In the modern world, when information solves everything, and it often determines what is bad and good, it is difficult to find the right guidelines. Especially when it comes to young people. How not to be carried away by radical and extremist ideas, from where their legs “grow”, and what can be opposed to violence and intolerance, experts, teachers and young opinion leaders argue about that.

At the end of 2018, the “Report on The Contribution of Positive Youth Development in Tajikistan to Effective Peacebuilding and to Countering or Preventing Violent Extremism: Successes, Limitations, and Recommendations” was published. The research project was carried out by the American NGO “Making Cents” together with the Eurasia Foundation Central Asia-Tajikistan (EFCA-Tajikistan) and was funded by USAID (US Agency for International Development). The main objective of the study was to assess the real impact of state and international efforts in the field of civic participation of youth and peace-building in the Republic of Tajikistan.

According to one of the authors of the report, the political scientist Sherali Rizoyon, today the government of the country has taken a number of steps and taken measures to counter extremism and radicalism. According to him, Tajikistan has in this regard a unique experience of peace-building: “For example, we adopted one of the first in Central Asia national strategy to prevent extremism for the period up to 2020. Extremism is defined as a complex problem in this strategy. It takes into account work with the public, and notes the role of law enforcement agencies, their tasks. In this context, we have a unique national experience. Other countries of Central Asia after us began to adopt such strategies. Our experience has shown that extremism is viewed primarily not as a threat to law enforcement, but above all it is a threat to every citizen. ”

The information space is formed, experts say. And here it is important to learn to think critically and get rid of stereotypes. The world is changing every minute, and you need to be ready to repel informational threats. This is what Rustam Azizi, the deputy director of the Center for Islamic Studies under the President of the Republic of Tajikistan, says about this reason: “There are certain social portraits. Vulnerable groups that may be subject to radical and extremist ideas. But, unfortunately, recruitment methods for different groups are different, everything becomes mobile all around. Therefore, the stereotypes that emerged in the 90s, when there was a different situation and conflict, still exist and prevent specialists from soberly assessing the situation. The real facts of key study, polls show that the situation has changed. And many of those stereotypes do not work. After all, radicalization occurs in a person’s mind when he allows and justifies violence against other people. There should be a set of measures. Family, society, state and non-state structures. I will give an example. Very often, radicalization can be found in the family. But if the love of parents does not blind them, they can notice the changes in the child and help him in time so as not to lose him. Here it is important at all levels: family, society, state, so that people do not consider themselves not to be involved in themselves.”

The civil sector plays an important role in strengthening the role of youth in peacebuilding. Non-governmental organizations in partnership with state committees and departments conduct trainings, forums, conferences with the participation of a large number of active young people. All these projects are aimed at the formation of leadership skills in young people, critical thinking and self-development skills.Firuz Kasymov, a participant in the School for Youth Journalism project: “As part of our project on youth journalism, we, as a coach, taught young people to recognize manifestations of radicalism in our daily lives, to analyze information surrounding us and to recognize questionable news.

In the process of training, young guys got acquainted with all the available news sites and were given the task to analyze the content available on them and the same content on social networks, especially those of radicalism and extremism. Thus, the guys acquired the habit of daily visiting news sites and reading the news, while being able to assess the quality of published materials. I think that now it has become easier for them to recognize dubious publications that form in them the wrong idea about the events taking place. Together with the participants of youth journalism, we analyzed news that dealt with issues of radicalism and extremism, after which we analyzed together the harm that radical sentiments in society have, as well as solutions how to protect young people from their impact. The children actively offered alternative ways that could divert the attention of young people and channel their energy and opportunities towards creation and tolerance.

A kind of bridge of friendship and trust between young people and parents is suggested by the teacher. Those who, by the nature of their profession, are called upon to educate a Person from school, from the first grade give him the correct guidance on life. Only by keeping a close relationship with the child, without being blinded by parental love, one can be helped to understand that there are bad things in life and what a good thing is, and how to remain a person in all situations of life.

Khalida Juraeva Teacher

“Often the school and the teachers are considered guilty of all the bad things that happen to the students. If a young person does not study well, the parents are to blame for the school. If the young man was guilty and committed an offense, then again the school “overlooked” echoing others. I think that in the process of educating young people in the spirit of creation and peace-building, teamwork and schools, and necessarily parents, are important. At meetings with parents, I always say: listen to your children, be interested in their life, ask what is happening at school, where they are going after school, what they generally enjoy in life. Only sincere interest, not supervision, but the desire to be near and help in a difficult situation gives rise to trust. Capture them with interesting ideas, do something together, and see how the confidence of children towards you, the parents, will grow. We, the teachers, from our side, are doing everything possible to support the children, to direct their interests towards the formation of a successful future for ourselves, and therefore for the whole society as a whole. Believe me, the guys whom they support at home and at school will never take the path of violence. ”

Art and creativity can resist the ideas of radicalism and violent extremism. These are the cornerstones on which all the brightest in a person rests, creative people, young opinion leaders consider.

20 year old Malika Shukurova is a famous video blogger and musician in Tajikistan, winner of the Bob Music Award -2018. She involved in art from the childhood. In her opinion, creativity helps a person to find real guidelines and does not take the path of violence. This is especially important for young people who is in today's mobile and interactive world, decide what is really important, it is not easy.

“Thanks to the advent of video blogging and online diaries, people have become more creative and romantic. The ability to engage in dialogue through photos and videos brings together millions of people. Thanks to the art of photography, people become more tolerant of representatives of other nationalities, races, ages. And it is important that much becomes possible thanks to social networks, the Internet as a whole. But, unfortunately, often young people may misinterpret the information that they receive, or rather, choose to perceive something that they need to stay away from. Often, young people cannot understand good or bad, because they can easily be deceived. It's like luring a child with a chocolate on the street. Art struggles with this by creating social videos, projects, communities.

It is important for young people to understand that evil (bad things) always surrounds us. The main thing is to protect yourself from this. And this is not so difficult to do, because we all have social networks. One story is about any violent case or attempt of violence, and everything - having done this, will feel like a bug, crushed by society. Social life is like one big army. It will always be more. So let's promote art, not violence. ”

Sherali Rizoyon is a political scientist: “Through socialization, a person finds himself, new opportunities for his personal growth. Practice shows that if young people realize their intellectual abilities, then this leads to positive results. The development of life skills in young people and the formation of critical thinking is also important. What does it mean? This is when, at the time of graduation, the young man imagines what it will take soon. We need to help young people learn to plan their lives for 10, 15 and 20 years. They should be able to set incredible goals for a different perspective. Young people should work on the realization of their goals, on the dream. A person with a goal is difficult to convince and redirect somewhere. Then such guys will understand that such anti-state ideas harm first of all to themselves. Because they will not be able to realize their dreams. And then it will hurt their loved ones. In this scenario, the state frees itself from the harsh consequences. After all, the state spends a lot of money for the development of a person, person, these are big resources. And so their parents invest a lot in their children. All together should work only for the benefit of human development. "

Only together, each in his own place can confront modern threats - be it radicalism or violent extremism. Do not be silent, do not pass by someone else's pain, do not let a person get lost, just say your time to NO violence and indifference. Only in this way can young people and everyone near you contribute to peace-building and the strengthening of statehood.