CPAU engages the local community of Herat Province in efforts for Strengthening the Counter-narrative and Weakening the Legitimacy of Violent Extremism Messaging during a two-day conference

Living in a digital era, terrorist networks like the Taliban or ISIS employ new information technologies and platforms to their advantage in order to enlarge their target groups, to reach more susceptible parts of society like vulnerable youth populations, and to make their recruitment and propaganda strategies more accessible and appealing to the above mentioned audience.
Therefore, in the context of a comprehensive and effective strategy for countering violent extremism, an important approach is to undermine the attraction and legitimacy of violent extremist recruiters’ messaging. This can be reached by strengthening the counter-narrative and by amplifying existing counter-messages and alternative narratives. Thus, it is essential to expand positive digital media strategies and to provide key stakeholders in society with the potential of engaging in counter-messaging strategies positively.

Following up on previous efforts of countering violent extremism within vulnerable communities, CPAU held a two-day conference on ‘Strengthening the Counter-narrative and Weakening the Legitimacy of Violent Extremism Messaging’in Herat Province on 5th and 6th March 2016.

Highly qualified speakers with different personal and professional backgrounds were invited to speak on the topic of the conference against the backdrop of CVE. During lively and fruitful discussions and informative talks, all participants emphasized the necessity of developing a national media and security strategy for strengthening the counter-narrative of violent extremism messaging. In line with strengthening the counter-narrative, it has also been advised to broaden common knowledge on violent extremism within society, to eliminate rumors and false interpretations, and to raise awareness of ancient and potentially harmful customs and traditions in Afghanistan which might create a platform for violent extremist messaging.

The conference has been a success in that most participants thought it to be very helpful for raising awareness on the topic and for offering a unique platform for an unbiased and informed knowledge exchange on the sensitive matter of violent extremism.
 
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