By: Stewart Bell | National Post
Canada should help Muslim youth perform volunteer work in Afghanistan and Iraq as an alternative to joining violent extremist groups, says a government-funded study.
The report by the British think-tank Demos found that Western Muslims are attracted to jihadist violence partly out of a desire for rebellion and adventure, and says “more radical and daring” countermeasures are needed.
Volunteer-abroad programs like those offered by Canada World Youth and Crossroads International should be “expanded and promoted to all young people, including those deemed at risk of radicalization to violence,” it says.
“Opportunities to travel and volunteer abroad cannot only channel energy and engender a concern for others, but also take the glamour out of the al-Qaeda narrative and increase appreciation of Western citizens for the rights granted in their own countries.”
The recommendation is one of many in The Edge of Violence, a two-year study of homegrown radicalization in Canada, the United Kingdom, Denmark, France and the Netherlands.