Hamed El Said, PhD

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Winning The War On Terror

The threat from home-grown extremists radicalised in Britain are as realistic as the threats posed from other terrorist groups including Islamic

State in Iraq and the Levant terrorist group, Boko Haram, Al Qaeda and Al Shabab.

 

No one is born a terrorist, because terrorism is a process, not an event, according to counter terrorism expert Hamed El-Said. Therefore he believes it can be reversed. However El-Said believes the process of countering radicalisation has been ignored and current counter terrorism programmes in place are, in his view, inadequate.


His book, 'New Approaches to Countering Terrorism', is dedicated to the theory of counter radicalisation and de-radicalisation. "My concern is that countering radicalisation was deliberately ignored. Anti-Americanism, anti-Western sentiments have been on the rise since 9/11. My fear and disappointment is that we in the West did not want to assume any responsibility for our policies in the region," he said.


The book states that terrorism is a crime like all other crimes. However violent extremism, according to El-Said, is confined to a small minority of fringe groups and individuals who take matters into their own hands and who are radical enough to commit acts of terrorism.

The decision was made primarily because of developments in Syria and Iraq where security services believe more than 500 British-born Muslims have been radicalised and travelled to the Middle East to join ISIL.

However, that figure, according to researcher and Syrian political activist Danni Maki could be three times greater. ISIL and other terrorist groups in the region are still using the internet to coax and convince many young people to leave Britain and become terrorists, and the greatest threat that remains to people in the UK is when those that have been radicalised return.

No one is born a terrorist, because terrorism is a process, not an event, according to counter terrorism expert Hamed El-Said. Therefore he believes it can be reversed. However El-Said believes the process of countering radicalisation has been ignored and current counter terrorism programmes in place are, in his view, inadequate.

His book, 'New Approaches to Countering Terrorism', is dedicated to the theory of counter radicalisation and de-radicalisation. "My concern is that countering radicalisation was deliberately ignored. Anti-Americanism, anti-Western sentiments have been on the rise since 9/11. My fear and disappointment is that we in the West did not want to assume any responsibility for our policies in the region," he said.

The book states that terrorism is a crime like all other crimes. However violent extremism, according to El-Said, is confined to a small minority of fringe groups and individuals who take matters into their own hands and who are radical enough to commit acts of terrorism.

The rhetoric surrounding the so-called war on terror in the wake of attacks in Britain and America has, according to Hamed El-Said, Professor in International Business and Political Economy at Manchester Metropolitan University, led to the stigmatisation and negative labelling of Muslim communities, which has backfired in the fight to counter violent extremism.

"This only contributes further to the marginalisation of Muslim communities in the West. As long as we keep neglecting the root cause we will never defeat terrorism. So far we haven't been able to win the war on terror and it continues.

"In many cases it's actually got worse, there are more radicalised individuals around the world and there is more violent extremism in different parts of the world. We need to shift gears and change our policies and focus more on discrediting their approach and defeating their strategy. We need to be able to convince their followers that theirs is the wrong approach".

Professor El-Said believes that: "as long as there are injustices in the world, there is imbalance in the world and we need to deal with that if we are really genuine about undermining terrorism".

But it's not just about addressing inequality, imbalances and injustices. To truly counter terrorism and violence extremism, individuals who have been radicalised must know that there is an exit strategy.

"We need to encourage individuals to leave terrorism behind, we need to give them an opportunity to get out of terrorism and go back into real life — and we're not really doing that.

"If we don't provide them with an alternative path to leave terrorism I'm afraid we won't be able solve terrorism. Counter terrorism and de-radicalisation needs to become part of a larger reform of packages that deals with the reasons, if not we're going to talk about this subject for a long time to come".

In response to the number of British Muslims who have left Britain to join ISIL, the rhetoric surrounding countering extremism has ramped up in Britain and led to further scrutiny of the British Government's counter extremism strategy, 'Prevent', which has been in place for ten years.

Hamed El-Said's book ‘New Approaches to Countering Terrorism' is to be published in January.

Source: Sputnik News
 

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