Deradicalization of Islamists: Theory and Practices (International and Russian Experience)


Naima Nefliasheva


The article is based on the materials of the international scientific conference held by the Center for Civilizational and Regional Studies of the Institute for African Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences “Deradicalization of Islamists: Theory and Practices (International and Russian Experience)”. The conference was attended by both representatives of the academic circles from Russia, Kazakhstan and the United States, and practitioners, psychologists and social workers who are directly involved in the programs of deradicalization of Islamists in their countries. The conference discussed the main directions and theoretical approaches of deradicalization, as well as specific programs and practices of the deradicalization of Islamists. Special attention was paid to the possibilities of applying international experience in the Russian Federation. The conference was interdisciplinary. According to the participants of the conference, the programs adopted in different countries have their own regional specifics, but each program somehow includes work with convicts or those who are at risk: sessions with respected and authoritative religious figures and imams; work with psychologists; involvement in the process of deradicalization of the inner circle, parents, friends and family; vocational education and obtaining a profession, as well as integration into the process of peaceful life after the convicts were released after imprisonment. Deradicalization programs should be comprehensive in nature, including not only forceful methods, but also a set of measures for training, education and social rehabilitation. Despite different approaches to the main definitions of deradicalization, the participants of the discussion demonstrated unanimity in assessing the relevance of the topic and its prospects. The paper contains an introduction and the short theses of the conference participants. At the end of the work, a conclusion is given, which summarizes the main results of the conference.


Islam, Islamism, radicalization, deradicalization, Africa, Kazakhstan, Russian Federation




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