LOS ANGELES — Removing polarization and politics from the conversation might be the key to stopping homegrown violent extremism, experts said Tuesday, Nov. 14, as they attempted to deconstruct a problem that has flummoxed cities and nations around the world.
“The extremist mindset is all about positing superiority over another,” said Sasha Havlicek, director of the London-based Institute of Strategic Dialogue, speaking at the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy’s Global Summit on Homegrown Violent Extremism.
“The ‘othering’ of people, the dehumanizing of groups of people, is the precursor to mass murder and turns mentally able people into killers.”
While governments and non-governmental organizations have tried programs to counter violent extremism, experts view such efforts as a narrow approach to a much larger problem.
“People don’t start out as lone wolves, they start out angry and bitter,” said Tony McAleer, co-founder of Life After Hate, a support group for former extremists. Before he started working to pull people away from violence, McAleer was a skinhead recruiter and manager of a white supremacist rock band, Odin’s Law. Read More