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2019/Armenian Group about Faith

Interview of Aram Samsonyan from the Armenian Group after the Training Course in Armenia "Face2Faith" 2019


According to your opinion, what drives interfaith radicalization?

I think that one of the most powerful force that drives interfaith radicalization is power in the hands of a very cunning and devious to the core, but still very charismatic characters. Plus, Internet as a tool has a great impact on radicalization. First of all, it is supereasy to spread any kind of information on big audience with help of it. Secondly, because of this technical progress, availability of access to almost any platform and existence of such group of people as influencers, it becomes harder and harder to check information and to build a critical thinking. That’s it.

What is the role of youth organizations/NGOs in the prevention of interfaith radicalisation?

First of all, youth organizations/NGOs should use tools of non-formal education for development critical thinking in youth. Secondly, communication is always a powerful tool for solving any problem, so thanks to these organizations people can discuss some problems. Third, it is also about cultural exchange, so youth organizations/NGOs can invite representatives of different cultures/religions/countries in order to show that violence isn’t the way to make world better.

What can we do to protect young people from extremist influences in the online environment? What are your tips for staying safe online?

First of all, I don’t think that censorship is bad decision in such situations: it can be helpful to ban some websites or special social networks. Secondly, media literacy and Web-etiquette should be obligatory for learning in schools. Third, there a lot of tools for help us to stay safe online (e.g. VPN, Intra, AdBlock etc). All of us should just make a small research and find their own!

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