Best Practice

Tolerance, not terror: Preventing radicalisation (Part 2)

In the second of her three-part series, Karen Sullivan continues her focus on the reasons behind young radicalisation and the potential role of schools in tackling this

In my last article, we looked at the growing problem of radicalisation in young people, and some of the causes of that growth (Tolerance, not terror, SecEd, November 2017: ).

Since then, an interesting article appeared in the national media. A British-born “jihadi bride” who married America’s most senior member of ISIS, claims that racism caused her to join the terror group. She is quoted as saying: “I faced a lot of racism. I was looking for a way to retaliate, and I wanted honour again.”

This is a common denominator in many cases of radicalisation and, of course, it has become increasingly self-perpetuating, as violence draws lines between faiths and xenophobia is enhanced. With every new terrorist attack, racism grows, thus feeding more young people to the radicalisers, the “sharks”, who prey on their vulnerability and feelings of despair, alienation and, of course, anger.

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