Islamic State Recruits Are Young, Angry And Rebellious

In a recent issue of the Huffington Post, Jessica Elgot writes that going off to fight for a “noble” cause is an exciting prospect for a young man with a troubled past and few prospects at home, but the Instagram and Twitter pictures and statuses posted by British recruits show cute cats, Robin Williams movies and missing European treats like Nutella, are just as common topics as any kind of theological debate. Theology, when it is discussed, stretches only as far as twisting verses of the Koran to fit their extreme violence. 

Reacting to the recent disappearance of three young British girls, Prime Minister David Cameron says the case illustrates the need to fight ISIS on multiple levels.  “It does make a broader point which is the fight against terror is not just one that we can wage by the police and border control.” Cameron said on February 22nd, 2015.  “It needs every school, every university, every college, every community to recognize they have a role to play, we all have a role to play in stopping people from having their minds poisoned by this appalling death cult.”

As a community, how to turn these angry teens into reasonable, upstanding members of society?

The anger and rebellion of our youth needs a holistic approach to be successful. Many factors combined will provide a way to prevent our children from seething with anger, aggression and disillusion. Let’s help these young, vulnerable people find the inner peace they crave.

Here are some evidence-based solutions that ARISE has successfully developed and delivered for nearly 30 years:

No teen is inherently bad but ignoring signs of anger, bullying, lack of respect, dropping out of school and other unacceptable behavior may lead to gang membership, gun violence, criminal behavior, radicalization or even suicide.

Turning anger into happiness is a major step in preventing our children from becoming an easy prey for recruitment by any criminal or radical group or organization.