This is the fourth and final part of the guide to the de-radicalization of Muslim youth. In this chapter, remedies for de-radicalization have been listed.
Treatment of a radicalization is a hard graft. There is no quick fix. It simply cannot happen that a mind that has been indoctrinated for years will change overnight. It would require regular engagement and nudge towards the right path. The following are the ways that will help ensuring that radicalization tendencies are curbed.
There are several Muslim role models that have brought and continue to bring positive changes to the larger Muslim community and the world. Arranging meetings with people of character, nobility and honour helps in shaping budding minds and reshaping radicalized mind. There are quite a few Muslims that have help change global perceptions. There are others who are trying to actively educate the Ummah. There are activists whose charity work has helped thousands of lives. From the Doctors who devote their time to Palestinian victims to Lawyers who take cases for free, all are devoted in helping their community in a positive way through their respective professions.
One has to bear in mind that it is a lot harder to deconstruct than it is to construct. Positivity is both innate and is fostered externally by the palpable greater goodness in the world. Our positivity can often get shrouded in layers of disbelief.
There have been many people who have defected from ISIS. Some of them have also publicly apologized on their involvement with the group. The recurring theme from their statements is that they were mis-sold an image of a perfect Islamic state whereas in reality, it couldn’t have been further from the truth. These operatives who left IS and the native people of Iraq and Syria who have escaped the territory in IS control have recorded first hand evidence of the harrowing crimes perpetrated by the very people who claim to carry the true faith. Listening to defectors would help demystify some of the propaganda pitched by IS to showcase their pristine state. It should also be recognized that truth is open whereas falsehood tries to concoct and conceal.
Education and Skill Development
Lack of any education and vocational skills are also one of the top reasons why many a youth seek to join any gang/mafia like entity. By education those who were once in the grip of extremism, minds can be set free. Religious education is a must for those who have been indoctrinated with pseudo religious political cocktail. The poisonous ideology that legitimizes annihilation has nothing to do with any religion, leave alone Islam. Enhancing skills on that other hand provide better opportunities. In Pakistan for instance, youth that were brainwashed by Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) were isolated and now are successfully completing a rehabilitation program. Part of this program is the vocational skills that are taught which includes courses for joinery, mechanic and electrician.
Engaging in Lawful Movements
A supporter who has an ideological bent and is ambitious politically needs to be supported for the change they wish to seek in the world. However the way this change is to be brought about should be peaceful and come under the framework of civility. There are many activist in the environmental campaign, that have become a major force in saving the planet. Similarly stop the war campaign has now spread across the globe. Boycott Apartheid movement saw success in South Africa and now is focused on Israel. All these groups and many others can be utilized by an individual to further their political aspirations. Not every change has to ride the wave of a blood soaked revolution.
Increasing Social Ties
Parents in particular need to re-engage with their disenchanted teens. Adolescence is a difficult age. Teenage rebellion can manifest itself in many ways including extremism. Parents, close friends and relatives need to chip in during this time and see to it that isolation is avoided. Similarly there should be watchful eyes on the company that a child keeps. Likewise the videos of literature which the child has access too must also be checked.