In modern societies, violence and extremism are still present and have spread tremendously in areas around the world. Since 2001, there have been more than 10 attacks worldwide that fit the category of extreme. From Norway’s government attacks by civilian, to gunmen in Kenya and the events of Charlie Hebdo, the list goes on and on.
Extremism is an ideology that steams from a black and white worldview. From ethno- national extremism such as fascism, to religious extremism such as the Klu Klux Klan (KKK), Al-Qaida, Judaism, compromise has never been the subject of our history. Any idea or belief can become extreme when pushed to its limits.
The ideology of Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) was recognized in the early 2000s as an opposing force to “counter terrorism and extremism” affirmed Peter Romaniuk, Associate Director of the Center on Terrorism and Senior Worker at the Global Center Office-Organization.
The term “CVE” was conventionalized by the year 2014 while it was previously known as “resilience of communities to violent extremism and radicalization”, “United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy”. Organizations, institutions and believers of peace made it their mission to stand tall against these ongoing terrors hitting all, killing all, no matter the race, religion or gender. The conceptualization of the efficiency involving a CVE program had to be standardized, and a set of policies and procedures was to be conventionalized. “Extremes to the right and to the left of any political dispute are always wrong” said Dwight D. Eisenhower.
In that matter, Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs) are taking it upon themselves to counter violent extremism. These NGOs trying to fight extremism, in order to be effective in their mission, should firstly define the targeted groups whose behavior must change while identifying the key stakeholders capable to address the issue at hand.
According to Adnan Ansari, co-founder and director of programs at Muflehun; organization concentrated on preventing hate, extremism and violence, “the best way to fight extremism is through education” which starts at a young age. Actually, according to Norma Wakim, operational manager of the British Council; their program called “strengthening resilience” targets Lebanese youth at risk. Giving their statistics in collaboration with the ministry of education, 50% of uneducated youth tend to take part in extremist groups whereas only 16% of educated people are prone to these sects, on a digital platform.
Online extremism is an uprising tool; which is why we should have parental guidance while using the Internet. “81% of parents do not have parental control […] don’t be scared of the Internet but be careful online” said Wakim.
Media literacy is very important in this case, and as Neslon Mandela said “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”