Tonight, 13/02/2017, on radio 4 news BBC, I heard that “a de-radicalisation expert” is going to be commissioned to intensively counsel a 17 year old “neo nazi” arrested for making a pipe bomb in Bradford. So, …. how can a person’s belief system be overturned by a de-radicalisation programme? In the past forced conversions have taken place but have just been a sham with no change in sincerely held beliefs taking place, one example of this may even be the family of the philosopher Spinoza forced to convert to Christianity in Portugal but which then fled to the more liberal Dutch city of Amsterdam in the 1600s.
What is an expert on de-radicalisation and what do they do and how do they do it? What assumptions are they making about the nature of radicalisation? Is a radical a modern form of heretic? And is the expert a proselytiser?
In September 2016 six men were charged with trying to join ISS.
Next week, an expert will take the stand in a federal courtroom in Minneapolis and take us inside the minds of six Minnesotans who have admitted to trying to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State.
Daniel Koehler, director of the German Institute on Radicalization and De-radicalization Studies, is playing a pivotal role in the fate of the would-be jihadis at the center of the high-profile terrorism conspiracy case in Minnesota. On Tuesday and Wednesday, he will testify regarding the de-radicalization assessments he conducted on six defendants.
“My only goal, my task, my position in this, is to understand why these persons came to the point that they were willing to go and become a member of ISIL,” Koehler said, using another term for the terror group ISIS.
Koehler specializes in reversing radical ideologies. He leads a nonprofit institute in Germany, and in the past, has worked with neo-Nazis. Now, he’s increasingly focused on pulling ISIS supporters out of the terror group’s orbit and was brought in to work on the Minnesota terrorism case by Judge Michael Davis.
The ‘expert’ says some of the prisoners might not be safe to release after a prison term, perhaps this attributes him with the power to make people safe again.
And he said he believes at least one defendant still poses a threat to the public.
“Let me say, there are individuals in that interview sample who I regard as still being at medium-to-high risk,” Koehler said.
Koehler’s ultimate goal is to eliminate that risk because he said he believes lengthy prison sentences alone will not end the extremist threat.
With the de-radicalisation experts are we witnessing another example of proselytism?
What if ‘we are the bad guy’? What if it is the neocon and its deep state that is radicalised : scapegoating Islam and other ‘non-white’ peoples.
Both pro- and anti-Trump factions of the Deep State are in denial of the fact that this escalating crisis is due, fundamentally, to the global net energy decline of the world’s fossil fuel resource base.
In a time of fundamental systemic crisis, the existing bedrock of norms and values a group normally holds onto maybe shaken to the core. This can lead a group to attempt to reconstruct a new set of norms and values — but if the group doesn’t understand the systemic crisis, the new construct, if it diagnoses the crisis incorrectly, can end up blaming the wrong issues, leading to Otherization.
The ‘radical’ is a rhetorical device that functions as a Master Signifier that lends power and authority to the idea that the radical is 100% wrong and importantly, therefore, we are 100% right. This ‘de-radicalisation programe’ acts rhetorically to convince the public of the innate evil in the other and represses awareness that anti-West feelings are aggravated by the West’s political support for racism and oppression home and abroad?
Is it hard to believe that a radical will be converted, and made safe, by ‘counselling’ and family therapy?