Creating "alternative narratives" to terrorist propaganda

Following the conclusions of the report by Liam Byrne (United Kingdom, SOC), the Standing Committee, meeting today in Zagreb, has called on member States to create "alternative narratives" to terrorist propaganda and violent extremism.

These “tailored, flexible and positive” messages could help undermine the authority of terrorist leaders and expose the hypocrisy of the violent extremist narrative, the parliamentarians said.

According to the resolution adopted, member States should develop counter-narratives by promoting the concept of “shared values”, namely the shared ethical traditions common to both the European Convention on Human Rights and Islam.

They should also encourage the participation of "credible" messengers – in particular women, victims of terrorism, repentant former terrorists or ex-prisoners – and use a variety of media such as text messages, television, radio, print media, and the internet.

Schools should also fully play their role “in preparing active citizens with a sense of responsibility and critical thinking, who are prepared to defend the values of democracy”, the parliamentarians suggested.

Finally, the Assembly called on the Committee of Ministers to ask the Council of Europe's Committee on Counter-Terrorism to draft guidelines on devising narratives and messages for countering terrorist propaganda.