Saturday, June 27, 2015

"Sweden Should Focus On Women To Fight Terror"

Via The Local:

As the world reacts with shock and disgust to the terrorist attacks in France, Tunisia and Kuwait, a Swedish terrorism expert, Hans Brun, has suggested that Sweden needs a stronger focus on women to help stop global terrorism.

Brun told Swedish news agency TT on Saturday that the war against terrorism is not fought on geographical terrain, as with conventional wars, but in the minds of people. “It is ideology that must be fought”, says Brun, “and this is a war that must be fought primarily by focusing on women”.

By providing vulnerable women in the Middle East and Africa with education and health care they can be helped to take control of their lives. “Those who control their lives do not become suicide bombers”, said Brun.

“The USA and Europe needs to address this issue and Sweden could lead the way. But not enough is being done”, he said.

Former Social Democrat party leader, Mona Sahlin, now national coordinator against violent extremism, agrees. “Women are key to preventing radicalization. Mothers can help stop their children going to fight for terrorist organizations”.

But Sahlin says the Swedish government is not doing enough to help these mothers.

“One way to address the problem is the establishment of a hotline which is available in many different languages”. Sahlin says that mothers could turn to such a resource for advice if they fear one of their children is becoming radicalized.

Interior Minister Anders Ygeman claims that efforts directed at women and families are made but agrees that staff in both agencies and municipalities need more training.

“We have been a little naive, a bit ignorant and have been less able to detect this type of violent extremism than others”, he says.

In the late summer, a new national strategy against terrorism will be debated in the Swedish parliament, the Riksdag. The strategy features new measures to prevent radicalization and staunch recruitment to terrorist organizations.

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