Studies and Research

Evaluation of the Efforts Made to Address and Correct Deviant Ideologies

A number of deviant or misguided ideologies and thoughts are constantly spread among our youth. These are terrorist thoughts in nature and as such, they are considered as the force motivating young people to commit security violations, crimes and terrorist attacks. These extremist ideologies stem from a hard line interpretation of religion or from religious zealotry and decadent moral views. They often generate behavior patterns which are inconsistent with values and traditions prevailing in our current society.

In spite of the clear danger misguided ideologies may impose on society, they have not received the attention and scrutiny they deserve in an effort to find out their causes, their resources and root them out. Although several studies have been conducted on misguided ideologies in the past, they were not comprehensive or deep enough to reveal the root of the problem. Therefore, more research studies need to be executed using actual field work to collect quantitative and qualitative data, and behavioral observation methods of a sample of youth, in order to get to the bottom of the problem.

Deviant ideologies generally start in the form of impressive intellectual ideas attributed to a particular person who is viewed with admiration by young individuals and often considered a reference model. This person becomes a role model, a reference to be emulated. This person will reach this status in young people's mind only if there is a lack of attention from the part of the community leaders. If unchecked, he will grow in importance and power and may lead them to sacrifice their lives for him. This can happen with young people as a result of an intellectual emptiness which the education instilled in the young person's mind.

The term deviant ideologies always bring to mind the educational system, for education is the first line of defense to curtail this phenomenon. It is imperative to focus on education. Sometimes the deviant thoughts also creep in through other channels such as radio, TV, video tapes or through trips abroad. These thoughts creep in slowly, influencing the young mind, while the parents or the guardians tolerate the signs of negative influences their sons are showing. This may go on till the young person's mind is completely overtaken by deviant thoughts leading him to increasingly behave outside accepted social norms.

This highlights the role of education to be comprehensive to all concerned to achieve synergies and access to young minds and fill the emptiness felt by the youth, and alleviate their suffering. Deviant thoughts must be replaced with serious thoughts. The young person must be aware of the need for social stability, and the need to adhere to the right Islamic values. This job must be carried out by state and other relevant institutions active in education, training and socialization of the youth.

The state and many other organizations are making significant efforts to confront, correct, and prevent the dangerous effects of deviant ideologies. Recently, therapeutic solutions have been implemented by various government bodies. However the problem persists and consequently, there is an urgent need for adequate preventive policies to protect the youth from this scourge. In the next few paragraphs, the efforts made will be reviewed and analyzed to view what has been accomplished so far for cleansing the youth minds of false allegations promoted by deviant ideology thinkers.