As we remember those killed ten years ago and in Tunisia, Kuwait and France and the countless others whose lives have been affected, British Muslim Youth and Faith Matters are launching a national Youth Consultation that will review and assess the drivers and the pulls on-line that affect young people, possibly pushing them towards groups like ISIS. It will review through sampling, how many young people have come across extremist material from groups like ISIS, Al Qaeda, Al Shabaab and a plethora of other Jihadi groups spanning the globe.
The National Consultation will engage with youth groups in Birmingham, London, Manchester, Bristol and Leeds (other cities may later be included or even exchanged for these) over the next 12 months and produce a detailed analysis of on-line behaviour, extremist material and sites that young people may have come across, their thoughts on the material and elements of the material that is attractive to them. The National Consultation will be led by and Chaired by Muhbeen Hussain (founder British Muslim Youth) and will commence work in September 2015. Faith matters will formerly support the consultation but other grass routes orgainsations, activists and members of parliament will also support it.
Commenting on this launch of this National Consultation, the Chairperson of British Muslim Youth said:
“10 years on and we are sadly living in a world, more polarised by extremism and terrorism. A world that was once was captured by the brutality of Al-Qaida and the Taliban, now includes new death cults with the likes of Al-Shabaab, Boko Haram, ISIS/ISIL/ DAESH that have emerged with the same, if not a more monstrous end of world like ideology. With security experts predicting approximately 600 Britons have travelled to join ISIS most of which are young people, it is safe to say young people have a role to play within this.
Though, young people as we can see have been clearly at the forefront of the radicalisation by these extremist groups, little to no evidence has been directly based around or from young people themselves.
Therefore, the British Muslim Youth alongside Faith Matters is launching a Nationwide Youth consultation, to directly involve young people in this fight against extremism and terrorism that has plagued the world. A consultation, by young people, for young people, to young people.
We welcome people from all groups involved in tackling radicalisation and extremism or working in community groups or with young people to be part of our launch, where we will give the whole initiative in full."
The Chief Executive of Faith Matters, Fiyaz Mughal OBE, said:
“This is a real opportunity to assess the push and pulls of what influences young people on-line and how material may influence behaviour in relation to the way that extremist groups promote their caustic and deadly narratives. This will be led by young people, for young people and needed at a time when so many people are confused as to what is driving so many young people to the nihilism of extremist groups. More than ever, we all need answers.”