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Samenwerkingsverband Marokkaanse Nederlanders (Alliance of Moroccan-Dutch)

The SMN, founded in 1987, is a national organisation representing Moroccan interests in the Netherlands. Its mission is to improve the social position of Moroccans in the Netherlands, and to strengthen the Moroccan community, so as to be to be able to enjoy full citizenship.

This implies proportional participation of the Moroccan-Dutch in all areas of society, and their emancipation both as a group and as individuals with a Moroccan-Dutch identity.

The SMN considers itself part of the liberation movement of Moroccans in the Netherlands and it aims to be a national representative for the community. This is only possible if it shapes its mission and objectives in close collaboration with other Moroccan organisations, networks, key persons, professionals and volunteers. Our main tasks relate to advocacy through participation in discussions, networking, project development, implementation and education.

Type of Organisation: Other

Project description

SMN telephone Helpline is an initiative and a realization of the vision of Samenwerkingsverband Marokkaanse Nederlanders (Alliance of Moroccan-Dutch), on the prevention of radicalisation.

Samenwerkingsverband Marokkaanse Nederlanders (SMN) considers it important that the Moroccan community in the Netherlands organizes its own resilience against IS radicalisation and starts to speak openly about it to raise awareness and prevent that more youngsters will become radical and join IS.

The empowerment and resilience of the local Moroccan community are central to this Helpline. SMN has put local key persons and community leaders in place in order to help parents and family members who reach out to the Helpline. The key persons will help these families to find a solution for their radicalization problem.

Part of the Helpline project is to train the key persons and community leaders to become trustworthy counsellors who are able to recognize radicalization even in the earlier stages, to support the ones in need and organize information campaigns in communities and cities where the issue of radicalisation occurs.

The counsellors are committed, on a voluntary basis, to support and accompany concerned parents and family members who are dealing with radicalisation in their own surroundings. The overall task for the trained counsellors is to provide support, inform the parents about next possible steps to solutions, mediation and active referrals to appropriate agencies (think of municipal, social workers, imams and psychological support) and to communicate about new results and information with the local authorities and co-workers at SMN.

During the information meetings with the parents and families, the counsellors provide information about how to recognize the early signs of radicalisation and where the help seekers should go for more advice and support. The counsellors are also trained to refer to professional care if necessary.

Requests through the Helpline will be picked up by a counsellor and usually involves:

  • Signals and concerns about radicalising behaviour
  • Indications of departure to war zones and/or armed conflicts abroad.
  • A child/family member has travelled already to armed conflicts abroad.
  • A child/family member has returned from a war zone after participating in a conflict and/or humanitarian mission.
  • A child/family member was killed in a war zone.
  • Since the Helpline is better known right now, we also received a lot of questions from mosques, other organizations and municipalities.

The goals we want to reach with the Helpline, are:

  • To support parents and family members of children who tend to radicalize, by linking them to a counsellor based in their own environment.
  • To stimulate the awareness of (the dangers of) radicalisation and to increase the acknowledgment of new initiatives for strengthening the resilience against radicalisation.
  • To share our knowledge with – and learn from – other communities, professionals and other relevant parties.

Concerned parents who call us for help, support and mediation will initially speak with the project’s spokesperson. Depending on the issue/request, a link is made with a counsellor. The interventions between parents and counsellors may vary in weight. From light cases like offering a shoulder to cry on, provide them with information and advice or link them to a theologian or someone who has experienced a similar situation (see Platform Achterblijvers below) to more intensive cases involving references to professional care institutions and other authorities. In the latter case, SMN and the counsellors will neve take steps without the written consent of the caller/parent. Any kind of intervention of the counsellor occurs according to the action protocol within the agreed legal framework.

The premise is to secure the privacy of the caller who turns to the Helpline. This is always communicated to both the caller and the cooperating organisations.

SMN Helpline was founded in 2014 and based on our success we extended the period of this project for another year (until December 2016). Our main goals were always as written above, but at the start of the second year of the project we also focussed on creating a professional team of volunteers (counsellors), the establishment of a new awareness campaign and to maintain cooperative relationships with other organizations and local authorities.

We also started with improving the existing website and we developed a bilingual information brochure. At the same time, we also started to recruit new counsellors and provided our existing group of counsellors with another training.

Based on the request of the parents that we have guided, we have started a new community of parents. Platform Achterblijvers is a network of parents that are dealing with a radicalizing child, have a child in the war zone or have lost a child in the fight. We organize private meetings, for these parents only, so they can share their story in a safe and understanding environment.

Radicalisation is a very sensitive issue, especially for the parents that have been left behind. Sharing their frustration, worries and sadness with parents that are going through the same situation, helps the parents. We have created the website, to reach other parents that are dealing with the same problem, to share information about the issues and especially to raise compassion for the situations these parents are in, as a lot of people don’t understand yet.

Lastly, we made new plans and started empowerment-meetings in cooperation with other organizations and new partners. Apart from that, we started workshops about our Helpline methodology for local authorities and even outside of The Netherlands.

Our main target audiences are parents or family members of children who (might) have been radicalized. As a Dutch-Moroccan organisation our main focus was Moroccan families, but as the demand grew we have now expanded our target audience.

We started with 16 Dutch-Moroccan counsellors in the very beginning to help our target audience (the callers), but now we have also trained Dutch-Turkish counsellers, Dutch counsellors and Dutch-Somali counsellors to cover the requests we get through the Helpline.

In the second year of the project, we started with building nationwide networks with other professionals, initiatives, parents and local authorities to get the communities to engage in our battle against radicalisation.


Publications in 2014 - 2015

Publications in 2015 – 2016

Contact details


Postbus 14172,
3508 SG Utrecht,
The Netherlands

Contact person: Habib el Kaddouri
Telephone: (+31) 0616 638 835
Emails | Website

Read the full practice

SMN Hulplijn Radicalisering – SMN Radicalisation Helpline
(272.81 KB - PDF)