Playful Religion: An Innovative Approach to Prevent Radicalisation of Muslim Youth in Europe
2. The Concept of Radicalisation
2.1. Radicalisation and Fanaticism
2.2. Radicalisation and Polarisation
3. De- and Counter-Radicalisation
3.1. Inclusive Pedagogy and Resilience
3.2. Inclusive Pedagogy—‘Examples of Good Practice’
4. Prevention of Radicalisation in Education
4.1. Dialogue in the ‘Society of Mind’
‘(...) refers not only to productive exchanges between the voices of individuals but also between collective voices of the groups, communities, and cultures to which the individual person belongs. (...) It implies a learning process that confirms, innovates, or further develops existing positions on the basis of the preceding exchange. As a learning process it has the capacity to move the self to higher levels of awareness and integration. (...) Dialogue is one of the most precious instruments of the human mind and is valuable enough to be stimulated and developed, particularly in situations where learning is hampered by monological communication’.
4.2. Resilience—Based on Dialogue
5. The Game: ‘Shaṭranj al-ʿārifīn’
Rules Defining the Space of Playful Religious Education
6. Case Study—Piloting Playful Religion
6.1. Research Design
6.2. Lessons Learned from the Pilot Study
7. Conclusions, Discussion, Recommendations
Conflicts of Interest
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Wiktorowicz introduces the concept of “‘cognitive opening’, which refers to a psychological crisis in which previously accepted beliefs are shaken and an individual becomes receptive to other views and perspectives” (in: Kundnani 2012, p. 17).
In addition to the individual and group dynamic approach, Laqueur’s theological approach is mentioned with its focus on “a specific set of religious beliefs [that] is regarded as a plausible indicator of terrorist risk” (in: Kundnani 2012, p. 9).
In the Netherlands, ‘Sinterklaas’ (Saint Nicholas—a Santa Claus-like figure) is traditionally accompanied by ‘Zwarte Piet’ (‘Black Peter’), a white person painted black, who takes on the role of Saint Nicholas’ assistant. Customarily, Black Peter speaks Dutch in a simplified way and often makes funny mistakes due to his misunderstanding of the Dutch language. Since the beginning of the debate about the Dutch colonial past, Black Peter has been a highly contested and vehemently discussed figure. In this public discourse, people on both sides of the debate fanatically underline their own argument.
See: Narthex, Tijdschrift voor levensbeschouwing en educatie [Narthex, Journal for Worldview and Education], Vol. 15 (2), special issue ‘Addressing Current Issues: How RE Teachers Include Islam in their Classes’.
In a similar way, humour creates a space for bringing together opposite positions. This is eloquently exemplified by Amos Oz (2016) in a encounter with a taxi driver, described in his publication ‘Hoe genees je een fanaticus’ [How to cure a fanatic] (Oz 2016, p. 24). The original title of this publication, published in 2004, is ‘Help us to Divorce. Isreal & Palistine, between right and right’.
Researchers have an ethical obligation to share methodological and practical issues emerging from studies done for the development and construction of scientific knowledge (Schreiber 2008). Reports on the lessons learned from and issues identified in the pilot work could be especially helpful and inspire other researchers involved in similar studies (Lanphear 2001). The principal benefit of conducting a pilot study is that it provides researchers with an opportunity to make adjustments and revisions in the proposed main study. The pilot exercise relates to identifying specific methodological and epistemological issues so that researchers can affirm, sharpen, or revise how to pursue and achieve their goals in their planned studies. We intend to use both qualitative and quantitative data collection techniques within the scope of this project. Therefore, we plan to do several pilot studies to test and improve our research design and instruments.
“Studies of individual cases allow the researcher to learn the intricate details of how a treatment is working, rahter than averaging the effect across a number of cases” (Kennedy 1979, in: Swanborn 1996, p. 44).
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Gurlesin, O.; Akdag, M.; Alasag, A.; Avest, I.t. Playful Religion: An Innovative Approach to Prevent Radicalisation of Muslim Youth in Europe. Religions 2020, 11, 67. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11020067
Gurlesin O, Akdag M, Alasag A, Avest It. Playful Religion: An Innovative Approach to Prevent Radicalisation of Muslim Youth in Europe. Religions. 2020; 11(2):67. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11020067Chicago/Turabian Style
Gurlesin, Omer, Muhammed Akdag, Alper Alasag, and Ina ter Avest. 2020. "Playful Religion: An Innovative Approach to Prevent Radicalisation of Muslim Youth in Europe" Religions 11, no. 2: 67. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11020067