Is radicalization good or bad? Asked Michael Adikwu a youth development trainer began by asking participants questions. Participants agreed that indeed radicalization can be positive; whereby they argued that radicalization is not always bad, but it will depend with the issues that one is being radicalized about. Being radicalized for example to become a football fan is not wrong but rather radicalizing someone to commit a violent act it then becomes bad/wrong. Hence, radicalization is good depending on the ideologies. Other participants argued that radicalization is not good because it comes with social, economic, and political destruction. Radicalization of the masses will eventually lead to destabilization of a country. Some participants were not sure if radicalization is good or bad, whereby they argued that since radicalization can either be good or bad depending on the circumstances and situations, it is difficult to categorically say it is good or bad.
Mr. Michael posed a second question and asked, are young people victims or victors in violent extremism? Participants responded by stating that youths are victims of violent extremisms as most youths lose their lives and kill others in the act. Youths cannot be victors because violent extremisms neither contributes nor adds anything to the life of a young person.
Michael argued that what unites us or better still what connects us as human beings is more than what divides us. Unfortunately, what divides us is always profound or amplified for all the wrong reasons. This therefore means that which unites us is never appreciated. It is therefore important for young people to instead focus on what unites them rather than focusing on what divides them.
“We cannot counter violent extremisms without first building our own identities. When we don’t have strong self-identities we are susceptible to violent extremism. It is imperative to build a balance identity so as to counter violent extremism,”he stated.
In his conclusion he asserted that a balanced identity is the way forward to countering violent extremism. He encouraged participants to reflect on their identities and the identities of those who commit violent extremisms and see what they can learn from them. He continued that youths are a resource which can effectively be harnessed to prevent violent extremism