ABU DHABI, 26th October, 2016 (WAM)–The Sawab Centre, a joint UAE-US initiative to combat Daesh’s online propaganda and promote positive alternatives to extremism, has announced the launch of its latest social media campaign which highlights the essential role of the family in countering the spread of extremism.

The three-day campaign will be conducted in Arabic and English on Sawab’s Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram platforms and will employ the hashtag #YourFamilyIsYourLife.

As Daesh continues its steady retreat on the battlefield, the group has left in its wake countless families that have been damaged by the terrorist group’s brutal tactics. In areas under the group’s control in Syria, Iraq, and Libya, Daesh has kidnapped and enslaved young girls, forcefully separated mothers from their children, and conscripted young boys to serve as cannon fodder and suicide bombers.

Beyond these areas, the group has sought to dupe young men and women and lure them away from their families with the promise of an idealised life which never materialises. Often, Daesh instructs these vulnerable individuals to close themselves off utterly from their family members and to reject their parents and siblings. In the most extreme case, two Daesh supporters in Saudi Arabia were compelled by the group to murder their own mother.

Through its original videos and graphics, the Sawab Centre’s campaign will highlight these examples of how Daesh has torn the fabric of the family, though the campaign will also reinforce that the family unit is resilient and can serve as a bulwark against Daesh’s attempts to infiltrate the home, usually via the Internet.

The Sawab Centre campaign will also highlight the critical work being undertaken by international organisations as well as the Global Coalition Against Daesh to help repair the damage done to families, particularly among the internally displaced and refugees who have fled Daesh persecution in Iraq and Syria. In many cases, families have endured long periods of separation before finally being reunited due to the efforts of organisations such as the UNHCR, the International Organisation of Migration, and the Emirates Red Crescent.

This is Sawab Centre’s twelfth proactive social media campaign. Other Sawab campaigns have focussed on the group’s treatment of women and children, the importance of diversity, and the positive impact that youth can have on their societies.

Since its launch in July 2015, the Sawab Centre has actively sought to encourage governments, communities and individual voices to engage proactively to counteract online extremism. Over this time, the Centre has given voice to the millions of people around the world who oppose Daesh and support the Centre’s efforts to expose the terrorist group’s brutality and criminal nature.

WAM/Majok