A new website called Madrid11.net (named, of course, after the terrorist bombings on March 11, 2004) recently came to my attention as a very interesting forum for international discussions about terrorism and democracy. The time is certainly ripe for such a forum, which describes itself as “a major international portal website providing comprehensive links and a regular blog to discussions, events, articles and organisations concerned with democracy, terrorism and security.”

Its goal is to “encourage action – and to defy the terrorists:
* By promoting togetherness using all the energies of the web;
* By suggesting democratic solutions to counter terrorism;
* By debating creative solutions to the world’s most pressing problems.”

One recent article on their website that I found interesting was by Louise Richardson on “The Roots of Terrorism”. The author considers different root causes of terrorism today. She focuses especially on inequality, societal changes and alienation as key factors in terrorist groups’ survival and success. She also points out that terrorist groups depend on community support, usually of the passive variety.

As we reflect on our country’s counterterrorism strategies on the fifth anniversary of September 11th, consideration of the underlying causes of the new global terrorism is crucial. Indeed, Hope Not Hate’s question of “Who are the moderates and how do we engage them?” seems evermore important as we seek to turn the tide the passive community support of terror. Check out Madrid11.net to learn more and join in their interactive discussion and debate!