Jordanian initiative to unite efforts countering terrorism and extremism

Middle East

A variety of international and local organisations have joined forces to deliberate over novel strategies for tackling the issue of extremism and terrorism in Jordan.

In cooperation with the military and security institutions in Jordan, civil society organisations, both international and local, have held a meeting to coordinate efforts to strengthen communities, build resilience and counter-extremist ideology in the country. The meeting, which was primarily organised by the Centre for Studies to Combat Intellectual Extremism, provided a medium for civil activists and military officials to discuss these issues from different approaches.

“This program balances theory and practices through systematic field visits and strategic exercises, held at the Royal Jordanian National Defence College, in managing terrorist crises as well as preparing and building strategies,” said Colonel Ahmad Bani Amer, the central commander in the counter-terrorism and extremism division in the Jordanian Military.

Amongst the issues that were addressed in the meeting was finding an alternative for the phrase “combating extremism” because some activists said that many consider it an offensive and sensitive term.

Activists present at the meeting said that government officials should use words and phrases used by the citizens.

“What people recommend and use as terminology, helped us build a common and acceptable language for young people in the provinces,” said a Jordanian civil society activist.

The meeting resulted in a joint plan of action from the attending organisations and agencies, which will put in place measures to address the different issues that the country faces. One of the most essential points that the attendees stressed is the importance of the three intellectual sources, the religious, educational, and media institutions, in shaping society.

They concluded that the governmental task forces and civil activists must work closely and coordinate with these three intellectual sources to combat extremist ideology throughout Jordan.

Since 2011, the Jordanian Government has been keen on setting up deradicalisation institutions and programs, to prevent extremism and radical ideology from affecting the country.