Organized in joint collaboration with the Migration Research Institute, NUPS has held a workshop titled “Preventing violent radicalization”. As the host of the event dr. Péter Tálas, dean of the Faculty of International and European Studies stressed the importance of workshops alike when pointing to the fact how common people have a limited knowledge regarding the roots and effects of the phenomena, being provided with a chance of getting in touch with the topic through the sensation-hungry media only. The workshop’s moderator Hanga Sántha on behalf of the Migration Research Institute added that it is essential for all of us to understand the processes since radicalization keeps strengthening regardless of the underlying ideologies.
With the aim of preventing violent manifestations, Europe puts a great effort into mapping radicalization. What is more, this intention is not only visible on the governments’ side but also in the public and civil sector as well. The Radicalization Awareness Network launched in 2011 counts as one of the forerunners of the subject with its 2000 affiliates. Working at the Dutch Radar Advies, Secretariat of the Radicalization Awareness Network, Steven Lenos summed up the message of his organization as follows: radicalization is a process that has no single profile and has no simple indicators. Consequently, to understand the motivations as well as to provide aid, we must concentrate on the breeding ground with the vulnerable individuals in the forefront. All situations require unique and specific answers, since radicalization is all about the vulnerable psyche and the responsibility of the individuals along the host communities. With a bit of concentration, criminalization turns out to be preventable: with strong reference groups around, troubled individuals turn less likely towards radical ideologies.
Dr. Borbála Fellegi, representative of the Foresee Research Group said that small communities play an exponentially large role in the fight against radicalization. Families and schools are principal tools of prevention by means of supportive communication. Dialogues which build on authentic personal commitment and take place in a relaxed, non-judgemental environment tend to be more effective in the long run.
On behalf of the Ministry of Interior, colonel Mihály Kovács spoke about the means of state-level crime prevention. In agreement with the other speakers Mr Kovács said that “well-functioning communities are obstacles in the way of radical ideas.” It is important to note however that the type of radicalization which is often linked with Islam is not yet common in Hungary. Though Hungarian prisons do not keep track of the inmates’ religious beliefs, based on their descent, a little less than 300 convicts may be associated with the Muslim religion.
Text: Dorottya Pétery
Photos: Dénes Szilágyi