Sweden is often the home of progressive policies and they already have a De-Radicalisation policy. But the city of Lund is taking this one step further in a bid to tackle extremism and the rehabilitation of terrorists. Through fear of the fallout of recent ISIL losses, there is potential for those who are escaping to flee to Sweden. That is why Lund have taken it into their own hands to tackle the issue head on. But what is the policy that they are implementing?

When Anna Sjöstrand reacted to the possibility of ISIL fighters fleeing she told a national broadcaster “when this subject came up we thought: ‘oh god, how should we handle this’”.

They have since put together a progressive policy.

Sweden’s Progressive De-Radicalisation and Rehabilitation Policy

Sweden have recently announced a progressive policy in a bid to tackle extremism. With a fair amount of European’s being radicalised by ISIL and fighting for them, the solution to the issue is difficult. Whilst people like Maajid Nawaz rightly promote having the conversation about the problems within Islam, and further help advertise the ideology and reasoning behind radicalisation. No government has yet to address the issue of those who were radicalised by ISIL but have since rejected it and returned home to Europe. Public backlash over the proposal is inevitable, because what they would have done as extremists will not be easily forgiven by a vast number of people.

But the plan itself is one worth a try, because violence, hate and segregation has clearly not worked.

The city of Lund is introducing a controversial policy to help de-radicalise and rehabilitate ISIL fighters who are defecting. They plan to treat them in the same light as those who have come from organised crime groups and neo-Nazis.

The policy plan is to offer them housing, education, employment and financial support and whilst it is controversial the local authority question why they should be treated differently from other extremists and organised crime groups. Anna Sjöstrand said “pretty quickly we realised that we should deal with this in the same way.

Reintegrate a person into society than to abandon them, for example”.

This idea comes as a positive step for de-radicalisation, and whilst many news outlets are criticising it claiming that they are ‘rewarding Jihadists’. They miss the point as to why they were radicalised in the first place, by promoting hate and fear of an idea. But it is this very same promotion that led to radicalisation in the first place. Whilst being critical of an idea is correct, segregating an innocent community because of it leads to the potential of radicalisation. In this case that idea is the religion of Islam, and communities who subscribe to this idea can often feel unwanted by the nation, where they have made their life.

But with the city of Lund’s policy it can help fuel the idea that these people belong somewhere, as opposed to rejecting them because of the very essence of who they are. This can further help social cohesion whilst helping local communities understand what radicalisation is, and why it happens.