There is consensus among practitioners, policy makers, and analysts that efforts to counteract extremism and radicalization cannot be based exclusively on security measures. In Jordan, there is great concern about the tacit approval to extremist ideas and groups in particular among young people. Given the urgency of this phenomenon, the Berghof Foundation in close cooperation with its local Jordanian partner launched the project "Strengthening the Culture of Tolerance." The aim of the project is to counteract extremist ideas among young students through awareness-raising and the development of preventive projects. The project follows a two-track approach: First, it establishes an Advisory Expert Group that will serve as a platform to elaborate constructively on the root causes of extremism in Jordan and to develop preventive measures. Second, the project initiates an exchange with the respective target group in order to both learn about their attitudes towards extremist ideas and to raise their awareness for tolerance and pluralism.
2015 - 2017
Since the beginning of 2011, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan has witnessed an upsurge of Arab Spring-inspired political protests. Today, Jordanians are scared by the fate of neighboring countries. Yet, developments in the post-Arab Spring era have hinted on the various conflicts simmering under the surface though the government has been hitherto successful weathering the political storm and maintaining social and political stability. The deterioration of Jordan's economic situation and the living conditions of a majority of the population not only increases discontent and the chance for popular protests, it also creates fertile ground for extremism and radicalization.
There is broad consensus among practitioners, policy makers, and analysts that efforts to counteract extremism and radicalization cannot be based exclusively on security measures. Acknowledging the vital role that young people can play in preventing and countering violence and extremism, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan hosted the Global Forum on Youth, Peace and Security in August 2015. According to Ahmad Alhendawi, the United Nations Secretary-General's Envoy on Youth, the adopted Amman Youth Declaration is an elaborated roadmap for engaging youth in preventing and countering violent extremism.
The Berghof Foundation aims to support this approach. In close cooperation with its Jordanian partners, the "Jordanian Society for Democratic Enabling", the Berghof Foundation launched the project "Strengthening the Culture of Tolerance."
To counteract extremist ideas among young students in Jordan the project builds upon different pillars:
The overall aim of the project is to strengthen inter- and intra-religious tolerance and pluralism in Jordan and to support the development of new and non-violent approaches to address the phenomenon of extremism among young people.
The project is to develop different outcomes such as:
The project is implemented in close cooperation with the Jordanian Society for Democratic Enabling.
Our activities are funded by the Embassy of the Netherlands in Jordan and the Dutch Foreign Office.