90 extremist tweets posted every minute
The Ministry of Islamic Affairs has released statistics showing that there are more than 90 extremist-oriented tweets posted every minute, or more than 129,600 per day.
Abdul Moneim Al-Mushawwah, director of the Peace Campaign run by the ministry, said in an interview this was the lowest statistics recorded compared to previous months. There is a 30 percent margin of error because the data was gathered manually, he said.
He said extremist groups such as Al-Qaeda are weakening geographically and intellectually, and across the Internet. However, unrest and chaos in some areas “are reviving their activities.”
Al-Mushawwah said more than 500 accounts have been shut down belonging to individuals promoting the activities of organizations including Jabhat Al-Nusra and Ahrar Al-Sham. He called for the establishment of a national body to monitor, analyze and provide guidance about posts on social networking sites that promote extremism.
He said dialogue plays an important role in trying to reform terrorists. “It is important to first deal with the psychological, emotional and mental state of an individual to determine the best way to carry out an intellectual dialogue with someone that has adopted radical or extremist ideologies.”
He added: Also, it is important that dialogue with extremists are realistic, reoccurs, and addresses the changing circumstances they may experience.”
He said the success of rehabilitation programs require proper analyzes of what’s happening with these radicals. “This demonstrates the significance of properly measuring how this phenomenon has declined, keeping in mind that it is difficult to measure intellectual ideas, but certain indicators can be taken into account.” “The authorities should work on programs and projects that monitor and follows up on this issue, but the media, education institutions, mosques, family and the Internet have become effective tools, and should also play a role.”
He said the campaign has been focusing over the past four years on building an intellectual and scientific system that serves all those who are trying to confront extremism.
“The focus of our online site is to be an archive that assists all those who are doing this kind of work. We have a specific mechanism to ensure research and studies reach the authorities that will benefit from them.”
He said he is satisfied with the performance of the campaign. “Thankfully, we have had many great achievements in the process of confronting extremism and promoting moderation. Our team has achieved a lot over the last 10 years, but has also faced some failures.”
He said there some people in the Kingdom who support Jihadi ideologies “but we hope that they do not find a suitable environment for growth. The situation needs a comprehensive national plan to put in place realistic measures.”
He said education plays a key role in tackling this phenomenon among young people.