Hafal Ahmad
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Youth de-radicalization: A Canadian framework

Abstract

Youth radicalization leading to violence has become a growing fear among Canadians, as terrorist attacks are carried out in Western states. Although Canada has suffered relatively fewer acts of violence, this fear has intensified and a de-radicalization strategy is needed in the Canadian context. In a qualitative case study methodology, interviews were conducted with school counsellors, religious leaders, and academics to explore solutions to youth radicalization. Youth de-radicalization approaches from the United Kingdom were analyzed and found that community-based initiatives were missing from programming. Social identity theory is used to explain that youth join radicalized groups to feel a sense of belonging and have to be provided an alternative and moderate group identity to de-radicalize. This study found youth de-radicalization in Canada is best served through a community collaboration approach.