Violence and punishment are the order of the day in so many places. From Syria to Ferguson, and a lot of locations in between and beyond, governments and groups and individuals use murder, mayhem, intimidation, and unjust rules and structures to keep people in their place, meaning of course where others think they belong.
The response to all this is often more of the same. It is the old playground “game” of when you are pushed, you push back.
Of course, such response is usually couched in terms of defense. “We have to defend ourselves.” It seems reasonable enough, except that is what the other folks are saying, too.
If everyone exercises their right to defend themselves, who will ever make peace?
A community in Denmark is trying something different, responding to Islamic warriors who return to their home in that northern European nation not with prison and punishment, but with help to live different, and better, lives.
You can read about it here.
Will it work? Is it practical? Will the effects last? All good questions.
But we can be pretty certain that the usual way–responding to violence and acting out with punishment and prison, perhaps even worse–has not not worked yet. If that way had worked, there would be less violence, not more.