Who should pre­vent vi­o­lent ex­trem­ism?

Pakistan Observer - - EDITORIALS & COMMENTS -

WHERE ex­actly is the front line against ex­trem­ist vio lence these days? Syria and Iraq? Mosques? Class­rooms? Fam­ily din­ing ta­bles? In one global fo­rum af­ter an­other on ter­ror­ism, that’s a ques­tion many world lead­ers seem to be ask­ing. In April, for ex­am­ple, the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil held a dis­cus­sion that high­lighted dif­fer­ent views on ways to counter “the nar­ra­tives and ide­olo­gies” of ter­ror­ists. In May, at the Group of Seven sum­mit, lead­ers cited “crit­i­cal gaps” in ef­forts against ex­trem­ist vi­o­lence.

De­spite mil­i­tary progress against Al Qaeda and ISIS, the new em­pha­sis is on ways to im­pede rad­i­cal­i­sa­tion, es­pe­cially of young peo­ple. In Jan­uary, UN Sec­re­tary Gen­eral Ban Ki- moon launched a “Plan of Ac­tion to Pre­vent Vi­o­lent Ex­trem­ism.” And the US State De­part­ment has started a “Global En­gage­ment Cen­tre” to work with pri­vate groups “who can help ad­dress key fac­tors that drive rad­i­cal­i­sa­tion.” Prevent­ing peo­ple from turn­ing into vi­o­lent ex­trem­ists has be­come as im­por­tant as de­stroy­ing ter­ror­ist groups. “Un­less we ad­dress the cir­cum­stances in which rad­i­cal­i­sa­tion and ter­ror­ism thrive, we will al­ways be fight­ing a rear­guard ac­tion against it,” said Theresa May, Bri­tain’s Home Sec­re­tary, in Fe­bru­ary. A lead­ing think- tank on ter­ror­ism, the Rand Corp., finds that a coun­try’s open and in­clu­sive pol­i­tics can help keep many young peo­ple from be­ing tempted to join a rad­i­cal group. And, as one Rand study con­cluded, a young per­son’s fam­ily is more in­flu­en­tial than peers in damp­en­ing any ten­dency to be­come a ter­ror­ist. “We should ap­proach ef­forts to re­duce rad­i­cal­i­sa­tion among youth in much the same way we work to pre­vent other prob­lems such as un­der­age drink­ing and gang re­cruit­ment,” said Rand re­searcher Kim Cra­gin. One good ex­am­ple of a pri­vate, grass­roots ef­fort to reach young Mus­lims is a group called Teach­ers Against Vi­o­lent Ex­trem­ism. Founded by Ayub Mo­hamed, a busi­ness teacher in the Kenyan cap­i­tal of Nairobi, it has trained more than 100 teach­ers on ways to con­duct class­room dis­cus­sions with high school stu­dents aimed at safe­guard­ing them against the re­cruit­ment tac­tics of ter­ror­ist groups like al- Shabab. Prevent­ing rad­i­cal­i­sa­tion, says Mr. Mo­hamed, is the re­spon­si­bil­ity of ev­ery­one in a com­mu­nity. That is ex­actly the con­clu­sion many world lead­ers are reach­ing. — The Chris­tian Sci­ence Mon­i­tor

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Pakistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.