There’s a right way and a wrong way and it starts by lending a hand to a community that can be marginalized pretty quickly. It’s not about increased police presence or surveillance, it’s about harboring an atmosphere of trust and constant education.
Our community leaders and elected officials need to be harbingers of good. Erecting a pen of constant monitoring will further create distrust and could breed hatred. That hate isn’t coming from the communities at large, but a select group, often via social media and other online channels.
Imagine moving to a county where you don’t know more than a handful of people that speak and read and write the way that you do. You’re naturally drawn to items of comfort, like a McDonalds. For many immigrants, communities are now available online that can skew and sway their way they are thinking.
For some of these young men – and that could be the case with the three Brooklyn men that were arrested after allegedly trying to join ISIL in Syria – it’s a desperate grab at something to relate to.
The money allocated for education needs to be spent wisely. Community and religious leaders should have a large input on how that money is spent. It’s an arduous task for a white Christian from Bayside to tell a mosque-leader in Sheepshead Bay how to educate the community’s youth.
Successful leaders should be tasked with that education, as they themselves are shining examples of how to become a productive and successful part of American society.
It’s easy to try and allow the police to handle any potential problems; after all, the two men that wanted to join ISIL and the man that allegedly helped them broke the law. But more importantly, the community needs to work together to prevent it from happening again.