"Radically Together", Veil students - P2P Challenging extremism project of the IRD Department


Radically Together is a counter-speech campaign focusing on bringing to the surface good initiatives related to anti radicalization and extremism. Our team recognizing that our society is experiencing a lack of positive stories and narratives regarding 2nd generation migrants and as research has identified that this group faces the greatest risk of radicalization, the prevalent narratives which portray them as "the other" need to be challenged. These processes of marginalization increase a sense of exclusion and thus contribute to the risk of radicalization. We want to diversify these discourses by providing positive stories on 2nd generation migrants.

We want to address our message to two societal groups. First of all, at-risk youth, locally in Belgium. Young second generation migrants that are feeling marginalized and alienated by the local society, while simultaneously being exposed to hateful, extremist narratives and at risk of being radicalized. Through our campaign, we want to reach this group and emphasize that there are other options than a path filled of hate. And secondly to the society at large believing that in order to be able to promote inclusion and integration we need to change the ways in which 2nd generation migrants are perceived by other local communities. Consequently, the provision of positive stories also acts as a call to action for the wider society to transcend practices of alienation, exclusion and othering. Thus, we want to challenge those in our society that are afraid of the "unknown." By raising awareness of the different community-based, grass-root level initiatives that promote inclusion and integration, we want to create a collective momentum for the different communities to counter radicalization together.

The mean we decided to use to spread our campaign is social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter). Scholar research shows the instrumental role of online networks to entice young people born in Western countries to join ‘imagined diasporic communities’ and start a radicalization process. In this framework, the appeal to radicalism enabled by peer-to-peer technologies respond to an identity vacuum. Hence, the instrumental use of Islamic religion comes as a response to endemic socio-economic conditions that are per se not related to ethnic nor religious factors. Publishing positive stories and positive initiatives to our social media accounts we want to activate people and push them to action in order to ameliorate the aforementioned situation. In addition the creation of an APP, which as a platform will provide information mapping the organizations is in our plans.

In order to achieve this, partnerships with local organizations is essential for us, as it will allow to connect with the networks of relevant community based, grass-root level initiatives that are implemented in communities at risk. These initiatives provide positive stories we can share through our social media presence and information that we can disseminate through the app.

If you have any useful information related to the aforementioned, feel free to contact us to our email account: radically.together@coleurope.eu. Like our Page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RadicallyTogether/ , and follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/radically.together/ and Twitter: https://twitter.com/RadicTogether .

#get_together (our campaign’s hashtag)

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