May 2015 - Counter-terrorism from an equality perspective

Counter-radicalisation and counter-terrorism from an equality perspective

This webzine edition focuses on counter-radicalisation and counter-terrorism from an equality perspective.

Radicalisation in prisons: Are we doing the right thing?

The hasty announcements concerning the fight against Islamic radicalisation bring simplistic and counterproductive answers when it comes to public security. They also fail to consider detention as an aggravating factor of social exclusion and violence in general. The French prison administration is now trying to give substance to the regrouping of “radicalised” prisoners option, based on the Fresnes prison experiment, which is unduly held up as a model.

Reflections on CVE and equal opportunities

CVE. Three letters that stand for Counter Violent Extremism. It is likely that these three words will constitute, for the next decade, one of main drivers for policy makers.

Under the CVE label, everything (or almost everything) could be undertaken: governments could strengthen repressive policies, increase their intelligence budget and reduce liberties and civil rights. Policy makers obviously take into consideration the need to protect and reassure citizens and ensure they can live in a peaceful country. And this is a legitimate concern, as no one would enjoy living in an environment made of terror and hatred.

Preventing radicalisation: a human rights approach

The European Parliament is currently working on a report on the Prevention of Radicalisation, whose rapporteur is the French former minister Rachida Dati. Part of our discussion has been about the scope of the report. This is not just about whether we discuss issues such as Passenger Name Records (PNR) and other wide-scale intelligence gathering, which treats everyone as a potential suspect and gathers information ’just in case’ it might prove useful, but also the issue as to whom we are talking about when we talk about ’radicalisation’ and just what do we mean by the term.

Prevention of radicalisation: a zero-sum game for equal and democratic societies?

How can the EU address radicalisation while upholding equality and fundamental rights? Refraining from adopting discriminatory measures, long term investment in social work and education, specific strategies to combat discrimination and support to cross-community initiatives are some of the ways forward.

An inter-community approach to fight radicalisation

Yasser Louati, of the Collective Against Islamophobia in France, presents a community perspective on counter-radicalisation and counter-terrorism measures and how to better include different communities in this process.

Preventing violent extremism in the United Kingdom: Time for a radical rethink

Alyas Karmani and Ratna Lachman of JUST West Yorkshire give an anti-racism perspective on UK counter-radicalisation measures, and in particular the ‘Prevent’ programme, which has not only stigmatised Muslim communities but is also failing to achieve its goals. They put forward some proposals for a radical rethink of the programme.

The Aarhus Model: Preventing Radicalisation in Denmark

Generally speaking, the essence of the Aarhus model is preventing radicalisation by working with at-risk citizens to improve their possibilities for inclusion in society and to help them develop better life skills. The specific intervention depends on the situation - for example, counselling parents or at-risk youth themselves, mentoring programmes or parent networks. Regardless of the intervention, the aim is to include these at-risk youth in society again as active, participating citizens.