Terrorism: the "mind" that can cure a "world full of cruelty"
While Europe is mourning the death of Father Jacques Hamel, who became a symbolic victim of an hospitality necessary but complex, terrorist attacks become daily and affect a West that has an unusual fear, reminiscent, in some ways, of what happened in the ’70, because of the movements that affected the experiences of some countries such as Italy, France, Germany, etc..
Around the world have been recorded by the Global Terrorism Database (GTD) of the University of Maryland (https://www.start.umd.edu/gtd/) 70 433 acts of terrorism in the last 20 years (until January 2016), more than 165,000 unaware victims, 280,000 wounded. More than 3,000 kamikaze attacks. An average of 10 attacks per day. The regions of the world most affected by the terrorists are by far the Middle East and North Africa, which together have been subjected to two-thirds (63%) of the attacks carried out from 1994 to 2013, followed by Southeast Asia and from Sub-Saharan Africa (18%, overall).
To understand the growth of the phenomenon to a worldwide level, just think of numbers related to the years between 2004 and 2013. In nine years, it has gone from 1,159 to about 12,000 attacks. A world scenario, therefore, which should be read in its complexity from the vision of the "common house", in the words of Pope Francis. The terror does not have only one language, it seems to have no single religion, surely to date it does not have a single land and affects everyone and everywhere, especially sinking its roots in poverty and in social injustice, and more recently, especially in the West, in suffering mental.
A recent article by James P. Andres Daniela Pisoiu, (http://www.start.umd.edu/news/mental-illness-and-terrorism) helps us to understand the evolution of terrorism in a key that considers the mental health of the bombers, placing more than a few questions to those who should take care of the common good. The authors of many recent terrorist attacks in the West have experienced major psychological suffering (mostly diagnosed, but untreated). It almost seems that more than being victims of an apparently religious fanaticism, the West in particular (but there are no data available for other parts of the world), are victims of a welfare with steadily reduced resources that do not "cure" the most fragile people, up to create the conditions for a dynamic executioner-victim, of which we know the effects. The WHO's presentation on "Depression: state of the art 2016", made only a few months ago at the Vatican (January 2016), speaks of about 350 million people "sick" of depression in the world. This leads to the death by suicide of at least 1 million people a year in the world, not only as a direct cause of depression, but especially for socio-economic and health conditions. Reading the data helps us to understand that, in the end, it comes to treating a "cruelty sick world" (Pope Francis to Auschwitz), that today seems to have become a victim and victimizer, terrorist and terrorized. The question we ask today is: how to take care of "the terrorist and the terrorized"?
The thought of Viktor Frankl, the Austrian psychiatrist who almost died in Auschwitz, maybe it helps us to understand a possible way: “If it is not in your power to change a situation that creates you pain, you can always come up with the attitude with which face this suffering”. In other words, we can, in the little world of our communities, create conditions to break the invisible chain of "pain and social injustice” that “links terrorist and terrified", promoting paths for building a "common house", that goes back to generate meaning and life.