The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Saturday May 28th

Letter: ​What’s a better way to combat extremism?


While Dr. Anna Bigelow offers important critiques of the Countering Violent Extremism program, I would love to hear a better strategy for addressing the problems the UNC grant is meant to address.

We have had several incidents in recent years of individuals consuming propaganda put forth by jihadist terrorist organizations and subsequently engaging in attacks not only in the U.S. or Europe, but Muslim majority countries as well.

If you do not believe this propaganda exists, download a copy of the Islamic State’s Dabiq magazine or see if you can find the videos viewed by the attackers in San Bernardino. This Jihadist propaganda exists, and much of it puts forth a narrative aimed at people living in the West.

Admittedly, the number of people who will find this propaganda convincing may number fewer than adherents of the flat earth theory or the inside job 9/11 conspiracy. But the consequences of jihadist propaganda’s success are sufficiently traumatic to, in addition to a modest death toll, get plastered across our media with an uncomfortable frequency and occupy our political discourse.

Challenging extremist narratives is simply something we must attempt, from every angle.

While Dr. Dauber and Dr. Robinson should consider the concerns raised by the community, ACLU and their peers in order to make their program more effective and less offensive, we can not forget that the underlying cause is one we should all support.

Scott Neidich

Class of ’16

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