This report is part of a series of reports that WORDE has published to explore the capacity of local civil society organizations to promote peace and counter radical Islamism. It is the result of an 18 month study in which WORDE staff conducted research in Washington D.C. with policymakers, and eight weeks of fieldwork in Egypt with government officials, analysts, religious scholars and community leaders.
This chapter is part of the book edited by Zeyno Baran entitled “The Other Muslims: Moderate and Secular” published by Palgrave Publications. It is a personal account of my experience with Islamist radicalization early in my career.
The Community Awareness and Prevention Program (CAPP) was developed by the World Organization for Resource Development and Education (WORDE) in Montgomery County, MD, in partnership with the faith-based community, nongovernmental organizations, and local government agencies. CAPP embodies a diverse, holistic approach that focuses on fostering social cohesion to create community resilience against violent extremism.
We found that immigrants who identify with neither their heritage culture nor the culture they are living in feel marginalized and insignificant. Experiences of discrimination make the situation worse and lead to greater support for radicalism, which promises a sense of meaning and life purpose. Such insights could be of use to policymakers engaged in efforts against violent extremism, including terrorism.
Written back in 2010, the report was intended to be a resource for policymakers to create a new counter-radicalization strategy. The first section explores the history of radical ideology and its proliferation in the US, as a means of differentiating between deviant, misinterpreted religious tenets and the conventional beliefs of Muslims. The second section explored the prevalent strategies around the world to counter radicalization and how those programs could guide our approach at home. The third and final section included recommendations for a way forward.
Please feel free to download a copy of my reports or publications on counter-terrorism and decreasing the Islamist threat.
A full list of publications can be found above and to request a copy please use the contact form.