Radicalisation is the action or process of causing someone to adopt radical positions on political or social issues which eventually lead to violent extremism/terrorism. It’s a modern day problem that is being spread and practised in plain sight. Many factors contribute to radicalisation, some of which are lack of identity especially among the youth, illiteracy, poverty, peer influence etc.
In this modern day and age, a lot of recruiters make use of the internet to spread their narratives. The internet world as we know it today is a well-oiled machine for communication where such messaging and ill teaching spreads quite wide and fast. Luckily, through closed monitoring and making use of filters for such form of influences and messages, a lot of this information is intercepted before reaching its target.
This doesn’t end here though; your next door neighbour or a religious leader that you trust could be your worst enemy, a threat to the community, your family or even your own self. With well calculated timing, armed with the right messages; these sick recruiters will stop at nothing from using religion for influence to promising riches and a good life.
Radicalisation in children can happen over a long period of time. In some cases, it is triggered by a specific incident or news item and can happen much quicker. Sometimes there are clear warning signs of radicalisation, in other cases, the changes are less obvious.
The teenage years are a time of great change and young people often want to be on their own, easily become angry and often mistrust authority. This makes it hard to differentiate between normal teenage behaviour and attitude that indicates your child may have been exposed to radicalising influences.
This goes beyond, from peer to peer to social media platforms and even unique instances of self radicalisation. We should be well aware and also keep our children on alert and in the know.
We all need to fight and teach against hate.