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A member of the TUFF FC anti-radicalisation football club receives a FC Jeunesse Molenbeek club pennon from local youth players in Molenbeek, Belgium, June 2016.

Different Cities, Shared Stories: A Five-Country Study Challenging Assumptions Around Muslim Women and CVE Interventions

Emily Winterbotham and Elizabeth Pearson
RUSI Journal, 30 November 2016
Radicalisation and Countering Violent Extremism, Terrorism and Conflict, UK Counter-terrorism, North America, Tackling Extremism, Americas, Terrorism, Europe
An in-depth analysis questions conventional thinking on the role women can play in efforts to counter violent extremism.

In 2015, UN Security Council Resolution 2242 advocated deliberate outreach to women when devising counterterrorism projects. This is based on assumptions of the need to empower women, as well as their particular ability to exert benign influence over young people and stop radicalisation to violence. The approach has been particularly prevalent in Western Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) projects aimed at preventing homegrown Islamist radicalisation. On the basis of field work with Muslim communities in five countries – Canada, the UK, Germany, France and The Netherlands – Emily Winterbotham and Elizabeth Pearson challenge the underlying assumptions of such an approach, and suggest aspects of women’s CVE projects may exacerbate existing community tensions, and do not reflect the changing norms of Muslim communities in the West. Alternative modes of engagement could improve the efficacy of CVE and enable it to better appeal to those it is intended to help.

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Emily Winterbotham
Director, Terrorism and Conflict

Emily is Director of the Terrorism and Conflict group and Senior Research Fellow at RUSI focusing on extremism and... read more

Elizabeth Pearson
Associate Fellow
Elizabeth Pearson is a Lecturer at the Cyber Threats Intelligence Centre (CyTIC) in the Hillary Rodham Clinton School of... read more

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