Examining the Extreme: The Causes and Tools of Radicalisation Targeting Muslim Youth in the UK

Wed, 21 Oct 2015 18:30 in Discussion Forums

Where: Orange Rooms, 9 Newarke Street, Leicester LE1 5SN
Date: 21st October 2015
Time: 18:30

Speaker:

  • Prof Lynn Davies, University of Birmingham
  • Will Baldet, Prevent Coordinator for Leicester, Leicestershire & Rutland

Abstract

Just as there is no one path into radicalization, there is no one path out of it. This presentation looks at the complex combinations of push and pull factors which predispose youth to be attracted to extremism. Research we have been engaged in interviewing former extremists (far right and Islamist) finds some common factors across all types of extremism; but now there are some dynamics particularly associated with ISIS. While radicalization solely on-line is rare, sophisticated use of the internet characterizes all major extremist movements, and is part of the grooming process. Counter-narratives are difficult to project and sustain. The presentation examines some of the tools available in attempting to counter extremism, including the government Prevent strategy and Channel programmes. It explores some of the dilemmas in trying to identify those ‘at risk’, and some of the issues in the balance between the right to freedom of expression and potential hate speech. It looks at the options for schools, both directly in raising awareness of risks of extremism and indirectly in promoting a culture of debate and argument, and encouraging political skills in non-violent change. A secular approach which permits constructive religious critique is central to this protection against extremism.

Biography of Lynn Davies

Lynn Davies is Emeritus Professor of International Education at the University of Birmingham. Her interests are in education and conflict, education and extremism and education in fragile contexts, and she has done research and consultancy in a number of conflict-affected states such as Afghanistan, Bosnia, Angola and Sri Lanka. Work in UK includes evaluating programmes to counter extremism and radicalisation, and an ongoing project interviewing former extremists about their backgrounds. Elsewhere current research is on transitional justice approaches to education, on teacher education for democracy in South Africa and on leadership in the Philippines. Her books include Education and Conflict: Complexity and Chaos (2004) and Educating Against Extremism (2008). Her latest book is Unsafe Gods: Security, Secularism and Schooling (2014) and she is also co-editor of a recent book on Gender, Religion and Education. She is a Director of the social enterprise ConnectJustice. In October 2014 she was awarded the Sir Brian Urquhart award for Distinguished Service to the United Nations and its goals by a UK citizen.

Biography of Will Baldet

Will Baldet has spent the last five years interacting with both violent and non-violent extremists in the UK. For the past three years he has been the Home Office funded Prevent Coordinator for Leicester, Leicestershire & Rutland. His appointment is unique in that he is based within the St Philips Centre in Evington, an inter-faith organisation renowned for its community outreach programmes across faiths, cultures and traditions. His current role is to develop and deliver the Prevent strand of the UK Government’s Counter Terrorism strategy by uniting statutory partners, public sector workers, voluntary sector safeguarding roles and community organisations in mainstreaming Prevent across Leicestershire whilst endowing the communities themselves with the skills to support those vulnerable to radicalisation and to deconstruct extremist narratives.

Will is successful in involving ‘grass-roots’ community discourse in this often controversial area and is credited with bringing more female voices and young minds to the extremism debate. He previously worked as a Prevent Officer for the East Midlands Special Operations Unit (EMSOU) where he was awarded his Superintendent’s Commendation as recognition for his approach to local communities. Will has organised international conferences on reciprocal radicalisation and the use of the internet for extremist recruitment. He is a contributor to the Radicalism and New Media Group based at the University of Northampton, where he also lectures on both right-wing and takfiri extremism for the Applied Criminal Justice Studies module. He is a member of RAN Europe (Radicalisation Awareness Network) and international Against Violent Extremism (AVE) Network.

Photos

Examining the Extreme: The Causes and Tools of Radicalisation Targeting Muslim Youth in the UK Examining the Extreme: The Causes and Tools of Radicalisation Targeting Muslim Youth in the UK Examining the Extreme: The Causes and Tools of Radicalisation Targeting Muslim Youth in the UK Examining the Extreme: The Causes and Tools of Radicalisation Targeting Muslim Youth in the UK Examining the Extreme: The Causes and Tools of Radicalisation Targeting Muslim Youth in the UK Examining the Extreme: The Causes and Tools of Radicalisation Targeting Muslim Youth in the UK Examining the Extreme: The Causes and Tools of Radicalisation Targeting Muslim Youth in the UK Examining the Extreme: The Causes and Tools of Radicalisation Targeting Muslim Youth in the UK Examining the Extreme: The Causes and Tools of Radicalisation Targeting Muslim Youth in the UK Examining the Extreme: The Causes and Tools of Radicalisation Targeting Muslim Youth in the UK Examining the Extreme: The Causes and Tools of Radicalisation Targeting Muslim Youth in the UK Examining the Extreme: The Causes and Tools of Radicalisation Targeting Muslim Youth in the UK

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