Challenge extremism and conquer your fears
According to a survey of 20,000 15-21-year olds, 83% believe that extremism and global terrorism is the greatest threat to their future. Following the recent terrorist incidents in both Christchurch, New Zealand and Utrecht, The Netherlands, we discuss the risks and practical ways to deal with the fear, anger and other issues surrounding terrorism and extremism.
Terrorism is violent and scary, and it’s natural to worry about it, but the risk of being caught up in a terrorist incident is minimal when compared to other statistics. In the US and Western Europe, people are more likely to be killed by falling down the stairs (1,307 deaths per year), hot tap water (100 deaths per year), bee stings (100 deaths per year) or using mobile phones whilst driving (2,920 deaths per year) than by a terrorist attack (7 deaths per year in the UK).
- Talk about rights, freedom and your fears with friends, parents or teachers – the more open discussion, the better
- You could join or set up a debating club at school to discuss these issues in more detail
- Be aware of “fake news” – not everything you read on the internet is true. Talking to others about their beliefs and opinions will help you to think more critically and make informed judgements
- Check out the incredible Extreme Dialogue website. This fantastic project provides you with tools to challenge extremism through a series of short films. These stories are about real people who have been affected by extremism
- Get to know people from other cultures – the more we know about each other, the less likely we are to feel fear or hate about particular groups
- If you see racist or hateful videos or messages online make sure to report them either to the police or to the website that is hosting them. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube all have methods in place for this
- Focus on the good in people – the hero who chased the terrorist away or wrestled a weapon from the gunman
- Don’t spread hysteria – this is what terrorists want
We can’t change what has happened in the past, but you can change what happens in the future.