Amplifying the Message through Engagement

Good Practice 8

Empower communities to develop a counter-narrative to the violent extremist narrative and amplify the alternative message through all forms of media.

Community engagement and community- oriented policing initiatives can take many forms, including engagement through TV, radio, and the Internet. Maximizing the ways in which one en- gages, targeting the message, and diversifying the content ensures that the message gets out to a broader audience. Furthermore, given that violent extremists use all these tools and more to recruit individuals, CVE initiatives should also use the same tools in order to counter the appeal. When engaged in CT efforts, traditional law enforcement has tended to focus its efforts on terrorists and their active supporters. Terrorists, however, give great attention to their audience; that is how they recruit. In order to therefore counter radicalization to violence and recruitment most effectively, practitioners should work with local communities to highlight the specific locally persuasive counter-narratives that refute or negate the narrative advocating violence as the answer to perceptions of injustice inflicted on self, family or community. Using specific statistics on the non-feasibility of violence as an effective means to an end can help introduce doubt and counter the terrorist narrative.

 

Good Practice 9

Engage both former violent extremists and victims of terrorism to communicate counter-narratives at both the local and national level.

Using formerly radicalized violent extremists can add legitimacy to the narrative that violence is not the answer. Former violent extremists who come from certain settings have innate credibility and can relate to at- risk youth who may be in similar situations as they once were. Victims of terrorism also have innate credibility because they are a testament to the violence, trauma, and suffering that terrorism can wreak. Community engagement and community-oriented policing efforts that involve former extremists or victims of terrorism carry the resonance needed to make an impactful statement.