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Is Extremism a Crisis of Belonging?

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(Illustrative photo: Pxfuel.com)
(Illustrative photo: Pxfuel.com)

Episode 8 of Clarion Project’s podcast Endeavor Against Extremism features a clip of Clarion’s Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) educator Shireen Qudosi speaking on the issue of child extremism.

Qudosi discusses the importance of educating and training parents to be able to assess the emotional well-being of their child and being able to distinguish between a difficult week for a child versus a series of red flags indicating that their child may be leaning toward or vulnerable to becoming radicalized.

Clarion Project’s Preventing Violent Extremism training program was in part crafted after seeing the abundant data and field research within the PVE sector often fall short of reaching the very communities it’s intended to serve.

Between various theories, terminology, facts, trends and solutions, parents are best poised to be aware of the dangers that targets their kids, especially in the time of COVID-19 as children have much more time to access extremist content on the internet.

Speaking about the internet as an instrument of recruitment, Qudosi shares,

“The prevailing idea is that a child is on YouTube and actively seeking — let’s say — neo-Nazi material. It’s not always that simple. One of the biggest challenges we have right now is disinformation, where foreign nations are weaponizing a biological crisis such as COVID-19 to widely spread flatly false information packaged as ‘truth.’

“In our fast-paced social media cycle – between quick images, memes, shout-out facts –it’s hard for adults to tell the difference, let alone someone much more inexperienced with the world.

“There is a lot of confusion around not just the virus but the climate it has created and the controversies it has unearthed that will raise even more questions of where exactly a young person belongs in a shifting landscape.

If we haven’t given them the tools at an earlier age — which we often haven’t due to limited parental time and public school resources — they’re even more vulnerable to disinformation campaigns and recruitment propaganda.”

 

Find out what you can do to Prevent Violent Extremism by clicking here 

Kids: Chasing Paradise is Clarion’s latest and soon-to-be-released powerful film that takes an unflinching look at the brutal exploitation of youth by Islamist extremists worldwide. The documentary features compelling personal stories of children, who are actively influenced by extremists, and their families, and showcases activists and experts who confront this growing global threat.

Watch the trailer for the film below:

 

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