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First step towards change

Jun 07,2015 - Last updated at Jun 07,2015

For any de-radicalisation strategy to be effective, the processes and systems that lead to radicalisation must be revised.

This is particularly relevant since Daesh’s declaration of the caliphate and as the world is confronted with this violent ideology.

Many legitimate questions are being raised about the capacity to eliminate these terrorist groups, as current and past strategies have failed to halt their growth.

Experience tells us that military and security measures alone are not effective in successfully addressing radical ideologies.

It is imperative to analyse and understand the origins and evolution of such thoughts and perspectives of the world, for only when understanding can we successfully face radicalism through a long-term strategy based on cultural and intellectual factors, the key to which is the education system.

Restructuring the education system and its content is a most important step if its weaknesses and vulnerabilities are to be addressed.

The education system plays a major role in shaping the way a society thinks and interacts. 

As such, there is need of an education system that is innovative and dynamic so that it responds and maintains relevance in the face of technological and cultural progress.

However, our patriarchal political systems do not account for nor encourage innovation and evolution.

We stifle intellectual thought and critical thinking while focusing on thoughtless memorisation rather than understanding.

We must realise that when religious ideology plays a critical role in developing the curricula and is given liberty in structuring our education systems, we are creating fertile ground for radicalisation and terrorism.

We must also recognise that the current education system has failed to instil basic ideas such as liberty, pluralism and respect for others in our children.

Actually the system is specifically designed not to rather than achieve this objective.

This is holding our society back and widening the gap between cultures.

It means that our education system, and consequently our population, is not capable of understanding or grappling with the present, let alone the future.

By design, we are all prisoners of a manipulated utopia of the past.

We urgently need to redesign our education system and the curricula, according to the recognition of a modern present and a future of possibilities.

It must focus on activating our humanity as a society by instilling in our youth the values of pluralism, equality and justice.

Our society needs enlightenment and a cultural revolution to break the ridiculous taboos of the past that we hold on to.

Change is a long and complex process that will be difficult. But we face complex challenges in our present and the complexity will only increase in the future.

So we must start with our children and teach them how to think critically and understand the world around them in its true context, not in a context almost a thousand years old.

The only place to begin this journey is with the school curricula.


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