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What de-radicalisation implies

Jul 09,2017 - Last updated at Jul 09,2017

Any successful de-radicalisation strategy requires an understanding of the nature of the problem and anticipating the risks.

To do so, Jordan needs to have a long-term vision and clear ideas about its future.

Even with a solid approach, it is a difficult task.

Frankly, we do not have strong de-radicalisation narratives; instead, we rely on the insufficient strategy of moderate clerics countering radical narratives.

Without serious, concrete, changes in policies, communication and socio-economic development, this is unlikely to make a difference.

This is not a religious, but an existential battle, one of life and death. 

People should adapt to the present rather than being prisoners of the past. They must be helped to feel positive about life, be productive and appreciate their existence.

A comprehensive plan is essential, otherwise we are treading water and doomed to fail.

Many would argue that radicalisation is not the primary issue in Jordan, and that we just need to minimise the risk of violence and terrorist attacks.

While it is true that we do not have frequent terrorist attacks or major incidents at the moment, this kind of complacency may lead to such outcome.

Radicalisation is not only measured by security outcomes. The latent evolution of the phenomenon should be analysed with a progressive methodology.

If the current situation in many Jordanian villages and cities continues, radicalisation will grow to reflect society’s positions; therefore, policies and programmes need to take radical tendencies into consideration.

Radical thought, and approach to it, could spread among the security and military establishments, as most recruits come from these villages and cities.

Many would argue that the model we have is not radical, but the risk is when people reach the point where their attitudes, social behaviour and thoughts are unconsciously radical, the government moves with them and radicalism is normalised.

The major challenge is understanding the deep cultural problem of radicalism.

We need a serious political will to effect change. We need smart minds to predict the problems and future implications through a serious diagnosis of the problem across all sectors of the population.

Radicalisation is not limited to school curricula or religious narratives. 

It needs to be at the top of the national security agenda, entailing the revision of the security system, the government’s communication strategy and the socio-economic process.

 

While it is a long process, a concerted and serious effort is required now to ensure that positive outcomes are achieved in the long term.

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Comments

Radicalization is not because of religion, it is because due to disenfranchisement of young people and their inability to find a place in society because of prejudice, economic problems and their feelings of hopelessness and uncertain future. If it were due to religion, the world would have seen this kind of violence decades and centuries ago. Don't blame religion and stop demonizing Islam--you are only exacerbating the problem. Don't forget, those who commit acts of terrorism are from the west.

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