The Foreign Service Institute (FSI) held its first Mabini Dialogue for 2019 entitled Nipping Terrorism in the Bud: Canada’s Approach to Countering Radicalization to Violence on 25 January 2019 at the Carlos P. Romulo Library. The guest speaker was Dr. Michael King, Senior Research Advisor at the Canada Centre for Community Engagement and Prevention of Violence.
Dr. King gave a brief presentation on Canada’s new efforts at preventing and countering radicalization to violence (CRV). He explained that CRV refers to preventing individuals from adopting violent ideologies and dissuading those who have already adopted them from continuing to exercise these lethal beliefs.
Per Dr. King, CRV is just part of Canada’s larger counterterrorism strategy which involves four pillars: (1) prevention of terrorist activities, (2) detection of threats, (3) disruption of the flow of activities that support terrorism, and (4) appropriate response to violent incidents.
Dr. King emphasized that early prevention, intervention, and rehabilitation programs play critical roles in nipping terrorism in the bud. These programs include regulating online content that may promulgate terrorist ideologies, public-private collaboration on building knowledge in the field of CRV, developing intervention and rehabilitation capacities, and awareness campaign programs that inform people on the warning signs of radicalization.
Parents and teachers are also given various knowledge resources that help them in discussing the difficult topic of extremism to students and children.
In his conclusion, Dr. King said that while CRV strategies are not the ultimate solution to the problem of terrorism, these strategies contribute to a more effective utilization of counterterrorism resources. CRV initiatives are viewed as pro-social and are an indicator that the government cares for the community. He emphasized the importance of strong collaboration between relevant government agencies and civil society/non-government, which will allow the government to reach its goal of preventing violent extremism.
The event was attended by representatives from the diplomatic corps, academe, defense sector, and other government agencies.