Factors contributing to spread of extremism highlighted

dr Akif KIrecci
The conference of the International Association of Police Academies (INTERPA), which is being held in Doha, discussed the factors contributing to the spread of fundamentalism and extremism, ways to address them in the era of social networks and information society and the roles of different institutions at local, regional and international levels.

In the first session, the discussions included the psychology of radicalisation process, the modern trends in facing terrorism in the digital age.

The second session discussed political violence and combating terrorism by touching on families’ role in the matter, international co-operation in addressing the scourge on social networks, and the role of community policing in tackling it.

National Counter-terrorism Committee Chairman and Director of International Co-operation Department, Major General 

Abdulaziz al-Ansari touched on the concepts of extremism and terrorism.
He said both concepts are connected, adding that it is impossible to have terrorism without a prior phase of extremism, as terrorism arises from, extremism but extremism is not terrorism.
He added that extremism cannot be linked to a nationality, identity or religion, while rejecting attempts to link terrorism to Islam.

He said there are social, economic, political and security factors that contribute to the existence of extremism.

Al-Ansari said lack of security in a country, lack of basic needs, multiplicity of religious and ethnic identities, family disintegration, the policy of marginalisation, and the absence of community integration programmes all contribute to forming a breeding ground for terrorism, in addition to personal factors, away from ideologies.

On methods to prevent and protect the society from extremism, al-Ansari mentioned different aspects such as individual and societal immunisation through families that use education, ethics and values as a foundation, strengthening religious persuasion and disseminating values of tolerance and non-violence, activating the control of various media and encouraging community co-operation to report on websites promoting extremist thoughts.
He highlighted the need for state entities to encourage alternative websites which are directed to counter the sites inciting extremism, and for the education sector to pay attention in choosing the curriculum and the teacher that delivers it.
In the media field, al-Ansari said it plays a great role in protecting the society through campaigns to reduce adverse effects, to urge citizens and residents to co-operate with the security agencies and to intensify and diversify outreach programmes covering all segments of society.
He also mentioned preaching as a main factor and a strong tool to combat extremism saying the mosque is a key incubator in guiding young people away from extremism, while promoting the values of tolerance, coexistence and moderate thought.

Al-Ansari reaffirmed that Qatar is keeping up with latest developments in the field of combating terrorism, saying the Qatari efforts in facing terrorists and terrorism will go further, because terrorism threats will not stop.

Al-Ansari highlighted the human rights related to persons and cybercrime and the right to find a law that complies with the legislation emanating from the Security Council, so that it can be implemented in states.

He also warned against the use of information technology in advocating extremism and terrorism of states, referring in this context to the crime of hacking Qatar News Agency (QNA), which he considered a pattern that indicates that the Internet environment has become an environment suitable for extremist thinking.

Meanwhile, the head of Ankara Centre for Political and Economic Research (ASEM) Dr Akif Kirecci said the world is now filled with terrorist groups and thoughts, making it difficult to have a unified definition for terrorism, which puts a burden on entities in the security research field to reach a concept and explain the dimensions and causes of terrorism and how to confront it.

Kirecci said any sort of threat to countries and people is considered terrorism, adding: “We live today in a changing world which contains traditional terrorism and cyber terrorism”.
He added that terrorism cannot be associated with a specific religion, doctrine or culture. In the last decade, terrorism has moved from local to global, trans-boundary on six continents and pursues different objectives and slogans.

He said it is unacceptable to link terrorism to Islam or specific peoples, however currently the most  prominent terrorist organisation is ISIS.

Kirecci added that facing extremist thoughts and terrorist acts requires strong immunisation of societies and the adoption of precise plans to reach terrorists, in addition to international cooperation to ensure success on a global level. This comes in parallel with comprehensive political, societal and economical development plans, because terrorism is based on failure, he said.

In addition, a representative from the Turkish National Police Academy presented a paper on the psychology of spreading radicalisation, where he touched on the understandings of radicalisation, extremism and the different views on explaining it.

A representative from the Fujian police vocational college of China spoke about the modern trends in terrorism crimes and the combatting measures in the networks age. She presented a number of initiatives that took place in China in the recent years, as well as the Chinese experience in promoting the prevention from terrorism.

She added that China continuously confirms the need for international co-operation in order to maintain global safety and peace. She said legal and judicial systems must be improved to combat terrorism, terrorist organisations and their destructive actions.

Source: http://www.gulf-times.com/story/587557/Factors-contributing-to-spread-of-extremism-highli


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