Blog Posts

Death of Dialogue? Online reactions to former extremist films
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Death of Dialogue? Online reactions to former extremist films

Dr. Raquel Da Silva, University of Birmingham You terrorists sympathisers… no wonder, coming from the UK media Four exclusive films – featuring four former members of Far Right and extreme Islamist movements – were released on 13th December 2016 by ConnectFutures, providing brief insights about their personal journeys into and out of extremism. Former extremists […]

ConnectFutures films on former extremists. #Formers
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ConnectFutures films on former extremists. #Formers

Date for your diary: 13th December 2016   “Those who have ‘been there, done that’ have a compelling story to tell us about why people join and then turn away from extremism. We want all our communities to better understand these complexities in order to create solutions, so that the politics of fear do not divide […]

Shades of grey: from simplified to complex thinking
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Shades of grey: from simplified to complex thinking

Professor Lynn Davies “He does get angry… politically and Islamically…. he was very divisive at that stage. And very two tone: black and white, right and wrong, and Islam, tawhid and shirk. And there’s nothing in the grey. There’s no middle ground there”. This was the observation made by a relative of a (former) violent […]

Racism, Far Right Nationalism and the Murder of Jo Cox
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Racism, Far Right Nationalism and the Murder of Jo Cox

Professor Lynn Davies: The trial of Thomas Mair, who has today been found guilty of murdering MP Jo Cox, revealed disturbing details relating to the brutal attack. Mair shouted ‘Britain First, this is for Britain’ as he engaged in the stabbing. His justification would be Cox’s strong support for the Remain campaign, which in his […]

‘Terror in our back gardens’: Reactions to UK foreign fighters in Syria
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‘Terror in our back gardens’: Reactions to UK foreign fighters in Syria

Since 2012, over 20,000 foreigners have joined Sunni militant organizations in Syria and Iraq, making the current conflict the largest mobilization of foreign fighters since 1945. Nearly a fifth of these foreign fighters are citizens of Western European countries, and with an estimated 500-600 British nationals thought to have travelled to Syria and Iraq to fight, the UK is one of the largest European sources of foreign fighters.

Donald Trump and The Language of Extremism
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Donald Trump and The Language of Extremism

By Fiona Maida, Education consultant, Leeds.  I am sitting here writing this piece, four days ahead of the American election, when the most powerful democracy on earth will choose the leader of the ‘free world’. Whoever wins the election (we now know that this is Donald Trump), and by the time you read this blog, […]

The Duty of Discussion:Going beyond WRAP Prevent training for schools.
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The Duty of Discussion:Going beyond WRAP Prevent training for schools.

So, what’s the link between Henry VIII and ISIS beheadings? What’s British about British Values? What’s the Prevent Duty? What are safe spaces and how do we conduct difficult discussions in schools? Can a young person wear a wristband supporting Palestine? What does Ofsted inspect around Prevent?   Critiques of the UK government’s Prevent strategy […]

The Appeal of ISIS is Political, Rather than Religious.
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The Appeal of ISIS is Political, Rather than Religious.

Zubeda Limbada and Professor Lynn Davies.  Those who join ISIS are often swayed by the sense of belonging or excitement they feel a caliphate offers.  Since 9/11, there has been a trend of referring to terrorist attacks as “new terror,” which falsely and unhelpfully severs current acts from the longer history of political violence. There […]

Citizen of Nowhere:Global Citizenship Education to Prevent Violent Extremism
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Citizen of Nowhere:Global Citizenship Education to Prevent Violent Extremism

Professor Lynn Davies:  At the 2016 Conservative party conference, the British Prime Minister Theresa May attacked the workings of the rootless ‘international elite’ with the words “If you believe you’re a citizen of the world, you’re a citizen of nowhere”.  Global citizenship education (GCE) has struggled over the years with the somewhat amorphous notion of […]

9/11: The Al Qaeda attacks on New York’s Twin Towers and the Pentagon in Washington on 11th September 2001, which triggered President George W Bush’s ‘War on Terror’ and the  wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

7/7: The co-ordinated bomb attacks on London by four young British men in the name of Al Qaeda, on 7th July 2005, which killed 52 people.

Al Qaeda: Terrorist group founded in 1988 by Osama Bin Laden, which committed the 9/11 attacks.

Islamic State (Daesh/IS/ISIS/ISIL): Terrorist group formed after the fall of Saddam Hussain in Iraq and the civil war in Syria. It is the most prominent recruiter of Westerners to its mission to establish its own state.

CONTEST & the ‘4 Ps’: The British Government’s Counter Terrorism strategy initiated in 2006, revised in 2011, consisting of 4 strands: Prepare, Protect, Prevent and Pursue.

Prevent: Aiming to stop (prevent) individuals from supporting terrorism or becoming terrorists.