The aim of preventive work is to create alternative offers that counteract the appeal of Salafist discourse and show real prospects in society. Participation in society needs to be more attractive than total withdrawal into an exclusive umma, argues Götz Nordbruch (ufuq.de) in this article.
Watch a video in which Mariam, research fellow of our project Alternativen Aufzeigen!, speaks about how to ensure that the messages at the heart of ufuq.de’s campaigns are pitched right for young people.
The Salafist scene in Germany emerged around 2004/5 with a few prominent preachers, and since then various strains have evolved. A conversation with Heiner Vogel about current developments in the scene.
What is to be done? Germany between islamic extremism and islamophobia : an action plan
Experiences of discrimination and marginalisation are widespread among young Muslims in Germany. Mistrust and exclusion create a climate in which radicalisation becomes possible. Jochen Müller stresses the importance of addressing these issues in education.
The project “Bildmachen” promotes critical media literacy among adolescents and young adults in dealing with religious-extremist narratives in social media and encourages alternative approaches and perspectives to questions regarding one’s everyday life and environment.
Schools are key institutions to strengthen resilience and prevent youngsters from being attracted to radical ideologies and organisations. What is more, teachers are often among the first to note possible signs of radicalisation, and are important interlocutors for those affected (i.e. the individuals themselves, and their relatives and friends).
Orientation, purpose and community – a growing number of young people are receptive to the ideas and the propaganda of Salafist groups. While it is true that it’s rare to observe a fascination for violence among them, prevention doesn’t just begin once a readiness to use violence has already developed. It is also geared at preventing attitudes that are hostile to democracy and freedom from evolving. Dr. Götz Nordbruch describes approaches and when preventive measures should be taken.
In his article on the concept of prevention work that encompasses all of society, Sindyan Qasem writes: ‘Only by our acknowledgment of the unease, fear and anger of Muslim youths can we expect them to take the step of questioning their own black-and-white thinking and enemy images’. In order to work against anti-democratic positions that are hostile to freedom we need to be willing to take the experiences of young Muslims seriously and to address them in educational work.