It seems like, while teams of experts have spent years trying to work out the complex forces that drive extremism, one man has now found the answer.
According to the chairman of the Egyptian State Information Service, Salah Abdel Sadek, classic kids’ animation Tom and Jerry, is at least partially – and somewhat surprisingly – to blame for the rise of Daesh.
Mr Sadek claims the show has desensitised kids to violence so much so that it is partly responsible for the rise of Islamic extremists, reports the Daily Mail.
But don’t dismiss his theory just yet – speaking at a conference at Cairo University, he said:
The cartoon portrays violence in a funny manner and sends the message that ‘yes, I can hit him… and I can blow him up with explosives’.
It becomes set in the mind that this is natural.
What is more, Mr Sadek is not the only one who blames the 1940s cat and mouse duo for the region’s civil wars. Oh no.
After the speech, the privately-owned Youm7 newspaper agreed, even describing in detail how Tom and Jerry encourages terrorism.
According to them, children who grow up watching the show become used to an unequal version of justice in which the mouse is always right.
And if that wasn’t bad enough, they also apparently have ‘sinister plans’ planted into their heads. Terrifying.
Obviously the casually racist undertones of the show are best confined to history, but come on, really?
You have successfully reduced one of the most complex social and cultural issues facing humanity into ‘kids watching cartoons’.
Nice one guys.