western Europe and North America

The Radicalisation of Mohammed Siddique Khan


“I am directly responsible for protecting and avenging my Muslim brothers and sisters.”[1] This essay demonstrates how a former youth worker who as a child called himself ‘Sid’ and dreamed of living in America became the ringleader of Britain’s worst terror attack. It first defines terrorism and radicalisation, before outlining Wiktorowicz’s theory of radicalisation. Applying it to Khan’s life, the essay demonstrates Khan’s failure to relate to either his parents or Western society laid the foundations for a cognitive opening. He then sought religion through the ‘Mullah Boys’ and Abdullah el-Faisal, instigating frame alignment. As Khan adopted the views of the movement, he narrowed his social networks to other extremists at his local gym, youth centre and the Iqra Bookshop. This cemented cognitive radicalisation and facilitated the transition to behavioural radicalisation. By November 2004, Khan was ready to die for his beliefs, fulfilling his wishes in July 2005. It concludes his decision to carry out a suicide attack could be understood as rational insofar as martyrdom had become immutably linked to his perception of self-interest, with the act of terror thus a way of ensuring salvation in the afterlife.

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Defining terrorism and radicalisation

This work used the European Union’s 2002 definition of terrorism as “any action… that is intended to cause death or serious bodily harm to civilians or non-combatants, when the purpose of such act, by its nature and context, is to intimidate a population, or to compel a Government or an international organization to do or to abstain from doing any act”.[2] Radicalisation refers to “changes in attitude that lead towards sanctioning and, ultimately, the involvement in the use of violence for a political aim.”[3] Within radicalisation, there is a broad distinction between cognitive and behavioural radicalisation. The former refers to the adoption of extremist beliefs, and the latter refers to participating in extremist activities.[4] While the relationship between the two is disputed, the essay presumes causality between cognitive and behavioural processes as “it is impossible to separate political beliefs from political action”.[5] The cognitive/behavioural distinction also allows the essay to break down Khan’s life into phases located in theoretical contexts. The essay now outlines Wiktorowicz’s framework of radicalisation.

Wiktorowicz’s Model of Joining Extremist Groups

Wiktorowicz highlights four steps of radicalisation; a cognitive opening, a search for religion, frame alignment and socialisation. A cognitive opening is an event that “shakes certitude in previously accepted beliefs”.[6] Second-generation Muslims such as Khan can struggle to maintain a hybrid identity of being a Westerner and Muslim, relating to neither their parent’s teaching of Islam nor native society. Politically-conscious younger Muslims “want to understand the relationship between religion and politics, something their parents typically avoid”.[7] This generational clash can thus spark a cognitive opening and move towards radicalism as it provides a way of rebelling against both identities, speaking to perceptions of “rootlessness, cultural and social displacement and consequent hybridisation of their identities”.[8]

The second stage sees an individual search for religion to answer existential questions of belonging and identity. Given many younger westernised Muslims like Khan lack the knowledge to scrutinise varying theological viewpoints, they search for a “religious commodity that seems ‘good enough’ to fit the consumption needs of the individual”.[9]  Individuals do not search for “objective religious truth and are instead heavily influenced by whether the argument makes sense and is persuasive”.[10] As such, movements often revolve around relatable issues in the individual’s immediate life as a gateway to deeper religiosity. This stage applied to Khan as the Mullah Boys tackled the immediate issue of Beeston’s drug problem, providing Khan with a new moral framework to lead his life. It was also an ideological incubator that spurred Khan to seek out Abdullah el-Faisal, a local radical cleric.

 If an individual accepts the Islamist movement’s legitimacy, they reach the third stage of frame alignment; the “convergence between the movement’s narrative and the views of their recruits”.[11] Frame alignment’s dependence upon clerical authority reflects the problem with decentralised sacred authority in Sunni Islam, resulting in subjective criteria for authority and radical clerics claiming equal legitimacy through force of personality.[12] This was relevant as Khan’s poor grasp of Islam meant the fiery rhetoric of Abdullah el-Faisal acted as a heuristic for the cleric’s authority.[13] He also visited Abu Hamza’s Finsbury Park Mosque.[14] Acceptance of the movement’s views leads to the fourth stage of socialisation, believing “the movement does not only represent the truth, but that he or she has a personal obligation and responsibility to become active.”[15] Barriers to behavioural radicalisation are removed by changing “understandings of self-interest…that facilitates progression to risky activism.”[16] Khan’s socialisation process took place at gyms, the Hamara Youth Access Point (HYAP) and the Iqra Bookshop. As he bonded with Shehzad Tanweer and Hassib Hussain (two of the other bombers), self-interested became aligned with martyrdom. When like-minded radicals socialise together, the process is amplified as extreme views are disproportionately influential, causing other opinions to radicalise in a process of ideological one-upmanship, driving the average view towards the extreme.[17] The essay now applies this conceptual framework to Khan’s life, beginning with his childhood struggles with hybrid identities.

Khan’s Childhood and Adolescence

Khan’s early years demonstrated he failed to subscribe to either Western society or his parent’s Barelvi sect of Islam. His local mosque delivered sermons in Urdu, but Khan’s Urdu was poor, struggling to relate to the first-generation’s obsession with “ritual and tradition, devoid of political import…concerned with creating microcosms of their home country”.[18] He was an archetypical example of the French sociological diagnosis of an individual caught between the ‘individualisation and value relativism’ of Western society, yet sufficiently Westernised to deviate from the traditionalist Islam of his parents and Hardy Street Mosque.[19] In an attempt to westernise his own identity, he referred to himself as Sid and often smoked.[20] Someone who knew him remarked “you’d never really know what religion he was”.[21] He was occasionally bullied but it is unclear whether this was racially motivated.[22]

A shorter-term trigger for Khan’s cognitive opening was relative deprivation; in 1997, he attended a protest arranged by a local Kashmiri group against Leeds City Council.[23] He, along with other younger Muslims also resented the unwillingness by local elders to tackle Beeston’s drug problem, creating a space from which a vigilante drug cleansing squad known as the ‘Mullah Boys’ arose. It provided evidence of the older generation’s inability provide a form of Islam as “as it applies to social and political issues”.[24] Other factors likely played a role, with the Independent noting he was arrested in 1986 and 1993.[25]  Thus by Khan’s mid-20s, he had experienced a cognitive opening driven by longer term struggles with hybrid identities and shorter-term resentment at local social problems. It sparked a search for religion, moving to the Mullah Boys and then Wahhabism.

The Mullah Boys and radical clerics

Given Khan’s cognitive opening was driven by identity issues and relative deprivation, he settled upon the Mullah Boys as the chosen religious commodity as they provided a fixed value framework, alternative social networks, an outlet to vent frustration and a cause. This spoke to his internal discontent. Community elders were initially positive, but their unhappiness at the group marrying girls of their choice further highlighted the internal Pakistani community’s generational clash. The boys became pariahs, cementing Khan’s increasing religiosity as “the social reality value of a group is strong when members are cut off”.[26] This moved Khan’s religious-seeking phase beyond a casual, group-based approach and he, along with other members officially converted to Wahhabism. Having grown up in a secularised environment, the ultra-conservative Wahhabism was attractive as sermons were delivered in English, and it offered Khan a “satisfactory system of religious meaning”.[27] Group conversions to Wahhabism corresponded with Wiktorowicz’s account of group religious-seeking, which “increases the social dimensions of the activism…intertwining religious and friendship networks to produce high levels of intragroup trust.[28]

Through his conversion to Wahhabism, Khan met Abdullah el-Faisal (a local radical cleric) in 1999, whose status as a fiery preacher gave him authority, allowing him to “facilitate message receptivity and can generate powerful emotive connections between scholars and their followers”.[29] An individual close to el-Faisal labelled him “very, very radical…an eccentric mix of vitriolic and bizarre”.[30] Faisal had the ability to “accurately apply the immutable religious sources to dynamic contemporary conditions.”[31] Yet this reflected the problem with Sunni Islam’s decentralised sacred authority, giving radical voices false credibility in the eyes of disillusioned individuals if they are charismatic and offer an attractive narrative.

A second contributor was Khan’s relationship and later marriage in 2001 to an Indian Muslim from the Deobandi sect. The Khans sent their spiritual priest to Khan, but he rejected the priest’s advice. They made a final attempt to persuade him by moving to Nottingham in 2001, but he refused to move, demonstrating an individual rejecting his old identity and customs.[32] The narrowing of Khan’s social networks amplified frame alignment, giving him an alternative identity and social network, amplifying his identification with a de-territorialised community of Muslims around the world (the Ummah). This put him on the ideological conveyor belt to retaliation. He then spent his final five years socialising with other extremists, consolidating ideological commitment and removing barriers towards high-risk activism.

Socialisation with extremists

Now that Khan had accepted the key tenets of the Islamist movement, he embarked upon ideological culturing to transition from cognitive to behavioural radicalisation. Jihadism offered “a blueprint or template about how Muslims should behave to ensure salvation on Judgment Day…posting self-interest on salvation…contingent on fulfilling all the divine duties of activism.”[33] Socialisation included his work at the Hamara Youth Access Point to rekindle his childhood friendship with Shehzad Tanweer and meet Hassib Hussain, with the three regularly playing football together.[34] This is consistent with Wiktorowicz’s assertion prior relationships are central in building and cementing radical networks. Outside work, Khan attended in 2001 both a training camp in Pakistan and an expedition organised by Martin McDaid (a fellow extremist) in the Lake District.[35] He was also expelled from his childhood mosque around this time for espousing extremist views.[36]

Through to 2002, he then worked at the Iqra Bookshop, associating with extremists including Khalid Khaliq, Shipon Ullah and Mohammed Shakil.[37] Iqra was a central hub of propaganda, group indoctrination and norm internalisation. Khan and fellow bomber Tanweer reportedly watched videos of an Israeli soldier killing a Palestinian girl, increasing moral shock and frame resonance.[38] Around this time, colleagues noticed he was “more introverted. On a couple of occasions, he showed uncharacteristic intolerance”.[39] Barriers to high-risk activism were being eroded, and by 2003 he was in regular contact with al-Qaeda handler Mohammed Quyyam Khan and members of the plot to blow up Bluewater with a fertiliser bomb, although his role was peripheral.[40] However, he was not planning his own attack, which only commenced in February 2005.[41] The period between 2001 and 2003 amplified out-group hate and increased his identification with the extremist community, moving to the logical conclusion of behavioural radicalisation (indiscriminate violence on behalf of oppressed Muslims).[42]

Preparation for Martyrdom

Khan’s dismissal from Hillside Primary School in November 2004 left his entire life dedicated to Islamist activism, amplifying behavioural radicalisation. In November 2004 he travelled to Pakistan to die, recording a goodbye video stating his actions were “for the sake of Islam…not for materialistic or worldly benefits”.[43] In Pakistan he met Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi (an al-Qaeda commander), who ordered them to return and commit a terror attack.[44] They returned in February 2005, going on outdoor expeditions such as paintballing and rafting.[45] This maximised in-group love, group identity and cemented the collective commitment to carrying out a terrorist attack, which they later did on 7 July 2005, killing 52 people. Khan’s martyrdom video demonstrates evidence of Wiktorowicz’s radicalisation process in three ways. Firstly, he stated “our driving motivation doesn’t come from tangible commodities that this world has to offer”.[46] It affirms Wiktorowicz’s view individuals participate in costly behaviour to ensure salvation in the afterlife, making it rational insofar as salvation in the afterlife becomes central to self-interest. Second, Khan argued scholars are “content with their Toyotas and semi-detached houses. They seem to think that their responsibilities lie in pleasing the kufr instead of Allah… leave the job to the real men, the true inheritors of the prophets”.[47] This is evidence of Wiktorowicz’s argument second-generation Muslims struggle to relate to their parents and imams, viewing them as Western sell-outs who do not practise the ‘true Islam’. Thirdly, socialisation had resulted in dehumanisation, claiming Western populations were “directly responsible, just as I am directly responsible for protecting and avenging my Muslim brothers and sisters”.[48] This was the cognitive bedrock of indiscriminate violence.


In conclusion, Mohammed Siddique Khan’s radicalisation is best understood in four phases; childhood and adolescence, association with the Mullah Boys and el-Faisal and socialisation with fellow extremists and preparing for martyrdom. As a child and teenager, he related to neither his parent’s teaching of Islam nor Western society. The shorter-term trigger for Khan’s religious-seeking phase was unhappiness at Beeston’s drugs problems, providing further evidence of Wiktorowicz’s notion of a generational clash. This brought him into contact with the Mullah Boys, who served as an ideological springboard for Khan’s conversion to Wahhabism. Through this he became associated with Abdullah el-Faisal who instigated frame alignment. By early 2001, Khan had attended a terrorist training camp in Pakistan, indicating behavioural radicalisation was underway, but not to the point of dying for the cause. The rest of his life removed cognitive barriers to suicide terrorism, using HYAP as a recruitment centre and Iqra to cement group norms and moral outrage. He brought Tanweer, Hussain and Jermaine Lindsay together, bolstering group identity and commitment to terrorism. His declaration he was dying in the name of Islam reveals a level of rationality to his violent extremism, perceiving the movement as inherently linked to his self-interest and martyrdom a way of pursuing this. The real risk was potential jeopardization of salvation through inaction.


Aslam, D., Gillan, A. and Laville, S. (2005). ‘Father figure’ inspired young bombers. [online] The Guardian. Available at: [Accessed 20 Nov. 2018].

British Broadcasting Corporation. (2005). London bomber: Text in full. [online] Available at: [Accessed 15 Nov. 2018].

Dalgaard-Nielsen, A., Violent Radicalization in Europe: What We Know and What We Do Not Know, Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 33 (2010) pp797-814.

European Union, Council Framework Decision on Combating Terrorism, 13 June 2002, EU Document 2002/475/JHA.

Goldman, A. and Shane, S. (2017). A Long-Pursued ISIS Preacher Is Finally Charged in New York. [online] The New York Times. Available at: [Accessed 28 Nov. 2018

Herrington, L. (2015). British Islamic extremist terrorism: the declining significance of Al‐Qaeda and Pakistan. International Affairs, 91(1), pp17-35.

Independent. (2015). Profiles of the 4 bombers who killed 52 people in London on 7/7. [online] Available at: [Accessed 19 Nov. 2018].

Intelligence and Security Committee (2009). Could 7/7 have been prevented?. Intelligence and Security Committee, pp.1-97.

International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence (2007). Recruitment and Mobilisation for the Islamist Militant Movement in Europe. London: King’s College London, pp1-63.

Malik, K. (2010). The Making of a British Jihadi. [online] Pandaemonium. Available at: [Accessed 19 Nov. 2018].

McCauley, C. and Moskalenko, S. (2008). Mechanisms of Political Radicalization: Pathways Toward Terrorism. Terrorism and Political Violence, 20(3), pp.415-433.

Nesser, P. (2009). Joining jihadi terrorist cells in Europe. In: R. Manthorp, ed., Understanding violent radicalisation, 1st ed. New York: Understanding violent radicalisation, pp88-110.

New York Police Department (2007). Radicalisation in the West: The Homegrown Threat. New York: New York Police Department, pp.5-87.

Neumann, P. (2009). Transnational Terror Networks. In: P. Neumann, ed., Old and New Terrorism, 1st ed. Cambridge: Malden.

Neumann, P. (2013). The trouble with radicalization. International Affairs, 89(4), pp.873-893.

Pantucci, R. (2010). The Tottenham Ayatollah and The Hook-Handed Cleric: An Examination of All Their Jihadi Children. Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 33(3), pp.226-245.

Report of the Official Account of the Bombings in London on 7th July 2005, p16

Reuters. (2008). 7/7 bomber’s farewell video shown. [online] Available at: [Accessed 20 Nov. 2018].

Royal United Services Institute (2011). Anatomy of a Terror Attack. London: RUSI, pp.1-27.

Wiktorowicz, Q. (2003). Joining the Cause: Al-Muhajiroun and Radical Islam. Rhodes College, pp.1-29.

Wiktorowicz, Q. (2005). Radical Islam Rising: Muslim Extremism in the West. 1st ed. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, p.1.

[1] British Broadcasting Corporation. (2005). London bomber: Text in full. [online] Available at: [Accessed 15 Nov. 2018].

[2] European Union, Council Framework Decision on Combating Terrorism, 13 June 2002, EU Document 2002/475/JHA.

[3] The International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence (2007). Recruitment and Mobilisation for the Islamist Militant Movement in Europe. London: King’s College London.

[4] Neumann, P. (2013). The trouble with radicalization. International Affairs, 89(4), p.873.

[5] Ibid., p879.

[6] Wiktorowicz, Q. (2005). Radical Islam Rising: Muslim Extremism in the West. 1st ed. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, p.1.

[7] Wiktorowicz, op.cit. p13.

[8] Neumann, P. (2009). Transnational Terror Networks. In: P. Neumann, ed., Old and New Terrorism, 1st ed. Cambridge: Malden, p75

[9] Wiktorowicz, Q. (2003). Joining the Cause: Al-Muhajiroun and Radical Islam. Rhodes College, p9.

[10] Ibid.,p10

[11] The International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence, op.cit, p9

[12] Wiktorowicz. op.cit, p23.

[13] Herrington, L. (2015). British Islamic extremist terrorism: the declining significance of Al‐Qaeda and Pakistan. International Affairs, 91(1), p23.

[14] Pantucci, R. (2010). The Tottenham Ayatollah and The Hook-Handed Cleric: An Examination of All Their Jihadi Children. Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 33(3), p236.

[15] Dalgaard-Nielsen, A., Violent Radicalization in Europe: What We Know and What We Do Not Know, Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 33 (2010) p803.

[16] Wiktorowicz. op.cit, p14.

[17] McCauley, C. and Moskalenko, S. (2008). Mechanisms of Political Radicalization: Pathways Toward Terrorism. Terrorism and Political Violence, 20(3), p422.

[18] Wiktorowicz. op.cit, p13

[19] Dalgaard-Nielsen, op.cit, p800.

[20] Malik, S. op.cit.

[21] Malik, K. (2010). The Making of a British Jihadi. [online] Pandaemonium. Available at: [Accessed 19 Nov. 2018].

[22] House of Commons (2005). Report of the Official Account of the Bombings in London on 7th July 2005, p16

[23] Nesser, P. (2009). Joining jihadi terrorist cells in Europe. In: R. Manthorp, ed., Understanding violent radicalisation, 1st ed. New York: Understanding violent radicalisation, p103

[24] Wiktorowicz. op.cit, p13.

[25] The Independent. (2015). Profiles of the 4 bombers who killed 52 people in London on 7/7. [online] Available at: [Accessed 19 Nov. 2018].

[26] McCauley and Moskalenko. op.cit, p423.

[27] Wiktorowicz, op.cit, p17

[28] Ibid., p18.

[29] Ibid., p132

[30] Goldman, A. and Shane, S. (2017). A Long-Pursued ISIS Preacher Is Finally Charged in New York. The New York Times.

[31] Wiktorowicz. op.cit, p132

[32] Malik,S. Op.cit.

[33] Wiktorowicz. op.cit, p152

[34] Aslam, D., Gillan, A. and Laville, S. (2005). ‘Father figure’ inspired young bombers. [online] The Guardian. Available at: [Accessed 20 Nov. 2018].

[35] Royal United Services Institute (2011). Anatomy of a Terror Attack. London: RUSI, p3.

[36] Malik, S. Op.cit.

[37] Royal United Services Institute. op.cit, p11

[38] Nesser, P. op.cit, p104.

[39] House of Commons, op.cit. p14.

[40] Intelligence and Security Committee. op.cit, p53.

[41] Ibid., p27.

[42] McCauley and Moskalenko. op.cit, p428

[43] Reuters. (2008). 7/7 bomber’s farewell video shown. [online] Available at: [Accessed 20 Nov. 2018].

[44] New York Police Department (2007). Radicalisation in the West: The Homegrown Threat. New York: New York Police Department, p48.

[45] House of Commons, op.cit. p16.

[46] British Broadcasting Corporation. op.cit.

[47] Malik, S. Op.cit.

[48] British Broadcasting Corporation. op.cit