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

Open to Everyone
Free to Attend

Orange Rooms 9 Newarke Street, LEICESTER, LE1 5SN

Emeritus Prof Lynn Davies

School of Education, Birmingham University

William Baldet

Prevent Coordinator for Leicester, Leicestershire & Rutland

William Baldet is the CVE co-ordinator in Leicester and is based at The St Philips Centre, an inter-faith charity that specialises in promoting dialogue between communities.

Just as there is no one path into radicalisation, 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.