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Getting to the roots of radicalization

  • Published at 06:00 pm February 18th, 2020

The scourge of radicalization will require tackling it at the roots

While significant headway has been made in rooting out a number of terror cells, it would be naïve to assume we are free from the dark forces of radicalization. 

According to research conducted by our law enforcement, 82% off all people arrested for being involved in terrorist activities were found to have been radicalized through social media.

While it is encouraging to know that our law enforcement is being pro-active in terms of combating extremism through the use of research and intelligence, it may help to look to the real causes rather than once again clamp down on social media. 

Any attempts to fight the scourge of radicalization will require tackling it at the roots.

Indeed, radicalization is a complex problem, and taking it out by the roots will involve not just law enforcement agencies, but other institutions and groups that can educate people and change toxic and harmful attitudes that exist in our society.

We need to understand exactly what could compel young men and women to abandon their friends and families and take up arms for misguided causes and ideologies. We all go through the growing pains of life, and it is not that hard to realize that even the tiniest speck of doubt can mean the difference between a life lived well and destruction.

To that end, the rehabilitation of militants that are currently imprisoned could prove instrumental.

It is not enough to simply combat radicalization by capturing militants, we need to watch out for early signs of a radicalized mind in our youth, sit down with them, listen to their problems, and counsel them.

Our large community of imams and religious leaders can also help by reaching out to their congregations and spreading the message that violent extremism is not the way -- it is only through understanding each other that we can truly live in harmony.

And, ultimately, that is how we should be rooting out extremism, not looking for further ways to clamp down on our freedoms.

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