The 2016 Prompt of the International Youth Platform of the Gűlen Institute of Houston, Texas.
Extremism: There are many ways extreme behaviors contribute to creating unsafe conditions for communities and societies. People, especially youth, are attracted to causes and join with others to create violence and destruction. Acknowledging that extremism is both justifiable on occasion and also responsible for considerable harm and disruption in the world, select only one of the following propositions. In two thousand words explore to what degree is extremism is responsible for progress and for disharmony in the world.
1. Education fosters pathways for those who feel alienated to become more moderate in their beliefs and behavior..
2. It isn’t so much ideology that makes someone extreme but rather companionship for mutual goals and, if necessary, mutual sacrifice.
3. To eliminate extremism, society must eliminate injustices that create feelings of alienation.
4. Dispassionate reasoning is not effective in addressing extreme behaviors.
6. The existence of a global village in which there are great disparities in wealth and poverty present serious challenges for eliminating regional and global violence
7. Those who are extremists use emotional appeals to rally others to their cause and to justify their prejudices.
8. At the core of extremism is both cause and comradeship. Without both, there is no cohesion and no possible victories.
9. Without extremists’ united will to action, there would be few eliminations of societal injustices and little social progress.
10. Extremism today isn’t novel but is heightened by media that only recently have had the technological means of recording social injustices and social violence.