“The lack of jobs arguably softened the ground for ISIS’ sudden advance. Although a poor economy does not cause violent extremism, it can contribute to the conditions that terrorists can exploit.”
That’s the money quote by Brian J. Grim, President, Religious Freedom & Business Foundation in his new World Economic Forum blog.
Mr. Grim, and many other sociology experts like him, are surely not naïve. They acknowledge that there is a fringe terrorist society beyond the reach of logic and compassion. And that, for recruits, it feeds on disconnected and dissatisfied young adults seeking mission, some kind of “community” and compensated effort.
But Mr. Grim notes that, “Because businesses are at the crossroads of culture, commerce and creativity, they have the resources and incentives to make the world more peaceful.”
His organization and the UN Global Compact have published a set of cases of businesses around the world that are addressing prejudices that feed violent extremism and terrorism.
Not surprisingly, he points out that “the peacemaking potential of business is largely unreported … We need to have a fuller picture of the range, impact and effectiveness of business initiatives to support interfaith understanding and peace … And we need to increase positive incentivisation of ‘double bottom line’ enterprises that do social good and make a profit.”