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Radicalization and Home Grown Terrorism

Question:

Critically analyze the Strategies currently in place to Combat Radicalization and Home Grown Terrorism and examine what can be done to reduce the threats.

Terrorism has been growing and spreading amongst communities and countries like fire. Radicalisation is a never ending dispute that has no boundaries. The same can be encouraged in various ways such as behind the bars or at the training centres of al Quada or can even be born out of influence through the internet. Unfortunately one of the most striking reasons for the fast development of home grown terrorism is internet thereby blotching the stroke between the overseas and domestic intimidations. Before understanding the various strategies that are being put into place or for which efforts are being made to fight against such radicalisation and home grown terrorism, it is very crucial to understand these two terms.

Radicalisation, the term means a procedure via which a person ends up adopting incremental and excessive political or social ideals which basically does not agree with the current ideas of the nation and does not always construe to be negative in nature. However, past has made it very evident that radicalisation has lead to terrorism and it is then when the same is termed as ‘violent radicalisation’. It is by all means the main factor and motivational stance towards creations of such conditions which are apt for the emergence of terrorism (Vidino, 2010). Further to this, it is radicalisation which has given birth to home grown terrorism. The home grown terrorism basically means a stage when people with such extreme thoughts and views meet with such other like minded people and in conjunction with them they end up carrying out such events and activities which ultimately lead to terrorism. Thereby these home grown terrorists might join hands and form sovereign groups, thus growing up to a certain level. More so, home grown terrorism can be looked upon as sociological occurrence wherein issues such as belonging, individuality, group dynamics and values are very crucial in the conversion process. Thus radicalisation has been posing threat towards development of such home grown terrorism and not from today but from the past as well (Precht, 2007). Religion has been one of the most important driving forces but for some people it is used as a weapon to serve other unacceptable goals. The said essay discusses the various strategies that can be adopted to fight against the growing radicalisation which in turn has led to increase in the home grown terrorism.

Strategies to Combat Radicalization

The last decade has witnessed a sudden upsurge in the number of home grown Muslims turning into terrorists in countries such as America and Europe. Various strategies have been formulated to combat radicalisation such as mentoring and counselling the people, providing them employment in reputed job profiles, thereby making the ignored individuals feel that they are a part of the same society (Mulcahy et.al. 2013). Many programs are being formed to tackle with the issue such as the Living Safe Together Grants program and the Saudi Arabia Counselling Programs. These are two of the most sought after programs which aim at tackling radicalised persons.

The Living Safe Together Grants Program is a program which was formulated basically to support community based non-government and local government organizations who would have the capability to provide such services which would help such persons who are impacted with radicalisation, to stay away from extremism. Thus the said programme is basically aimed at helping the already established organizations working towards de-radicalisation, by helping them strengthen the ongoing program or formulate a fresh one. The said program was formed as a part of the Australian Government’s Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Strategy.

However the said program has its own strengths and weaknesses. In the year 2015, one of the oldest and influential Islamic organization in Sydney named the Lebanese Muslim Association had made it clear that it would not sign up to the said program as it does not maintain balance while setting the priorities which is the main reason behind such radicalisation amongst the Muslim crowd. The said program has just $1 million to disburse within the Muslim community for coming ahead of idea and views which would help such radicalised individuals to move out of the same. Further to this the grant would be to a maximum of $50000 and that too only for a year and also not assurance for any future funding. The biggest weakness of the said program is that it is not sustainable enough and proposes such projects which are of a very short duration with no intention of continuing for a long time. Just by giving grants and that too a small share out of the big pool of resources that the government possesses weakens the Living Safe Together Grants Programme.


However the biggest strength that this programme offers is that involvement of community led interferences which would basically help to give a long term solution to the issue of terrorism and radicalisation. For example the assessment of online movements which address towards promotion of non-violence of political activities or which aims at counter attacking the violent extremism prevalent within the young Muslims in Western Sydney has discovered that relative to government-badged campaigns, community-developed and funded and financed initiative get better response and are accepted in a better manner (Gaor & Falk, 2013).

Living Safe Together Grants Program

Another very effective program is the Saudi Arabia Counselling Program whose main aim is to reintegrate those people again into the community who have expressed their view points in various situations with regards the acceptability of violence. Those who have been a part of any sort of terror attack are eligible to become a part of the said counselling program but their exit from the said program is not very easy which is in contrast to the other on going programs developed for combating radicalisation. The said program works in a formal manner and has full co-ordination from the Ministry of Interior. One of the most crucial part of the said program is to ensure that the radicalised individuals are de-radicalised in the prison itself by educating them religiously as well as psychologically. The said programs biggest strength was that it was not short term in nature and it had the capability of reinstalling the individuals after de-radicalisation successfully within the society. Since the inception of the said program, four thousand radicalised individuals have participated and are now a part of the society again. However, apart from such successes and strengths that the Saudi Arabia Counselling Program possesses, it has certain weaknesses also. After January 2009, it was found out that eleven of the detainees who were released after successfully completing the program curriculum, unfortunately returned back into the world of terrorism(Rabasa et.al. 2010). They fail to monitor them after release and also the trust that such counselling programs have on the society, nation and the family as well. Thus it can be rightly said that although such programs have helped to some extent in combating radicalisation, yet there is a long way to go ahead before the said progress can be determined in percentages. Thus these programs are being able to deal with radicalisation to some extent but the same can be of more use if proper resources are being dedicated towards the development of said programs and with equality (Horgan, & Braddock, 2010). Thus the effectiveness fades away as the programs become old because the government fails to intervene and look into the changing requirements due to which the quality of such programs gets impacts thereby failing to fulfil the main motive of fighting radicalisation.

Home grown terrorism has become even more dangerous than international terrorism and one of the most recent example of the same was the Paris attack that occurred in the year 2015. It was shocking to know that the attackers were non other than the European nationals who were basically Muslim immigrants. Various strategies are being formulated to deal such terrorists who basically are home grown and hence more dangerous (Cronin, 2010).

Saudi Arabia Counselling Program

For the same the Counter Violent Extremism (CVE) programs have become extremely important. In the year 2010, the Australian Attorney-General Department developed the CVE Taskforce. It offered two grant schemes- Building Community Resilience Youth Mentoring Programme and Building Community Resilience. The latter scheme’s main aim was to support the society based projects that would help develop buoyancy against violent extremism. Thus it can be rightly said that the main aim of CVE grant programs is to enlarge and increase labours at the societal level to defy aggressive extremist enrolment and radicalisation to violence (Lozano, 2014). The main strength of this grant program is that the said program is shared amongst the various Australian Governments. It addresses the various communities, understands their issues and thereby caters to those specific issues. It works with the state government to rehabilitate the ones who are already imprisoned and also ensure that the other prisoners are not influenced. CVE also ensures that the derogatory materials online are blocked and further extend grant towards such programs which are working towards pulling people out of early radicalisation. Unfortunately the CVE programs has many weaknesses too specially in the conceptual front. People often mix the two terms ‘conflict violence’ and ‘terrorism’. It does not fulfil the promise of controlling militarised and such other difficult security approaches to counterterrorism and it does not pay heed to the various flaws which were prevalent in the past approaches such as that of demobilisation. Lastly, CVE stigmatizes the societies that are targeted to be dealt with. However even though CVE has been criticised on all the above mentioned grounds and has been considered to be weak, yet the same is not to fade away in the near future (Speckhard, 2011) The EU is witnessed to have been spending much more on CVE than ever before. So much that in the year 2016, the EUs external assistance budget had given a large share to CVE. Thus although CVE has been lending a very crucial hand in dealing with home grown terrorism, yet the same needs to be looked upon more vigour and depth so as to prevent any further weaknesses to crop in.

Thus it can be understood that radicalisation and home grown terrorism can be reduced basically by not only providing grants and conducting programs but also through various other measures which would basically point towards educating the masses about the truth of Islam and not what is being drilled into them. The family members of the individual also have a big role to play. They tend to get inclined towards such terrorist activities due to reasons such as lack of emotional and financial support and both are very important for ensuring that the path of a person is not diverted towards illegal direction (Koehler, 2013).

Counter Violent Extremism (CVE) Programs

Although it is not an easy task to de-radicalise a person as such people are very violent in nature until and unless they carry some sort of a doubt in their mind with regards their own acts and some disengagement as well. As per my recommendation, radicalisation and home grown terrorism is more concerned with individuals rather a group of individuals. Thus such threat can be reduced only if both the behavioural and the ideological side of it are dealt with simultaneously (Dandurand 2015). A person’s behaviour should be moulded in such a manner that for him/her non-violence and love is what is important and such ideologies should be preached which talks about harmony amongst religions and what actually Islam means to say, rather than what people mean to say about Islam. One of the most recommended program to get over radicalisation and home grown terrorism is the one proposed in Saudi Arabia. Although the country has always been the centre for terrorism, but the event of 2003 shook the country when it saw radicalisation and home grown terrorism responsible for the terror. Thus they targeted to brain wash the young people first as they were the one being attacked by these radicalised people (Ezzarqui, 2010). Thus similar to what Saudi Arabia’s Government had done, various steps such as educating people about the harms of violence and extremism, conducting various religious campaigns and conducting various tranquillity programs through the internet should be taken.

Conclusion

On a concluding note, it is can be rightly said that radicalisation and home grown terrorism is more dangerous than international terrorism. It becomes to trust the people of one’s own country which gives way to more violence. Although various programs are being conducted and efforts are continuously being made via education, campaigning, bringing in reforms, getting support from government, yet the same is at a very nascent stage and more concentration should be given at this area. Terrorism birth within the country has to come to a halt for which the programs and their features and ways of implementation has to undergo changes. It cannot be single directional but rather has to be multi-directional in nature.

References:

Cronin,A.K., (2010), The Evolution of counterterrorism : will tactics trump strategy? International Affairs, vol.86, no.4,

Dandurand,Y., (2015), Social Inclusion Programmes for Youth and the Prevention of Violent Extremism, Available at https://www.researchgate.net/publication/303566026_Social_Inclusion_Programmes_for_Youth_and_the_Prevention_of_Violent_Extremism (Accessed 02nd August 2017)

Ezzarqui,L.,(2010), De-Radicalisation and Rehabilitation Program : The Case Study of Saudi Arabia, Available at https://repository.library.georgetown.edu/bitstream/handle/10822/553485/ezzarquiLeila.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y (Accessed 02nd August 2017)

Gaor,B., & Falk,O., (2013), De-Radicalisation in Israel’s Prison System, Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, vol.36, no.2, pp. 116-131

Horgan,J., & Braddock,K., (2010), Rehabilitating the Terrorists?: Challenges in Assessing the Effectiveness of De-radicalisation Programs, Terrorism and Political Violence, vol.22, pp. 267-291

Koehler,D., (2013), Family Counselling as Prevention and Intervention Tool Against ‘Foreign Fighters’. The German ‘Hayat’ Program, Journal EXIT, Available at file:///C:/Users/E-ZONE/Downloads/49-217-1-PB.pdf (Accessed on 02nd August 2017)

Lozano,M., (2014), Inventory of the Best Practices on de-radicalisation from the different member States of the EU, Available at https://www.terra-net.eu/files/nice_to_know/20140722134422CVERLTdef.pdf (Accessed 02nd August 2017)

Mulcahy,E., Merrington,S., & Bell,P., (2013), The Radicalisation of Prison Inmates : Exploring Recruitment, Religion and Prisoner Vulnerability, Journal of Human Security, Vol. 9, no.1, pp. 4-14

Precht,T., (2007), Home grown terrorism and Islamist radicalisation in Europe, Danish Ministry of Justice. Available at https://www.scribd.com/document/261299859/Home-Grown-Terrorism-and-Islamist-Radicalisation-in-Europe-An-Assessment-of-Influencing-Factors-2 (Accessed on 02nd August 2017)

Rabasa,A., Pettyjohn,S.L., Ghez,J.J., & Boucek,C., (2010), De-radicalising Islamist Extremists, National Security Research Division, Available at https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/monographs/2010/RAND_MG1053.pdf (Accessed 02nd August 2017)

Speckhard,A., (2011), Prison and Community Based Disengagement and De-Radicalisation Programs for Extremists Involved in Militant, Available at https://www.researchgate.net/publication/271195266_Prison_and_Community_Based_Disengagement_and_De-Radicalization_Programs_for_Extremists_Involved_in_Militant_Jihadi_Terrorism_Ideologies_and_Activities (Accessed 02nd August 2017)

Vidino,L., (2010), Countering Radicalisation in America, Available at https://www.usip.org/sites/default/files/SR262%20-%20Countering_Radicalization_in_America.pdf (Accessed 02nd August 2017)

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