Parents warned on their children being recruited by terrorists on social media

Parents warned on their children being recruited by terrorists on social media

By Kristelle Bechayda

Parents are advised to monitor their children’s online activities as social media might be used by terrorist groups as a platform for recruitment. This is stressed by Capt. Sherhannah Paiso, a psychology and socio-anthropology professor at the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) during the Youth General Assembly and Interfaith Dialogue on Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism recently held last March 14 at the Waterfront Hotel in Cebu.

The assembly, which was organized by The National Commission on Muslim Filipinos in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme and the People of Japan, aimed to educate the Muslim youth against the “evils of violent extremism.”

As a Tausug who grew up in Metro Manila, Paiso considers the youth as a vulnerable sector because of their tender age.

“You are vulnerable to radicalization because they target your weakness,” Paiso said to the 500 Muslim youths in Central Visayas who were present in the assembly. She added that children who adhere to peer pressures and those with personal and family issues have the risk of participating in extremist groups that promote violence.

In line with that, Paiso advised parents to monitor their child’s social media activity such as their demeanor and the people they are interacting with. She added to also watch out for the signs that would indicate a child is being exposed to radicalization, an example of which is when he changes his profile photo to a picture of an ISIS flag or symbol.

“If you are in a group the promotes violence, there is a tendency for you also to become violent individual. Remember, prevention is always better than cure,” Paiso said.

On top of that, the professor from the PMA also added that Islamophobia and the violent stereotypes associated with Muslims should be eluded to further avoid young Muslims from participating in organizations that promote violent activities.

Story and photo from Philippine News Agency (PNA).