- Publication date
- 11 May 2022
- Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs
The RAN small-scale meeting on ‘Dealing with dissemination of extremist ideology and radicalisation within unofficial prayer rooms’ took place on 30 March 2022. This meeting brought together first-line practitioners with experience with unofficial and official prayer rooms. The practitioners were working for local authorities, were social workers, prison officers, police officers or practitioners working in refugee/asylum seeker facilities.
The meeting served as an opportunity to explore to what extent the dissemination of extremist ideology and radicalisation is a pressing issue at the moment, how to detect these activities and how to deal with the phenomenon.
Some of the key findings of the meeting are listed below.
- The participants did not consider the dissemination of extremist ideology and radicalisation in unofficial prayer rooms to be a big issue at the moment. The situation was more pressing in the past, especially in the context of “cities, towns and villages”, but currently the participants did not face many challenges regarding this phenomenon.
- The discussion should not be restricted to (un)official prayer rooms. Disseminating extremist messages can also happen in other social contexts where people initially gather together for innocent social activities, but where at some point extremist messages are being shared.
- To prevent this phenomenon it was recommended in every context discussed during this meeting (“cities, towns and villages”, “asylum seeker and refugee facilities”, and “prisons”) to invest in connecting with the communities that live in that context and build trustful relationships to find out about the existence of unofficial prayer rooms and receive signals about the potential spread of extremist messages.
This paper will first describe the main theme discussed during the meeting. Recommendations concerning the dissemination of extremist ideology in unofficial prayer rooms in 1) cities, towns and villages, 2) asylum seeker and refugee facilities, and 3) prisons are outlined in the second part. The paper concludes with general recommendations, relevant practices and suggestions for further reading.