Human Solutions for Human Problems
Brendan I. Koerner writes of the rise of the Islamic State’s social media presence in his WIRED article called “Why ISIS Is Winning the Social Media War.” Koerner describes the various mediums and platforms the organization uses to reach out to and energize other extremists. He details a jihadist theorist’s argument on how the organization should expand. The jihadist theorist, with the pseudonym Abu Bakr Naji, writes that by reaching out to “regions beset with anarchy” the organization could expand and coalesce into a contiguous Muslim empire, much like an inkblot.
As violent extremists seek to radicalize others and expand their ideology, we seek to unite and expand the community of people that are the solution to violent extremism.
Inkblot is a student-led initiative to educate the public on the evolving issue of violent extremism. By hosting public events featuring renowned experts, celebrities, and former violent extremists, we hope to engage uncommitted members of the population, who rarely consider the problem of violent extremism, despite its prevalence in today’s world and, more alarmingly, despite the susceptibility of anyone’s friends and family members to becoming a victim or a recruit of violent extremism.
In addition to high-profile public events, Inkblot continues its education effort through its presence on major social media platforms and its website. Content on this website will be updated regularly by our team, and will reflect current trends in the worldwide effort to disrupt, discredit and disregard venomous messages promoting violence in our communities.
As an addition to Inkblot’s campaign, our team has created an actionable component in conjunction with experts and informed by the latest research, known as the “Toolkit”. This component was designed with civic minded members of the community in mind, who are themselves compelled to be a part of the solution to violent extremism. For those with a friend or a family member currently lured by the propaganda of violent extremists, the Toolkit provides the instruments and techniques to intervene in the early process of radicalization, while reinforcing a message that counters or discredits that of violent extremists. Further, it is ultimately Inkblot’s hope to include within the Toolkit the means to promote ongoing discussions on tolerance, diversity, and social support within smaller community units.