Talking with violent extremists

Solutions Journalism Network

Violent extremism refers to the beliefs and actions of people who use or support the use of violence to achieve political, ideological, religious, or social goals. White supremacy and radical Islam are two examples of movements in which some people engage in violent extremism.

This collection offers four case studies of combating violent extremism through dialogue with potential, current, and former extremists. Each case study uses a different approach:

OFFERING HELP: Danish police are calling up people who might be at risk of joining Islamic extremist groups, listening to their experiences of feeling humiliated and isolated at school and in society, and working to address those underlying issues.

NETWORKING: Former white supremacists in the United States are helping each other move away from extremism and heal from hate-filled patterns of thinking.

EDUCATING: A former Islamic extremist recruiter in the United Kingdom is using animated videos to point out the flaws of ISIS ideology, communicating with youth through their TV and computer screens.

RIDICULING: At far-right rallies in the United States and Europe, counter-protesters are showing up, sometimes dressed as clowns or in other costumes, to poke fun at extremist slogans and ideas, ruining the allure of such events.

Together, these responses show multiple ways of effectively interacting with proponents of violent and hateful ideologies.

External Links