Sometimes it’s natural for a young person to go through an uncharacteristically rebellious and aggressive phase, but there are certain noticeable behavioural changes that are more common to far-right radicalisation and extremism.
If someone is radicalised by the far right, they might:
- be hostile towards people from a certain country, religious group, sexual orientation or cultural background, especially Muslims
- recite simplistic and prejudiced arguments about immigration and minorities, seeing them as a threat to ‘our way of life’ or blaming them for global or local issues
- feel persecuted, referring to a ‘liberal, elite establishment agenda’ or ‘Jewish conspiracy’
- see white Britons as under threat of racial and cultural extinction and say that they have to ‘take action’
- share extremist or divisive views, especially on immigration and Islam, on their social media
- significantly change their appearance and clothing
- adopt the use of certain symbols associated with far-right or neo-Nazi organisations, distribute extremist literature, such as leaflets promoting far-right rallies
- become increasingly secretive about their online activities.
When someone you know exhibits some or all of the behaviours above, you should look into it further. The first step is understanding why they’ve changed. Usually young people fall prey to radicalisation because they feel:
- isolated and lonely
- angry at the world
- confused about the reasons for their misfortunes or situation
- purposeless, without direction or hope
- unprotected, lacking adult guidance.
If you’re concerned about your child, student, sibling or friend becoming vulnerable to far-right radicalisation and recruitment, you should:
- talk to them in a direct but sensitive, non-judgemental manner
- raise the issue with their close family
- talk to one of their friends to establish if something’s wrong in their social life
- challenge their opinions by offering an alternative argument.
Small Steps is here to give you all the support you need to help guide someone away from this divisive and potentially dangerous lifestyle. If you need advice or help, please email us at – firstname.lastname@example.org
To learn more you can also sign up for one of our far-right awareness training courses here.