Counteracting Religious Extremism in Youth Environments: World Experience and Kazakhstan

Natalya Seitakhmetova, Essenzhol Aliyarov, Sholpan Zhandossova, Zhengisbek Tolen, Marhabbat Nurov


In the 21st century, the imperative to combat extremism and terrorism has risen to the forefront of global and regional agendas, becoming an indispensable condition for fostering the secure and prosperous development of states amidst the formation of a new strategic order. This study aims to examine the peculiarities of combating religious extremism among the youth demographic, drawing insights from global experiences aimed at minimizing terrorist threats within this sphere. Two primary methodologies were adopted in this study: the comparative analysis method, which compares the factors contributing to youth extremism, and the descriptive method, which identifies the main features of radicalization processes across diverse countries worldwide. Examining the landscape of modern youth movements in Kazakhstan and their affiliations with various religious beliefs, it becomes evident that developing a comprehensive and cohesive legal framework is imperative to curtail the emergence of aggressive groups and address the root causes of student radicalization. Moreover, our study underscores the predominant reliance of modern youth on social networks as conduits for accessing information pertaining to mental health, traditional beliefs, and psychological support. Analysis of counter-radicalization efforts across nations reveals a spectrum of approaches adopted by state entities tasked with addressing this issue, often contingent upon the prevailing religious context. In Muslim-majority nations, scholars and public figures championing traditional values emerge as key agents in educating young people on the imperative of participating in radical groups. Conversely, in Western European countries, public organizations and institutions of higher learning emerge as pivotal actors in fostering effective counter-radicalization measures. The findings and insights gleaned from this study are poised to furnish a practical foundation for future research endeavors in this realm. Furthermore, they hold promise in informing the development of youth policies and the resolution of issues pertinent to religious dynamics within advanced societies.


religious extremism; radical currents; global terrorism index; youth; religious education; intolerance.

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