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This is the testimony of Rashad Ali, a former member of a revolutionary Islamist group. It shows how anyone can get involved in extremism. Although he always fit in socially in Sheffield, the English city he grew up in, he always felt a bit different due to his religion and ethnicity. Then he met the Hizb ut-Tahr group and was drawn to their radical, anti-establishment narrative. They offered him a sense of belonging and political direction. After a while however, Rashad began to realise that their ideology was dangerous and non-religious. Together with other like-minded Muslims, he went on to set up Centri, an organisation dealing with de-radicalisation and counter extremism efforts, where he continues to challenge extremist narratives in favour of a more tolerant, less politicised interpretation of Islam.
The testimonials presented in this section deal with highly sensitive issues. Taken out of context, the material could be misconstrued and cause offence. To this end, when reusing and editing the footage it is essential to uphold at all times the integrity and dignity of the interviewees, and present their statements in context. Permission to freely edit the material implies an agreement to maintain the overall messages contained in the testimonials.
Rashad Ali’s story is one of five clips available on this platform as part of a set that deals with the topic of radicalisation in Europe. The complete set includes the following:
The Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN) is an EU-wide umbrella network connecting key organisations and networks of local actors involved in preventing radicalisation to terrorism and violent extremism established by the European Commission in 2011.
More information on RAN and European Commission’s actions to prevent radicalisation can be found in the background documents below.