We are currently living in an Age of Extremisms, a time of unrivaled polarization and social division. The political landscape across the West seems divided between Democrats and Conservatives. While these fractures are incapacitating governments, extremist parties and movements are providing answers to their frustrated populaces.
In many ways, this is a consequence of the horrendous attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001 and the Global War on Terror that continues. A transnational jihadist movement has been waging a war of attrition against the West, now for over 16 years. These days, Jihadists, Left and Far-Right extremists have developed a symbiotic relationship, feeding off of each other to push a message of hate that suits their own agendas but that threatens to tear the fabric of democracy apart everywhere. In such a perplexing era, combating hate and extremism becomes perhaps the most important struggle facing our generation.
This is why we, two former jihadi extremists and a Catholic of conscience, created Parallel Networks (PN), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to combating extremism in general and extremism(s) in the plural. You can view our website here.
Because this issue affects every one of us, we each have a responsibility and role to play in combating extremism. Come join our Parallel Network!
The Parallel Network is a unique concept. Only networks can struggle against networks. Using network science and our experiential and academic expertise, we implicitly and explicitly challenge the fundamental axioms that drive extremism and hate.
We aim at challenging both the hubs and the nodes of extremist webs by creating a network based on antithetical principles and practices that rivals in scope and size to that of extremists. You can read more about our philosophy here
At PN we don’t seek to be part of the top-down solution to this generational struggle against hate and extremism. Ivory towers, intelligentsia, and the bureaucracy associated with them are all too often a part of the problem. While we can learn a great deal from those with expertise and skill-sets, the truth is that winning the battle against extremism requires us to be as fluid and decentralized as extremists are.
That is why we have partnered with organizations dedicated to combating violent extremism, counter-terrorism experts, the peacebuilding community and engaged Muslim leaders to bring our project to life. But in order to create a true parallel network to that of extremists, this is not enough.
To help us get off and running we need to raise $20,000. That will help us launch and engage in the following activities:
- With two in-house ‘formers’ we will conduct outreach in the community, present to an array of media outlets, participate in community events, contribute to documentaries and films, on panels and share our story with civil society organizations, to impart a better understanding of radicalization and extremism and how we might address its drivers.
We research, write and publish papers directly related to the objectives of the organization. We also consult with organizations that are active in the field, and write occasional op-eds.
: We have several proposals ready for funding and grant-writing. They include:
· Project Youssuf: a community-based reintegration and rehabilitation project for those incarcerated with extremism-related cases or adherent to extremist ideology
· Jihad 2.0.: a counter-messaging campaign to redefine jihad and to directly refute preachers and propagandist, our ED held intimate contact with this video series that serves to prevent people from progressing into violent extremism.
· Ahul-Taqwa: a counter-propaganda campaign that refutes al-Qaeda and ISIS’ English-language magazines. Made by the former jihadi that created it originally
· Veils of Light and Darkness: an original screenplay that taps into the symbiotic relationships between Islamic, right-wing and left-wing extremism.
· Amina: follow Egyptian DJ Amina as she travels around the world and fights extremism in the different communities she visits
· Naseeha.org: an intervention hotline that seeks to offer 24/7 support services for those radicalizing and for family, friends and community members.
· The Small Worlds Podcast will interview professionals and practitioners under the Network Science based parallel network philosophy to alter the paradigm that dries CVE
We have tons of ideas and talent. If you want to know more about our creative programs, feel free to contact us: [email protected]
The three of us have very disparate backgrounds, and our life trajectories have allowed us to experience radicalization, extremism and even the War on Terror in different manners.
Jesse Morton, formerly known as Younus Abdullah Muhammad was a premier propagandist for al-Qaeda in the United States from 2003-2011.
Tania Joya was married to John Georgelas (Abu Yahya Al-Amriki), the foremost American figure in ISIS. She traveled to Syria in 2013 with her family but left shortly after.
Juncal Fernández-Garayzábal is a writer and researcher with expertise in forced migrations, human trafficking, recruitment mechanisms and Islamist ideology. She recently completed her PhD, where she documented the similarities of recruitment efforts between ISIS and human trafficking networks.
Putting together our unique life experiences and our insider’s account knowledge, we strive to combat hate and extremism. But we can’t do this alone…
· Make a donation
· Fund a specific project or a program by reaching out at [email protected] or by phone at (202)730-6538
· Post and share this message on social media
· Connect with us or connect us to those who might be interested in our initiative
Your donations will help allow us to wage the war against violent extremism, and they will make you part of that struggle.