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Migration and Home Affairs

Aussteigerprogramm Islamismus, NRW (Exit-programme Islamism, NRW)

Target Audience
Prison / probationFormers
key themes association
Deradicalisation/disengagementIslamist extremism
Peer Reviewed practice


The Aussteigerprogramm Islamismus (Exit-programme Islamism) is based in the Ministry of the Interior of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is one of three exit programmes (Islamism, right-wing, left-wing), which belongs to the department of prevention in the Office for the Protection of the Constitution of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Type of Organisation: Governmental institution

Project description

The Aussteigerprogramm Islamismus (‘Exit-programme Islamism’) is an offer for those who want to leave the Islamist communities. The clients are highly radicalised, based in an extremist context, and most are or have been classified as security relevant by public authorities.

The programme offers personal meetings at frequent intervals and contact by phone adapted to the needs of the client. The attendance usually takes 3-5 years per case or even longer, for example in the event of imprisonment. In case of a release from prison, the programme can help in the preparation for return into society.

The main parts of the programme are ideological work and social stabilisation. The concrete topics in both fields are adapted to the individual needs of the client. Ideological work is focused on the rehabilitation of reasons for taking part in the Islamist scene, to challenge the ideology, put knowledge across, etc. It is not about converting or discarding the Islamic beliefs.

Topics of social stabilisation can be the support through applying social welfare, apartment-hunting, job seeking, implementing therapies, etc.

As one method in different phases of disengagement and deradicalisation, the Exit programmes of North Rhine-Westphalia involve a former right-wing extremist in their work. Aim of the involvement is to establish a relationship with the clients and to promote the exchange of experiences. The purposeful and client orientated enhancement of perspectives is also pursued.

Deradicalisation is seen as a process that takes time and is based on cooperation and a willingness to volunteer.

The main objectives of the programme are to end radical Islamist activities, prevent criminal action, distance from the former ideology, social rehabilitation and personal security.

The Aussteigerprogramm Islamismus cooperates with authorities like police, intelligence services, prisons, courts, immigration authorities and deradicalisation programmes of other states.

Since the start of the Exit-programme Islamism in 2014, there has been a significant and remarkable increase in cases


An extensive handbook about Exit work serves the employee as a guide in their everyday work.

Since the handbook contains national classified information it cannot be published.

Currently, the Exit programme is working on a management version, which should be accessible for the community.

Contact details


Ministerium des Inneren des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen
Postfach 102013
40021 Düsseldorf

Email | Website

Read the full practice

26 MAY 2021
Aussteigerprogramm Islamismus, NRW (Exit-programme Islamism, NRW)
(151.23 KB - PDF)