Counter-narrative is messaging that offers an alternative view to extremist recruitment and propaganda. The effort comes in response to recruiting efforts by extremist groups, who employ simplified narratives aimed at reducing political complexity, highlighting perceived societal grievances, and rallying potential members to demonize specific faith-groups, races, ethnicities, and cultures. ISIS and al-Qaeda, for example, pedal narratives of victimization, martyrdom, and the notion that the West is at war with Islam to nurture resentment and encourage individuals to take up extremist causes. Neo-Nazi organizations similarly employ narratives centered on victimization, and may also exploit perceived grievances centered on class and race to recruit new members and gain political momentum.

Activists working to undermine extremist narratives deploy counter-narrative messages in response, in an effort to contradict extremist messaging and dissuade potential recruits. Examples of counter-narratives may include point-by-point takedowns of extremist arguments, personal stories told by former extremists, lectures and sermons denouncing violence, and multimedia campaigns created by individual activists and organizations.

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Daily Dose

Extremists: Their Words. Their Actions.

In Their Own Words:

Resistance has shown itself in the political, security, and economic arenas. These are the lessons that the Islamic Republic has learned within itself and is teaching to other countries, so the enemies are upset about this issue, and then they become so helpless that they die.

Brigadier General Ismail Ghaani, Head of IRGC-Quds Force July 5, 2023
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