Dialogue & Deradicalisation

By engaging in dialogue with those most vulnerable to extremist ideologies, they can be walked back from the edge of violence.

For over a decade, ISD has worked on the forefront of deradicalisation efforts across the ideological spectrum. We do this through a range of programmes underpinned by rigorous research into the drivers of radicalisation.

Counter Conversations
Violent extremists increasingly use peer-to-peer messaging to engage potential recruits on social media. ISD’s Counter Conversations initiative uses a similar approach to dissuade and disengage extremist sympathisers online. Using digital tools which utilise publicly available information, we map and locate users expressing extremist sentiment online. Our intervention providers then engage identified individuals in constructive, personalised online conversations, offering a positive alternative and deterring them from joining violent extremist groups.

Our intervention providers consist of former extremists, survivors of extremist violence and counsellors. The former extremists and survivors who initiate these conversations are drawn from our Against Violent Extremism (AVE) network – the largest network of former extremists and survivors of extremism in the world. These individuals have the credibility and insight needed to carry out these highly sensitive conversations with radicalised individuals online.

Against Violent Extremism Network
ISD’s Against Violent Extremism (AVE) network is a unique and powerful global force in the ongoing struggle to tackle violent extremism. By connecting former extremists with survivors of extremist attacks, the AVE network leverages the lessons, experiences and connections of individuals who have dealt first-hand with extremism. The unique experiences of AVE members enables them to push back against extremist narratives and prevent the radicalisation of others.

ISD’s Dialogue & Deradicalisation team

Rashad Ali
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Rashad Ali

Resident Senior Fellow

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Rashad Ali
Rashad Ali

Resident Senior Fellow

Rashad Ali is a Resident Senior Fellow at ISD. Rashad is a counter terrorism practitioner who works on deradicalisation initiatives alongside Prisons, Probation Services, Police and community groups. He was formerly a national leadership member of Hizb ut-Tahrir, the revolutionary Islamist organisation and has been actively involved in undermining its extreme ideology and perversion of Muslim faith since his departure. As a researcher he has given testimony and contributed submissions to the Home Affairs Select Committee on Radicalisation, the Parliamentary Select Committee on Intelligence and has briefed the London Mayor's office on Counter Terrorism and has been consulted by think tanks and governments in Germany, Denmark, the EU and the US. He is an external lecturer for Derby University’s Master Class courses on Radicalisation and Counter Terrorism. He has written for The Observer, The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Independent, The Times, Dissent Magazine, Birlingske in Denmark, Conservative Home, and given commentary for Newsnight, BBC News. He is the author of Islam, Shariah and the Far Right published by Demoqratiya journal, A Guide to Refuting Jihadism published by HJS and EFD, and the author of the ISD report Blasphemy, Charlie Hebdo, and the Freedom of Belief and Expression. He is classically trained in Islamic theology and jurisprudence and Modern studies in Islam. He studied at al-Azhar University, Cairo, and the Markfield Institute.
Jacob Davey
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Jacob Davey

Head of Research & Policy, Far-right and Hate Movements

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Jacob Davey
Jacob Davey

Head of Research & Policy, Far-right and Hate Movements

Jacob Davey is Head of Research & Policy of Far-right and Hate Movements. His research focuses on the role of digital communications in inter-communal conflict, internet culture, online hate speech and the international far-right. He has led a number of projects piloting novel models for identifying extremist conversation online as well as interventions to counter this phenomenon. He has advised national and local policymakers on right-wing extremism, including the Home Affairs Select Committee, and has lead trainings with frontline practitioners on the mobilisation strategies of extremist groups. He has provided commentary on extremism-related issues in a number of platforms including The Guardian, The Independent, and The BBC, and also sits as a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Analysis of the Radical Right. He is the co-author of ISD reports Hosting the ‘Holohoax’: A Snapshot of Holocaust Denial Across Social Media, The Interplay Between Australia’s Political Fringes on the Right and Left: Online Messaging on Facebook, The Genesis of a Conspiracy Theory, A Safe Space to Hate: White Supremacist Mobilisation on Telegram, An Online Environmental Scan of Right-wing Extremism in Canada, The Fringe Insurgency – Connectivity, Convergence and Mainstreaming of the Extreme Right, Counter-Conversations: A model for direct engagement with individuals showing signs of radicalisation online, “Mainstreaming Mussolini” – How the Extreme Right Attempted to ‘Make Italy Great Again’ in the 2018 Italian Election, ‘The Great Replacement’: The Violent Consequences of Mainstreamed Extremism, and An imprecise science: Assessing interventions for the prevention, disengagement and de-radicalisation of left and right-wing extremists.
Charlotte Moeyens
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Charlotte Moeyens

Networks and Civic Action Manager

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Charlotte Moeyens
Charlotte Moeyens

Networks and Civic Action Manager

Charlotte Moeyens is a Networks and Civic Action Manager at ISD, sitting in the central Resources and Methods team to support with the collation and distribution of counter-extremism best practice, leading much of ISD’s practitioner and civil society capacity-building work, overseeing the development and international delivery of training modules, materials and resources. She has supported the delivery of the Google.org Impact Challenge on Safety in Europe, Africa Online Safety Fund and Mayor of London’s Shared Endeavour Fund. Most recently, she is working with the McCain Institute to develop and build the capacity of a US Prevention and Intervention Practitioners Network. Charlotte also assists with ISD’s and the Strong Cities Network’s research efforts to better understand the scale and scope of extremist content online. She is co-author of the ISD reports YouthCAN: The Many States of Activism and Women, Girls and Islamist Extremism.
Amarnath Amarasingam
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Amarnath Amarasingam

Senior Research Fellow

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Amarnath Amarasingam
Amarnath Amarasingam

Senior Research Fellow

Amarnath Amarasingam is a Senior Research Fellow at ISD. He currently serves as Assistant Professor in the School of Religion at Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada and is an Associate Fellow at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation. He has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, Politico, The Atlantic, and Foreign Affairs. He has conducted over 50 interviews with former fighters of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE, or Tamil Tigers) throughout the former war zones of Sri Lanka in 2012 and 2013. At the Turkey-Syria border, Amarasingam spoke with dozens of injured fighters, refugees, as well as former and current activists of the Syrian revolution. He has also conducted field research in Somalia, Lebanon, Israel/Palestine, and amongst different ethnic and religious groups in North America and Europe. As co-director of a study of Western foreign fighters in Syria, he has conducted dozens of interviews with jihadists in Syria and Iraq, supporters of jihadist movements online, as well as family members and friends of individuals who have joined the fight abroad. He is the author of Pain, Pride, and Politics: Social Movement Activism and the Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora in Canada (2015) and the editor of Sri Lanka: The Struggle for Peace in the Aftermath of War (2016), The Stewart/Colbert Effect: Essays on the Real Impacts of Fake News (2011) and Religion and the New Atheism: A Critical Appraisal (2010). He is also co-author of the ISD reports No Platform for Old Men, Barriers to Online Youth Civic Engagement and P-CVE in Europe, An imprecise science: Assessing interventions for the prevention, disengagement and de-radicalisation of left and right-wing extremists, and “I Left to be Closer to Allah”: Learning about Foreign Fighters from Family and Friends.
Hadiya Masieh
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Hadiya Masieh

Fellow

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Hadiya Masieh
Hadiya Masieh

Fellow

Hadiya Masieh is an expert in the area of community cohesion, interfaith relations, counter extremism, and women’s involvement in extremism. She has been a counter extremism consultant for various Governments and NGOs in the US, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, Norway, Denmark, and Spain. She has also worked with non-profit and commercial organisations including Google Jigsaw. She was appointed to the UK government’s “National Muslim Women’s Advisory Group” which advised senior government officials on theological development, community cohesion, and empowering women from ethnic minorities. Hadiya was one of the authors of the report “Radicalisation and violent extremism-focus on women: How women become radicalised and how to empower them to prevent Radicalisation”, which was produced the European Parliament committee on Women’s Rights and Gender equality. Hadiya was an ambassador for Women Without Borders promoting counter extremism narratives and facilitating discussions within conflict areas. She was appointed to the board of the internationally renowned and award winning peacekeeping organisation The Bereaved Families Forum based in Palestine and Israel, promoting their message of peace within conservative Jewish and Islamic Institutions in the UK. Hadiya was one of the first women to work on the UK channel programme where she has worked closely with scores of women affected by radical and extremist views. She has been interviewed by Radio 4, BBC World Service, BBC Asian Network, CNN, The Guardian, and Vogue Magazine. Hadiya has worked with ISD as a consultant since 2013 on the One to One programme.