"PEACE IS NOT MERELY A DISTANT GOAL WE SEEK, BUT A MEANS BY WHICH WE ARRIVE AT THAT GOAL"
- Martin Luther King Jr
VIOLENT EXTREMISM HAS MANY FACES
There are many different kinds of violent extremism: religious, social, political, ideological.
Some examples of violent extremist groups are white supremacists; Muslim extremists, Right-wing, Christian groups; anti- abortionists, anarchists, nationalist groups.
Violent extremism doesn’t just mean that extremist groups carry out acts of violence such as terrorist attacks. It can also include supporting violence, promoting violence or encouraging and instructing others to carry out attacks.
Violent extremist groups use the internet to spread their message, recruit new members and promote violence. Internet sites will often be the first contact people have with violent extremist groups. People might be drawn into the sites because they feel strongly about an issue or cause and because they want to see change. Many are not aware that they are being slowly drawn into a violent group which promises them social bonds and a place to vent their anger with like- minded people. Some people will spend countless hours interacting with these groups and become radicalised to a violent extremist view of the world. Some will go on to commit acts of violence that harm or even kill innocent people.
Violent Extremists will tell you that violence is the only solution. They will call you a freedom fighter, a martyr, a hero, a patriot... But there is a better way. Violence is not the answer.
History has many examples of extremist groups who have tried to make change by using violence. None of these groups have succeeded in achieving change. This is because violence does more harm than good.