can a happy person be radicalized?

At work, we get lunch catered to us and each day a few employees are designated to set up and clean up lunch. As a co-worker and I wiped the table and filled the fork basket, we talked about the recent events in London. Apparently, one of her very good friends works in the building where the attack occurred.⠀

‘Now remind me,’ I asked, ‘Was the attacker a Muslim?’ That’s the first question I ask when I hear of any terrorist attacks. It doesn’t feel good to say this. The only way I can explain is through the story line of Disney’s Zootopia. It’s like seeing your own brother go from a decent, well-natured animal into a savage. You stand there outside the cage looking in and silently ask, ‘What HAPPENED to you?’⠀

At one point, she said, ‘He was born and raised in London. He must have not led a happy life. It is difficult, after all, to radicalize a happy person.’ Few minutes before and after this statement became a blur. ⠀

It is difficult to radicalize a happy person. ⠀

Isn’t it so true? Does it make sense? People especially seek something big and strong to be a part of when they feel the smallest and weakest. It’s a way to find balance. A wrong source to find balance.⠀

How could anyone radicalize someone who… let me say that better… How could anyone BE radicalized when: ⠀ ⠀
they know their purpose,⠀

see meaning in life through the message of Allah,⠀

explore the beauty of this world,⠀

play an active role in their diverse and supportive community,⠀ ⠀
have positive goals and aim for self-improvement,⠀

feel grateful and blessed, ⠀

seek ways to be an asset, ⠀

educate themselves relentlessly with beneficial knowledge, and⠀

maintain a deep relationship with Allah?⠀

A balanced, productive, positive Muslim will have a great sense of belonging wherever they are without a need to take part in extreme causes to be a part of. A worthy cause is to increase the light inside. That’s something to fight for. And if you can increase the lights of others along the way, then even better. Inspiration and ultimately CHANGE through SELF-DEVELOPMENT.

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