- Target Audience
- Youth/pupils/studentsViolent extremistsFamilies
- key themes association
- Deradicalisation/disengagementFamily support
- Peer Reviewed practice
Entr’Autres association is a non-profit organisation, financially supported by local and/or national subsidies.
Type of Organisation: Governmental institution
In order to face the rise of radicalisation and violent extremism, we developed a follow-up strategy to help radicalised people getting out of jihadist ideology, by strengthening the bonds within the family and reintegrating the individuals into work market and social groups.
At least 3 big categories of radicalisation do exist. In order to give the proper answer to each situation, it is essential to identify in a specific situation which type of radicalisation we are dealing with. Only then the appropriate method can be put in place.
The first step when meeting a radicalised individual and/or his family is to assess the individual’s radicalisation type and degree.
There are 3 major categories:
- Individuals that are not truly radicalised yet (as understood sociologically) and whose motivations are mostly psychological. They are facing existential deadlock, often related to the psychological situations of adolescence and family crisis.
- The ones that are in positions of identity breaking, which means that they rejected the national identity, institutions and western values attached to it. Most of them are not following any religious precept, but strongly claim their Muslim identity.
- Fundamentalist-jihadist individuals, founding their political extremism on religion. This category is the one where individuals can get all the ideological precepts facilitating transition to terrorist acts.
However, the number of people who could commit any violent act is extremely low, even within this third category.
The follow-up method will depend on the type of radicalisation we are facing in a specific situation. Regardless of the type of radicalisation, it is necessary to create a trusty relationship with the parents in order to get results.
- For first category situations, we will work on strengthening ties within the family and help parents being vigilant about their child’s activities. The most important goal to pursue is re-establishing trust between parents and the child. The intervention team will then have to strengthen family skills. Finally, in relation with appropriate organisations, the team will have to offer as soon as possible propositions for professional or scholar reintegration.
- In this category, strengthening ties within the family will also be part of the follow-up strategy. All along the 3 following steps, the intervention team will set itself the objective of changing the individual’s social representations by all kinds of intellectual, cognitive and/or affective methods. At first, it is important to talk as much as possible with the individual, in order to get a deep understanding of his mental universe (most of the time made of anti-western, anti-Semitic and conspiracy theories.
These conversations allow us to bring back complexity and critical mind in their elaboration process. In a second time, in a partnership with his family and numerous social workers, we work on deconstructing the mental universe made of victimisation, hate toward society, national identity refusal and western values rejection. In a third time, we try to lock all the entry points to salafism or any religious dimensions that could lead to an irrecoverable fracture.
- Regarding this third category, getting an individual “unradicalised” is almost impossible. Nevertheless, for the less radicalised among them, a long-term strategy of divestment, disengagement or “disarmament”. It will consist in helping them giving up the idea of leading an armed jihad. Once again, this strategy will be based on strengthening ties with the individual family, especially his mother. We will use this affective lever as a way of giving up the idea of physical violence, dangerous for the individual himself. In order to make this possible, it is important to build strong affective ties and a trusty relationship between the intervention team and the mother on one hand, and between the mother and the individual on the other hand.
By doing this, a direct trusty relationship from the individual himself toward the intervention team will be possible. The latter, made out of 3 experts (in human science, islamology and psychology) will be at this point able to feed the individual with meaningful discourses allowing this “disarmament”. Each of these experts will have to step in the process at a very targeted time. The third step of social/professional reintegration should automatically come from the individual himself.
Within the first category, the target audience is made of young people between 14 and 20 (an average of 16 years old). They are mostly women and a strong minority of them are from a non-Muslim family.
The second category groups together mostly men, from 10 to 30 years old (average of 23 years old). Most of them are not religious, but strongly claim their Muslim identity. They got in a cultural fracture, covered by victimisation and socio-political ideologies against Europe and western values.
The third category is made of truly radicalised individuals regarding the sociological definition. Men, with an average age of 29 years old, almost exclusively compose this group. They usually have strong radical Islam knowledge. Their salafist ideology is clearly political. The fracture with western values is strongly claimed even if it can be dissimulated under a strategic social integration.
Entr’Autres association delivers trainings to numerous institutions that could be dealing with radicalised individuals. Training modules and toolboxes are available in French.
Read the full practice
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