Dr. Ronald Klaus began his career as a chemical engineer working in rocket propulsion in the US Space program. After that he taught chemical engineering, computer science, and applied mathematics at the University of Pennsylvania. Still later in his career he became a pastor who led churches in several places. Since 2004 he and his physician wife, Dr. Carolyn, an internist, have been working internationally in education, health, economic, and spiritual development.
In that capacity they have had unusual opportunities to interact with Muslims. In the course of 28 major trips Ronald and Carolyn Klaus have met with Muslim sheikhs, mayors, mosque leaders, scholars, and young people in a variety of contexts. Recently they have had significant conversations with these leaders about Islamic fundamentalism, especially since radicals are increasingly infiltrating their villages. These are not yet affiliated with ISIS, but they still pose a threat. These leaders have described very creative ways they have handled that and defused radical disruptions.
From these conversations Ron and Carolyn Klaus have developed a perspective on terrorism different from much current political rhetoric. “We cannot win this war through bombs and bullets alone, which radicalize more and more soldiers for ISIS. The human and financial costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been huge and their results have been counter-productive. But we have other weapons–propaganda, humanitarian relief, and the empowering of moderates—which can make a difference.” They counsel not to let fear goad Americans into irrational and ineffective responses that will make things worse.