Flipping Extremists to Bolster Peace

KUNM Airdate:
April 28, 2023
National Airdate:
Week of May 14, 2023
Half-hour Program
Hour Program

A threat of both international and domestic terrorism has been a constant in our world for decades now. Radicalization of individuals to practice such terrorism has been identified as one of the key reasons behind these attacks forcing governments around the world to focus on countering terrorism through deradicalization. On this PEACE TALKS RADIO episode, correspondent Priyanka Shankar talks to our guests about what drives people into joining terrorist groups and how counter-terrorism efforts are trying to flip extremists to bolster peace. Why should we care about these efforts, and what role, if any, can WE play in such efforts?


If you see that a person you know is increasingly extreme, …do not isolate them or completely cut them off… Remain in their orbit and influence as much and as long as possible, …especially those you've had a friendship with for so long. Don’t condemn them, point fingers at them, damn them to hell. These are not tactics that work.

Mubin Shaikh
former extremist
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One of the main feeding grounds of radicalization is lack of education, lack of knowledge. That's why we should invest MORE in education. I mean, general education. A lot of these (extremist) guys who left for Syria, when I spoke to them when they were on the ground, they contacted ME to translate Arabic for them. Can you imagine?

Pieter Van Ostaeyen
independent analyst on Jihadist groups
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So it's a short term kind of view not to consider bringing people (back from extremist territories) to be rehabilitated, to be de-radicalized, and to be removed from a situation in which they may pose more risk, essentially. Some countries have been facing this better than others. I think most people with knowledge of the future risks that they pose would advocate that.

Elizabeth Pearson
Criminology Lecturer, University of London
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Episode Transcript