Why does Islam not let its followers go

Answers to Salafism

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Recognize radicalization in good time

Radicalization is difficult to recognize because it is mostly about developments that take place in a person's psyche. There are therefore no clear and clearly visible signs of radicalization. Radical tendencies can, however, become noticeable for those around you - and not just through external appearances such as long beards or a certain style of clothing.

Often, radicalization is noticeable when those affected try to influence their personal environment. In doing so, they often advertise their convictions aggressively (ideological agitation) and do not allow any other opinion to apply. Further indications can be: a change in personality and / or externally noticeable indications. The use of extremist symbols can also be a sign of a critical development or radicalization - as well as a commitment to extremist or even terrorist groups.

In principle, radicalization can best be counteracted at an early stage of the process, when extremist worldviews and ideological argumentation patterns are not yet solidified.

Possible signs of radicalization:

  • Influencing the environment (often aggressive)
  • Change of character and behavior
  • Belonging to extremist groups
  • Use extremist symbols

Features of radicalization

As already mentioned: There is not a single clue that, taken by itself, clearly points to radicalization. Rather, radicalization is a combination of several characteristics.

The following list is therefore not complete. People who show signs of radicalization reject life before this development and now refer to it as "un-Islamic".

  • He or she withdraws, distances himself from those who think differently and denigrates them as “unbelievers” (kuffar).
  • A new social environment with Islamist like-minded people is established.
  • Occupation with Islamist content: He or she
    • hears Islamist naschids glorifying violence,
    • moves on Salafist websites,
    • consumes Islamist propaganda material,
    • goes to events of Salafist preachers,
    • regularly visits Salafist mosques or meeting places.
  • (Sudden) change in external appearance: e.g. B.
    • Change of clothing style to apparently traditional clothing
    • Adding a special "Salafist beard", ie a long full beard with a shaved upper lip.
  • He or she only accepts his or her own religious and political views and shows no willingness to accept another position:
    • Claim that Islam is the only "true", legitimate and, above all, superior religion in every respect
    • Aggressive and uncompromising demands for strict adherence to and implementation of Islamic values ​​and norms
    • Strict rejection of ideas, norms and values ​​that contradict those of the Salafists
  • Persistent efforts to persuade the “un-Islamic” environment to convert to “true” Islam (aggressive proselytizing)
  • To Jews, Christians, members of other religious communities as well as non-Salafist Muslims (especially Shiites), he or she expresses himself disparagingly and derogatory and justifies this with religious convictions.
  • Thinking is increasingly fixated on the hereafter. One loses sight of one's own earthly life (glorification of a life in the hereafter or in paradise).
  • Propagating a “caliphate” or something similar and calling for Sharia law to be introduced as the only legitimate law

  • Strict rejection of democracy

  • Expression of sympathy for Islamist attacks

Conversion to Islam alone is not a sign of radicalization. Read more about this in our FAQs.

What can be done against a recognized radicalization?

Basically, the earlier a radicalization is recognized, the higher the chances of success of a deradicalization. It is particularly important not to isolate the person affected. Stay in touch with him and talk about his views, attitudes and needs. Specifically, this means: Don't let the thread of the conversation break! Do not be afraid to contact specialist departments such as the following:

  • the competence center for deradicalization (in security-relevant issues)
  • the advice center in Bavaria of the association "Violence Prevention Network e.V." (for those affected, relatives and authorities)
  • the hotline of the "Advice Center for Radicalization" at the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF)

Radicalization recognized?

Do you notice a radical development in someone close to you?

Important steps:

  • Talk to the person, keep in touch.
  • Inform specialist departments!

Tips for parents

  • Questioning instead of teaching: With young people it often helps to question instead of teaching. In this way you can point out contradictions in the argument.
  • Disagree: Respond to statements that are about the devaluation of so-called "unbelievers". Do not leave them in the room without being challenged.
  • Set boundaries: Show that you respect and support your child as a person, but do not tolerate any Islamist attitudes.
  • Offer help: But don't blame yourself. Always offer support. Avoid - with all necessary consistency - breaking off contact.
  • Working together: Work closely with your child's teachers.

Tips for teachers

  • Further training: As the headmistress, ensure that your teachers are trained in the field of Islamism / Salafism.
  • Initiative: As a teacher, find out more about Salafism.
  • Education: Educate your students about Salafism.
  • Motivation: Encourage your students to hand over Salafist propaganda material to a teacher you trust or to the school management and also to report attempts to contact them by Salafists.
  • Active exchange: Strive for close cooperation and the exchange of information with legal guardians, parents' council, student representatives, school authorities, police, youth welfare offices, etc.
  • Call the police: Inform the police and, if necessary, report them if you find suspicious material.

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