As the world marks the International Day of Families, we reflect on the importance of the family in the fight against radicalisation.
The International Day of Families was started in 1993 by the UN and is held every year on 15 May. This year, it focuses on the role of families in promoting education and overall wellbeing for all members of the family.
Specifically, it highlights the importance of education when it comes to parents safeguarding their children against unwanted influences. Among the goals of the Day is the promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, and the appreciation of cultural diversity.
At FAST, we know that families are at the forefront of the fight against online radicalisation. Mothers are often best placed to recognise a change in their children, and possess the influence to speak with them if concerned about their behaviour. Given the role of parents in tackling this issue, we at FAST have developed a network of support, including guides on how to spot the signs of radicalisation.
It’s vital that families learn how to not only recognise these signs, but to also respond to them in the right way.
Families are stronger together, and it’s our duty to prevent the more vulnerable members from being groomed by extremists.
We cannot allow our children to be reached by Daesh militants – or al-Qaeda, or any other terrorist organisation with a twisted ideology and harmful intentions – who want to indoctrinate them into committing atrocities.
We must also support families to face up to those who want to radicalise young people online.
That’s why on the International Day of Families we should focus on ensuring we are equipped to deal with the threat of radicalisation. It is our duty to provide a stable and prosperous environment for our children to grow up in.
Family is one of the most important things in life. While it takes a lot of hard work to build a strong, united and happy unit, it is always worth it.
If you would like any information about our work here at FAST, including how we support families, please contact us.