Is radicalisation still something we need to be worried about?
In this Equality Matters edition we take another look at radicalisation and see if we are still at risk. We also look into what to do if you have concerns and how you can stay safe.
What is radicalisation?
Radicalisation is the process by which someone supports, or becomes involved in groups with extremist views and ideologies on political or social issues. Quite often the person is unaware they are being radicalised.
What is extremist ideologies?
An extremist ideology is when someone has a strong belief and they feel that in order to bring about a change, violence and extreme behaviours are required.
Who is at risk?
Anyone is at risk of being radicalised. Extremist groups will look for people who are often vulnerable and work to gain their trust, make them feel safe and eventually promote their views to try to recruit them to their ’cause’.
Did the pandemic have an impact?
Sadly, the pandemic has had an impact and due to many more people feeling isolated during lock downs, many took to the internet to make connections to combat their loneliness. This gave many extremist groups an opportunity to seek out, groom and target vulnerable people even more so than before and recruit them into their extremist ideologist views and groups. Now the world is opening up again, many people may not feel ready to connect again in person and ‘go back to ‘normal’ due to their own vulnerabilities. This could lead to an increase in the likelihood of becoming radicalised if they start to connect with the wrong people on the internet or when they do head out and about.
What to do if you have concerns?
There are a few key things to look out for to keep yourself and the people you love safe.
NOTICE CHECK SHARE
Start with Notice when someone is behaving differently to normal. They may seem to be more quiet or isolating themselves. They may speak in a different language or make statements that are not normal for them, almost sounding like it is scripted.
Check on the person and ask them if there is something they may like to talk about. Check with others they know to see if they have noticed similar behaviours and changes.
Share information with the designated safeguarding lead in your organisation or with the Central Welfare and Guidance team.
How to stay safe?
To protect yourself you must challenge ideas. When you meet someone new and they are telling you things that at first make you feel uncomfortable, challenge those ideas, research them and fact check with a reliable source. Talking to someone you trust if you are worried is a great start.
Download this months Edition: EM Sept 22 – Radicalisation