LONDON: ISIS is among the groups targeting children with its propaganda and terror training. The Government is leaving millions of children vulnerable to terrorist radicalisation by failing to tackle the “root causes” of extremism, a new report has warned.
Analysts at the Oasis Foundation said issues including identity, poverty and religious literacy were not being properly tackled as push factors driving young people towards fringe groups, the Independent has reported. Citing research that found that 82 per cent of Islamism-related offences committed between 1998 and 2015 were committed by individuals from the most deprived areas in the UK, a report entitled Enough is Enough called for urgent reform.
AuthorIan Sansbury, director of the Oasis Foundation, said the Government’s strategy had so far “missed the point regarding radicalisation” as research shows religion playing only a minor part. “If we can deal with issues of identity and belonging, deprivation, mental health, community and family and breakdown, we stand half a chance not just of dealing with Islamist radicalisation but gang culture and knife crime as well,” he told The Independent.
“All of those ideologies have common themes, and it seems to us that what people get radicalised into depends on their context.” Mr Sansbury said children’s background and surrounding slargely dictated whether they are drawn into Islamism, the far-right or gang culture, but their paths are very similar. He added: “We need to be making young people resilient to all forms of radicalisation – giving them the sense, the knowledge and the literacy of both religion and society so they can pick the bad narratives.” Without that, Mr Sans bury said, the UK “will be abandoning many of our young people to a lifetime of danger”. The report argued that the controversial Prevent strategy should be replaced with a longer-term, more comprehensive and rebranded initiative giving more power to grassroots communities.