Extremism plagues Europe.
The practical short-term security response is in many good hands. Terrorist plots are frequently foiled, networks are unraveled, and dangerous people are taken off the streets.
But those security hands are not enough. In the fight against radicalization, building up and disseminating deep knowledge, intricate understanding, and valuable insights are among the best countermeasures of all.
This is the mission of European Eye on Radicalization (EER). We have assembled a truly pan-European team to deliver high quality research and insights on a daily basis for European experts as well as the general public.
The team is diverse, just as it should be for tackling complex problems. Counter-terrorism experts are at the core, but our group also includes former security officials, civil society activists, journalists, academics, and psychologists.
We believe in two crucial principles.
First, radicalization is a process rather than an event. Its impact on societies in the West and elsewhere will last much longer than al-Qaeda or Islamic State. The ranks of those terrorist groups may have been thinned, but the ideology has set down deep roots. It has not been defeated and the fight may last for another decade or more.
Second, a middle way must be found for the ring to hold. Anti-Muslim bigotry and islamophobia appear to be on the rise. This degrades European values and principles and is obviously no way forward. In fact, it only makes a difficult situation even more troubling and hard to manage.
On the other hand, excessive political correctness, which often fails to take a clear stance against those organizations that might provide a breeding ground for radicalization, is no solution either.
To make matters worse, the two undesirable sides energize each other.
This situation only pleases groups that thrive on conflict, victimhood, grievances, fear, and anger.
Muslims who oppose Islamists are among the biggest losers in this process. Yet they often feel as if they are invisible, an inconvenience to be pushed aside, or even a distraction to be dismissed outright because they are not “authentic” Muslims.
Our daily articles, reports, interviews, and videos will identify the central problems and show the way forward, engaging in intellectual combat with extremists.
European Eye on Radicalization aims to publish a diversity of perspectives and as such does not endorse the opinions expressed by contributors. The views expressed in this article represent the author alone.