Initiatives that Counter Violent Radicalization but are Perceived as Suitable by Targeted Communities

Rosleenda B Mohamed Ali, Simon A. Moss, Kate Barrelle, Peter Lentini

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    To redress the scourge of violent extremism, an array of policies, programs, and practices have been implemented. Yet, these initiatives could sometimes conflict with the preferences of individuals who may be susceptible to radicalization. To illustrate, some initiatives might challenge the values of these individuals. The degree to which these individuals feel significant or important might thus decrease—a decrease that has been shown to rouse the pursuit of violent radicalization. To prevent this complication, two studies were designed to uncover programs, policies, or practices that align to the preferences of people who may be more susceptible than average to violent radicalization. In Study 1, three individuals who had been charged with crimes related to terrorism, but had since relinquished extremism, were asked to suggest initiatives they feel could prevent violent radicalization in Australian Muslims. Similarly, in the second study, young Australian Muslim adults who rejected extremist ideologies were asked the same question. The participants advocated initiatives that foster tolerance towards diverse perspectives, inspire individuals to trust their values and intuition, encourage civic engagement, improve the credibility of imams, and enable people to derive strength from their community. A review of previous literature indicates that many of these initiatives might not only resonate with the preferences of individuals who may be vulnerable to violent extremism but could also foster a sense of significance and meaning in life—an experience that tends to prevent radicalization.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)43-55
    Number of pages13
    JournalJournal of Police and Criminal Psychology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017


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