One of the advantages of being older is that we have actually lived through quite a bit of recent history and can put modern developments into perspective. Today we are all concerned at the way young men in particular are drawn into militant movements.
Have we all forgotten how we behaved as we moved from childhood into the bigger world? This is a time when this age group question what they see around them and want to join groups that they feel will change the world. They have not yet developed the necessary judgement skills to know whether this is for better or worse. We need to recognise this phenomena at this age and try to channel it into something which will make the world a better place.
When I went through that phase Billy Graham was trying to conquer the world for Christianity and I tried to follow his example. As I matured I became aware of the hypocracy of those following this faith and I left it. The current inquiry into child abuse by members of the church makes me realise that I was not aware of the depth of the problem. What I have noticed in the decades since is that you rarely hear leaders from this branch of the church mention the name of Jesus Christ yet he is the one whose teachings they purport to follow. Is it any wonder they are deviating even further from the Christian path today?
What of the Islamic faith? I can only view this as an outsider. They seem to have as many different factions as the Christians. The fact that they seem to be fighting each other in some areas is no different from the troubles in Ireland in which the fighting between the Catholics and protestants went on for decades, despite the fact that this was against their faith.
What we need to realise is that young people want to change the world. That seems to be part of the development and evolution of mankind. We need to try to channel this into something which will benefit the world and which they can look back on with pride when they are older. Apparently when the Cronulla riots were at their peak the head of the local mosque gathered the young men, members of his congregation, together and told them that fighting was not the Muslim way and they were not to participate. These young men today look back on their restraint with pride. One of them told me this story. We can learn about responsible leadership from this.