Why training is important in preventing radicalisation

Why training is important in preventing radicalisation

Posted on Jun 12, 2015
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Radicalisation, a frequently mentioned word that we’ve all heard with increasing frequency in recent months/years. Understandably, the word strikes fear into the hearts of many given that it’s such an unknown and ever-changing concept. Alongside this a number of myths also exist which is, perhaps, something that increases this fear.

Prime myth number one is that ISIS represents the Islamic faith or that ISIS and Islam are one in the same. This merging of ISIS with Islam is not only untrue but, also, probably more damaging in creating greater social isolation and segregation (which are key risk factors for young people becoming radicalised). With this in mind, ensuring that everyone has accurate knowledge becomes even more important and, in this spirit, let’s look at challenging that myth.

Attempted jihadists Yusuf Sarwar and Mohammed Ahmed who pleaded guilty to terrorist offences last month purchased ‘Islam for Dummies’ and ‘The Koran for dummies’ before setting out to Birmingham for a flight to Syria. It would seem clear that the radicalisation process came before the conversion to Islam.

A useful analogy may be to consider the KKK. Even though the membership of this violent, racist extremist group was predominantly Christian we would never consider all churchgoers to share the same racist ideology. So why do people assume Muslims share the same views as ISIS?

In fact, ISIS faces much condemnation from believers of the Islamic faith, a prominent example being the #NotInMyName campaign. It has even been reported that other extremist groups are sitting in judgement of ISIS .

Kamaldeep Bhui, lead author of the study and professor of cultural psychiatry and epidemiology at Queen Mary University of London said:

‘Migrant groups are much stronger in condemning terrorism.’ because they are 'dealing with a hard struggle and they’ve invested in coming here.’

Kamaldeep's studies have shown that youths from families with deep British roots, who are financially stable are more susceptible to being radicalised than recent migrants.

But why?

It is believed that social isolation and depression are contributory factors for making young people more susceptible to the elaborate grooming process used to radicalise them.  Direct communication, facilitated by social media such as Twitter, from ISIS’ jihadi fighters offer friendship, marriage, homes, a social community. They have even managed to persuade these isolated and depressed individuals that  fighting in Syria is a glamourous opportunity. This communication has proven compelling enough to take over an estimated 2000 Britons on the one-way trip to join ISIS, where they’re greeted with a very different reality to the one they’ve been promised.

To prevent radicalisation, you need to be able to spot who is susceptible, be able to notice differences in behaviour and ensure that lone wolf groomers do not have platforms within your organisation to spread extremist views. The Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 places the responsibility on your organisation to ensure you have sufficient training in place, keeping everyone up-to-date.

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