Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Virtual social work against radicalization

Logo streetwork@online

As part of the funding provided by "Demokratie Leben!", the House One is trying to counter the issue of anti-Semitism in the virtual space. A project that also operates in digital networks is the Berlin based prevention project streetwork@online, funded by the Berlin Commission against Violence. It takes up the conversation in the digital space and tries to prevent the religiously based radicalization of Muslim youth and young adults by strengthening their ability to reflect and accompanying them in their identity formation. Osman Örs, Imam and theological advisor at the House of One, has been supporting the project in workshops since 2018.

 

Preventing radicalization on the net
by Osman Örs

As diverse as Berlin's Muslim faith landscape is, so are its challenges. One of the greatest challenges at the present is to free Islam in all its facets from the misappropriation of extremist and ideological actors.

Young people who grow up in Germany but cannot find stability in the society are more endangered to get in contact with extremist ideas. If the need for recognition and social participation is not met and the young people possibly experience rejection, for example by educational professionals, offers and appreciation from extremist circles appear like a helping hand. In this way, Islamist spokesmen pick up vulnerable young people in their search for identity and offer a sense of belonging. Complex questions are answered with supposedly simple solutions. The world, which sometimes seems inscrutable to young people, is told in simple good and evil opposites.

It is our responsibility as society to listen to young people and to support them on their way to becoming responsible and open-minded shapers of our common future. We have to encounter them in the world they live in, take their needs seriously and support them sensitively in finding their own answers.

Both Muslim communities and educational professionals are in demand when it comes to accompanying young people on their life and educational path in a religion-sensitive way. In this way, they can develop in a positive way, develop a sense of belonging, and ultimately preserve and carry forward our democratic and diverse society. The foundation House of One - Bet- und Lehrhaus Berlin attaches particular importance to the preventive approach of peace- and identity-building work with young people. We have been working with streetwork online for several years and wish the staff continued success!

 

Osman Örs supports the team of streetwork@online with workshops, teaching basics of Islam.In addition, there will be a close examination and analysis of the discourse as well as an attempt to deconstruct the Islam-based extremism that the educators encounter in their daily work. From 2021, Rümeysa Bag, Islamic theologian, will take over the workshops.