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Social injustice leading youths to extremism: discussion
Academics, counter-extremism researchers and students on Saturday discussed why an individual turns into an extremist and blamed social injustice, sense of deprivation and unemployment, among others, for the social problem.
The students described how family relations, especially relations between parents and children, mattered in their psychology specially their teenage life.
They also blamed lack of extra-curricular activities, which led the youths to feel isolated paving the way for becoming extremists.
Counter Terrorism and Transitional Crime of Dhaka Metropolitan Police organised youth dialogue against extremism at CIRDAP under a United Nations Development Programme project.
CTTC chief additional commissioner Monirul Islam moderated the dialogue attended by Rob Stoelman, UNDP’s project manager at partnership for tolerant, inclusive Bangladesh, Dhaka University international relations teacher Niloy Ranjan, National Institute of Mental Health assistant professor Farzana Rahman Dina and actress Meher Afroz Shaon, among others.
Monirul Islam said social injustice was one of the key factors that led youths to be extremists.
At least 65 students of Sir Salimullah Medical College, Lalbagh Madrassah, Viqarunnisa Noon School and College, Stamford University and Daffodil University and a group of journalists covering extremism attended the daylong event.
National Institute of Mental Health assistant professor Farzana Rahman mentioned frustration as one of the reasons that led youth to be extremists. She suggested caring mental health to recover from frustration.
Muahmmad Samsuddin, from Lalbagh madrassah, said many youths were motivated as they lacked knowledge about their respective religion.
He said religion was always a sensitive issue for them and extremist recruiters manipulated this issue.
Viqarunnisa Noon School and College student Kasira Sultana Chameli told the dialogue that they often were misguided with false information available online or in open sources.
She said due to excessive watching of videos and other contents on internet, development of mind and creativity were being disturbed.
The students also called for holding such dialogue on a large scale, and urged the authorities to take necessary initiatives to prevent extremism inside prisons.
In her speech, Meher Afroz Shaon also identified lack of extra-curricular activities as halting the creativity of youths, and suggested involvement in social and cultural activities including debate, singing, writing poems and even reciting the Quran.
Monirul Islam in his concluding remarks said they were planning to hold nationwide awareness programme and provide training to youths on how they could play a role in preventing extremism.
He also suggested formulating a comprehensive counter extremism strategy to engage all the stakeholders in long-term action.