How ridiculous… try some shock and awe therapy and closing the borders first….rsk
Therapy and Prevention: The Race to Stop Youth from Radicalizing Germany Tries New Strategies to Keep Men from Islamic State –
The recent spate of deadly attacks in Germany have highlighted the need to intervene with angry young men before they turn to extremism or violence. But the country has a lot of catching up to do — and the work can be controversial.
André Taubert used to feel pretty forsaken when he drove his old Mercedes through northern Germany every day.
He and one other colleague were the only ones dealing with Islamists in four German states: Bremen, Hamburg, Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein. They were constantly getting phone calls from worried mothers, women whose sons or daughter were in the process of discovering jihadism. The women were desperate and concerned that they were losing touch with their own children, who suddenly seemed like strangers.
From 2012 to 2015, Taubert’s schedule often meant visiting as many as three different cities in a single day: Kiel in the morning, for example, Göttingen in the afternoon and Bremen in the evening. “We had to set priorities, make lists and think about where we could still have an impact,” he says. “They were kamikaze missions.”
Prevention was not an important topic at the time, at least not for lawmakers. There was only one counselling center for the family members of Islamists in all of northern Germany — with only one position paid for with public funds, which Taubert and his co-worker shared.
The working conditions have improved since then. In July 2015, 39-year-old Taubert became the head of Hamburg-based Legato, an “office for religiously motivated radicalization.” A team of nine employees now operates in Hamburg alone, where they have already handled 130 cases in only one year. None of these young people has traveled to Syria yet, says Taubert, and he is not aware of any of them having become terrorism suspects.
“I’m annoyed by statements that we can’t do anything about terrorist attacks, just because the security authorities don’t recognize everything. This is a disregard for the power of civil society.”
People like Taubert — social workers, therapists, psychiatrists and educators — are what Germany depends on now. They are expected to do what the police and intelligence services cannot achieve on their own: step in when parents run out of options, friends look the other way and neighbors fall silent.
In the bloody summer of 2016, this is perhaps the most important insight: A life without new attacks, and without fear of terror, can only exist if we begin to understand the rage of unstable young men — and find answers to it.
A Dire Need for Initiatives
There is a lot of catching up to do, as the findings of a SPIEGEL survey taken in all of Germany’s states demonstrate. The number of men prepared to use violence who are traveling to Syria and Iraq has risen over the years, but in Bavaria, for example, four relevant state ministries didn’t begin cooperating closely to foster a network against Salafism until 2015. An initiative in the neighboring state of Baden-Württemberg began operations shortly before Christmas. An office titled “Salafism in the Saarland” was opened in the southwestern state on January 1 of this year. There has been little funding for these efforts to date. The eastern state of Thuringia, for example, spent exactly 16,005.76 euros ($17,889.64) on Islamism prevention in 2015.
At a time when terrorism is becoming more and more of a threat, the government and German society have been oddly disinterested in helping at-risk youth or bringing young radicals back from the fringes of society. But appealing to their hearts and minds could be a successful strategy. The biographies — and possible pathologies — of perpetrators of violence are often similar in terms of their infractions, whether they are on the left, the right or extremists.