Oasis Founder, Rev Steve Chalke has launched a new book ‘Radical’ to address the growing issue of radicalization amongst young people. According to Steve, who launched the book in the UK on February 12th, society needs to fundamentally rethink its approach to radicalization, counter-extremism and counter-terrorism.
Chalke argues that strategies and initiatives to ‘prevent’ young people from being exposed to negative and dangerous radicalization can only go so far. Human beings, he argues, need to live a life driven by a narrative that is just as radical as those peddled by Islamic extremists, cult leaders or gang bosses.
The launch of the book has been accompanied by a new peacemaking program for young people named ‘INSPIRE’ with the aim of globally helping schools embed to these principles into curriculum and help youth and other community groups give young people real and practical opportunities to make peace.
Rev Steve Chalke, Founder of Oasis, says, “You can’t kill an evil ideology by taking down a person, a thousand people, or even ten thousand people. If we are going to overcome the escalating problem of extremism and terrorism that our world faces, we need a different answer. We need to find a narrative that is radical enough to turn the tide.
“The problem is that our suggested counter-extremism and counter-terrorism solutions just don’t make this connection at the moment. As a result, they fail to get to the heart of things. Instead of tackling the roots – the fundamentals – of the issue, they attempt to deal with the symptoms of its growth. In a phrase, they are just not radical enough.
“When I was 14, I became a Christian and pledged to one day open a school, a hospital and a hostel. In a very real sense, I was radicalised, just as Gandhi, Emmeline Pankhurst and Martin Luther-King were all once radicalised.”
Throughout the 163 page book, Steve Chalke demonstrates that radicalization, in and of itself is not a problem; it is the identity and story to which people are radicalized that can create devastation. While recognizing the huge threat faced from global Islamic terrorism, Steve is clear that what confronts us is a human, not Islamic problem. Negative radicalization is also found in gang culture, far right nationalism and is flourishing in certain branches of western Christianity.
For further information about the book, please visit the Oasis UK site here.