Terrorist organizations have different strategies for recruitment of new members and followers. The key messages in this process of affiliation of people can be summed up in four words: unity – they become part of a community; dignity – discover new life and work; purity – join the right faith; salvation – whatever happens, they will be saved, they will go to the “paradise”.
The mechanism of recruitment of new members was revealed by Dr. Yassine Souidi to the participants in the Fourth International Summer Academy. He is a researcher in the Moroccan organization Rabita Mohammedia of Ulemas and a specialist in youth policy.
Dr. Souidi and the journalist Petar Karaboev have opened the third working day of the Academy for Political and Civil Leaders in Pravets with a lecture on the socio-economic challenges ahead the young generation in the Euro-Mediterranean region and explained the reason why young people choose radicalization or migration.
Yassine Souidi shared his experience of working with young people in Morocco in fighting extremism and preventing radicalism. Part of this experience is also a project whose aim is to change the narrative of social networks, and in particular Facebook, which is the leading social media in Morocco.
Educational policies for preventing violent radicalization and extremism was the topic of the lecture of Prof. Rumyana Kolarova, Head of the Political Studies Department at the Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski”, who is also a former Minister of Education. Kolarova paid special attention to the fact that education can not prevent radical extremism, but it can make it harder to turn a person into a radical one. In her opinion, the main aspects that all educational policies should take into account are citizenship education, the development of different skills and, more importantly, the development of skills that will be applicable to finding a job.
“School must be a safe place, with a non-violent environment. It needs to guarantee equal opportunities. The school occupies 70% -80% of children’s time and therefore it must promote their resilience. It has to develop in the children skills to see different information, to search for arguments and not just facts”, the former education minister told young leaders from Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Bulgaria.
The psychologist Nikola Yordanov joined the third day of the Summer Academy with a presentation on the decision-making process – negotiating and engaging the stakeholders.
The participants had the opportunity to apply what they had learned in practice with a stakeholder analysis workshop.