September 2015

University College Birmingham hosts forum on radicalisation

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University College Birmingham held an evening dedicated to exploring the issue of radicalisation within communities as part of the EUGANGS project.

The forum, entitled Radicalisation: fallacy or reality? examined the process by which individuals and groups come to adopt extreme ideals that reject and undermine contemporary ideas and expressions of freedom of choice. 

Guest speakers for the evening were Dave Allport, Founder and Director of the anti-racism and anti-extremism project REWIND UK and Tanayah Sam, who has extensive experience relating to gang culture, extremism and the criminal justice system. 

Allport spoke about the differences between ‘far right’ perspectives and ‘far right extremism’. He made references to his extensive experience working with people and communities and gave examples of the extremism that still exists in modern day society and the reasons why individuals choose to join radicalised groups.

Sam focused on the levels of radicalisation within the UK’s prison community and how investing in resources and taking preventative measures can contribute to tackling important issues. He spoke of education, diversity and acceptance and the need to encourage partnership and collaboration for positive change.

The speakers then responded to a range of questions from the audience and encouraged them to be the change that they want to see in their communities.

"The two very different perspectives shared by Dave Allport and Tanayah Sam were very enlightening, but also the commonality in the solutions suggested by both were telling the need for a space to have dialogue and to listen, and to be heard, remains important given the nature of radicalisation and its causes in all communities"

Dr. Sangeeta Soni, Youth, Community & Families lecturer at UCB

This forum on radicalisation was the second of four events, with a third planned for later this year.

University College Birmingham is a member of EUGANGS, a collaborative European project involving professionals in five countries who are working to research issues of youth crime and violence (including gangs and gang-related environments) and to develop and deliver training to those working in gang and youth crime environments across Europe.

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