Editorial, Vol. 1: Terrorism

Editorial Issue #1: Understanding Terrorism

Dear readers,

Finally, the very first issue of 42 is out! The founding team of 42 Magazine and I are very proud to share our new, socio-political interview magazine with you. About a year ago, we, six young women, decided that we could no longer settle for oversimplified explanations of complex, societal developments. At a time, when the globalised world is becoming ever faster and increasingly complicated, we are quick to accept simple answers – even when they are wrong or abridged. Finding profound opposing positions can be quite difficult for the following reasons: On the one hand, they are usually more complex than populist messages. On the other hand, the gap between the scientific world and the broad population has grown. The gap has created an inaccessibility to the broader population to many of the important and useful explanatory models that may solve many of the challenges we face. These models often compete with one another within the ivory tower of academia. Access to the tower is often restricted, often due to the complex nature of the language used in these models. 42 means to close this gap because we think that academia that makes statements about society must be accessible to everyone.  We have asked academics from different fields to be able to give complex, differentiated answers to a topic of social relevance in each issue – without simplifying but with the aim to make important content comprehendible.

We are a European, trilingual magazine, which will publish every six months on currently relevant topics that will be analysed from different angles. As such, the topic we chose for this issue could be none other than terrorism as it allows us to display the catchiness of simple answers perfectly. The simultaneous occurrence of Muslim refugees entering Europe and Islamist terror attacks beguiles many people into drawing shortcut conclusions. Individual groups are too often sweepingly considered as terror suspects. We too lightly split humans up into the roles of victims and villains to simplify the world. 42 wants to serve as a storage medium for good arguments that holds sound information for everyone – with the aim to enable us to debate on the basis of facts. We ask how terrorism functions: How do societies react? Which language do journalists employ when they talk about terrorism? How do states face terrorism? Is there a separation between worldly and religious terrorism?

We asked ten experts to answer those questions from different academic fields: from the historian to the security expert, from the Islam scientist to the psychologist. In doing so, we do not get to examine every academic field or every conflict in the world, as 42 does not want to be an encyclopaedia but point out new and unknown perspectives as well as to unite them in one single publication. We invite you to rethink your opinions – as often as possible.

Yours sincerely,