The Polish Platform for Homeland Security successfully organised the meeting disseminating the activities of the PARTICIPATION project “From hate speech to radicalization – how to recognize and react in the event of radicalization of children and youth”. The event took place on December 8 in Poznań, Poland, and was an excellent opportunity to present the results of conducted research.
The main goal was to familiarise the participants with the current results of this initiative. An important task was to disseminate knowledge about alarming behaviour among children and youth, factors contributing to radicalisation and ways to prevent it. Among the speakers were representatives of our organization, Nina Czyżewska – project specialist and Jakub Horn – legal advisor. We also had a chance to listen to the presentation of the PPHS expert on Islamic extremism and cultural security – Magdalena El Ghamari, PhD and the story of Stanisław Czerczak.
Nina Czyżewska kicked off the meeting by familiarising the participants with the activities of the Polish Platform for Homeland Security and the way it functions. Then, she presented the conclusions of the multi-stage research, which used both traditional research methods, such as quantitative analysis using a questionnaire, but also an unusual approach: Community Mapping and Social Lab. Majority of the information concerned educational programmes, factors contributing to the alienation, radicalisation, polarisation and extremism, as well as recommendations for prevention.
Next speaker, Magdalena El Ghamari, Ph.D. from Collegium Civitas introduced the definition of radicalisation and presented its mechanisms. The speech was divided into two parts and focused on the problem of recognising the threat keeping in mind behaviours common among teenagers. She also presented suggestions for reacting to disturbing signals. Her presentation enlivened discussions in the room and opened a space for the exchange of experiences and thoughts related to the issue of defining extremism and classifying signs as dangerous or alarming.
The presence of the so-called a “living book” – a person ready to share their experience was a true asset. The guest of the event organised by PPHS was Stanisław Czerczak from the CODEX Foundation, who talked about his youth, the path that contributed to his radicalisation, as well as the story of returning to proper life. He passed on his knowledge in the form of anecdotes, which made it easier to get closer to the topic.
The event ended with a presentation by Jakub Horn, who familiarised the participants with legal aspects related to hate crimes. The issue of the legal definition of hate speech and the interpretation of related regulations was raised. The participants had the opportunity to learn about the changes introduced by the legislator and to familiarise themselves with the basics of understanding the provisions of the Penal Code. Jakub Horn also presented examples of research on hate crimes, and made an attempt to explain how the acquired knowledge can be used in practice.
The meeting, apart from providing the undoubted substantive value, was held in a pleasant atmosphere. Discussions were held not only during workshop time, but also during breaks. Most importantly, we managed to disseminate knowledge about the project’s results.