We fully understand that there are many paths to radicalisation, and that spotting the signs is not an exact science. You’re not bad parents! However, our experience of working with countless families who this has happened to has shown us that there are some factors and behaviours that are commonly found in those who may have been exposed to extremist ideas.
- Have they become more argumentative and domineering?
- Are they quick to condemn those who don’t agree, and do they ignore viewpoints which contradict their own?
- Do they express themselves in a divisive ‘them and us’ manner about others who do not share their religion or beliefs?
- Have they began to use derogative terms? Have they asked inappropriate questions, or expressed themselves in a way that sounds scripted? Have they used derogatory terms such as ‘kuffar’ or ‘rafidi’, or terms such as ‘dawlah’ or ‘khilafah’?
- Has their circle of friends changed, including on social media, and are they distancing themselves from friends they were previously close to?
- Do their friends express radical or extremist views?
- Have they lost interest in activities they used to enjoy?
- Are they spending increasing amounts of time online, and are they overly secretive about what they are doing?
- Have they expressed sympathy with violent extremist groups such as Daesh, condoning their actions and ideology?
Often the trigger for young people to act on their new-found beliefs is contact with individuals, sometimes through the Internet, sometimes in real life. These individuals will provide encouragement, support and even funding for them to plan attacks here in the UK or leave their families to travel and join the group.
Please go to the SHOULD I WORRY section of this site to see what you should do if you have concerns.
Remember, it’s your child and you know them best. These are just some pointers. Only you will know if these changes are cause for concern.