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How does one become radicalized ? Can we reverse the process, develop a program and teach it in schools and communities ?

One of the things you notice whenever we have some of these violence and terrorist attacks is the shock family and friends express when the perpetrators are identified. You often hear friends and family say the suspects seemed normal, friendly and doesn't have any atom of violence in them. Then as more and more information begins to come to light, the language shifts to when, where and how the individual was radicalized..So i want us to discuss how the process begins...Is there any sign or signs the society, family and friends usually miss as one become radicalized...


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    May 2 2013: In one of Greg Mortenson's books, Stones into Schools, he argues that if secular schools are provided for kids in Central Asia, families there will have an alternative to schools that preach hatred of other ethnic groups, countries, or religions.This seems one intervention that might help, then.

    If you are talking about those accused in the Boston Marathon bombings, If reports are correct that the accused were radicalized only recently and others in their family potentially also, it is unlikely you can blame this situation on their schooling in Kazakstan (until they were ten and seventeen respectively) or on their private schooling in the United States from then until age 18.
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      May 2 2013: Fritzie, you are absolutely right. Providing secular schools will help. But at the same time, I believe that leaders of various religious institutions are more highly placed to deal with this issue of radicalization. Schools can design a social study courses that challenge some of the prevalent assumptions about religion, people and culture in the society.

      Contact reduces prejudice, assumptions and misconceptions. If early on, children from different religious background are brought together, it might help. If non-governmental agencies and offcourse the government can work together to initiate and sponsor interfaith events. That too might help.

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