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Guest editor

Vidhya Ramalingam

Vidhya Ramalingam runs the new FREE Initiative resource that offers practical guidance on how to take action against violent far-right extremism. She introduced a guest week in September 2014 on the following theme:

Confronting Europe’s problem with far-right extremism

Our partner

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The FREE Initiative (Far-Right Extremism in Europe Initiative), a major new online resource launched by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, aims to inspire and promote cross-border learning among those working against violent far-right extremism.

Terry Sonveaux. All rights reserved.

Confronting Europe’s problem with far-right violence

This FREE initiative feature addresses far-right extremism in Europe, with comments from both victims of violence and former extremists who have reformed their ways.

Extremism and 'Prevent': the need to trust in education

‘Prevent’ is the part of the UK government’s counter-terrorism strategy designed to respond to the ideological challenges of terrorism and extremism. Are its priorities self-defeating? There are promising alternatives.

Time to get serious about right wing extremism

Britain needs to get serious about tackling right wing extremism - and as it does so, there are lessons to learn from Wales.

9/11: what we can do

Daniel Gallant’s unique experience as an activist, counselor, scholar, writer and former violent right wing extremist offers a unique insight into what we can all contribute to decreasing the likelihood of terrorist attacks.

Policing the far right

The right police tactics can have a major impact on far-right groups and how they affect communities. How should we police the far right? (Video, 2 minutes)

Empowering targeted communities

Communities that are targeted by far-right extremists may feel fear, powerlessness and frustration. Many survivors of far-right violence are still fighting for justice. How can we empower these communities and give them a voice? (Video, 2 minutes).

In the aftermath of racial violence: seeking change after the NSU trial in Germany

Links between these racist extremist groups and parts of government should more readily be assumed to exist and should be investigated when murders take place.

On Roma murders in Hungary

Why did the police not take the investigation seriously at first? Why did the political elite need six victims to admit that these people were murdered because of their Roma identity, to acknowledge the neo-Nazi terrorist nature of their acts?

‘Tit for tat’ extremism and the rise of far right anti-Muslim movements in the UK

Visibly Muslim females were the subject of anti-Muslim hate and elderly Muslim men and women going about their daily business have also been subjected to fear, intimidation and abuse.

Dealing with extremism online

What are the human impacts of far-right extremism? Hear perspectives from a survivor of far-right violence and a former far-right extremist (Video, 3 minutes)

How polar extremisms fuel and support each other

Groups hold similar roots of discontent, such as poverty, discrimination and the sense of values under threat, but manifest these sentiments in an array of diverse extremist ideologies with highly varied targeted ‘Others’.

The challenge of conspiracy theories – how to enhance critical thinking against the critical thinkers?

Conspiracy theories are extremely helpful for leaders provoking violent conflicts. They simplify the world, victimise the ingroup, diabolise the enemy, and give justification for violence.

Speaking against prejudice

Engaging with those who have racist or prejudiced views is important, but it needs to be done the right way. Here’s how to have conversations with them and challenge these ideologies. (Video, 2 minutes)

A new way of challenging racism and far-right ideas in young people

Through open dialogue and debate we seek to understand why they feel the way they do. Then, we aim to give them the facts and information they need to think for themselves.

Beyond hate: a call to explore the emotions of anti-minority protest

Activists’ initial involvement with the EDL was often associated with feelings of anger and outrage, but also with feelings of excitement and with feelings of possibility. 

How to approach extremists

Working with extremists to disengage them from acts of violence should be done by trained intervention providers. Hear from them about how it can be done. (Video, 2 mins)

Overlooked and underrated: women in right-wing extremist groups in Germany

Right-wing extremism continues to be perceived by mainstream media and statutory organizations as a predominantly “male problem” since the stereotypical view regards white women as non-violent, peaceful, loving and caring individuals. This is highly misleading. 

Far-right violence in Greece: an effective response

More democracy and power to the people is a good starting point. Democracy is not weak or defenseless in Greece and freedom of thought and ideology are the essence of democracy.

Rehabilitating perpetrators of violent extremism and hate crime: the importance of gender-based approaches and the limits of online interventions

Counter-messaging and counter-arguing is invaluable for the resilience of our societies, but often does not have the intended impact on the target group, since arguing only strengthens their radicalisation. So what should we do?

Why we should be concerned

What is the scale of the problem of far-right extremism in Europe? (Video, 2 minutes)

The human face

What are the human impacts of far-right extremism? Hear perspectives from a survivor of far-right violence and a former far-right extremist (Video, 3 minutes)

The pathway out of violence: my story within and without far-right extremism

People like myself know what it’s like to be isolated in a world that we wanted to kill, in order to do what we believed was ‘right.’ Fortunately today, in 2014, there is an emerging network of people who are offering help all around the world.

The new wave of counter-terrorism

The FREE Initiative aims to prevent and counter far-right extremism across Europe by creating a platform for individual activists, organisations, government officials and others to learn from one another.

Introducing this week’s theme: Confronting Europe’s problem with far-right violence


This week's guest theme addresses a violent issue which has often been overlooked in Europe. Far-right extremism is often relegated to a second tier security threat due to the tendency to see these groups as irrelevant to inquiries into national security and terrorism. But we should be wary of this.

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