Meet the Mom Who Is Taking On a World Threat: Jihadist Recruitment
Nadia Remadna may be a social worker and a single mother of four children, but her impressive résumé doesn't end there.
She is leading the pack in mitigating recruitment, and saving children from the most threatening extremist organizations today.
She founded The Mothers' Brigade, which provides support groups, intellectual and philosophical tools, self esteem training and more – all in the center of the French suburb, Sevran, the neighborhood exporting the most jihadists in France, according to The New York Times.
These efforts are all being promoted by mothers.
"It is in the hands of women rests in particular the education of boys and girls, especially as the woman was gifted with special insight and considerable understanding," the website states. "The child's character is shaped by the behavior of his parents to him and mainly by his mother."
Though Remadna believes that mothers have the power to stop their children from radicalizing, she also points out how often women are ignored in times of terrorist attacks and other extremities.
"We call on men and religious leaders but never women," she said. "Yet they are the first who are concerned because it is mothers who lose their sons and daughters, and wives who lose their husbands."
The group cites the work of researchers like British criminologist Simon Cottee who has studied how religion can "transform petty criminals into terrorists" by offering them redemption and a theological rationale for violence.
This all has taken a huge toll on Remadna. Because of her involvement in this campaign, she has received death threats on Facebook and on the phone. The stress of these threats has even led her to hospitalization.
But alas, as most mothers can relate, she remains focused on the children. Her persistence is stemmed from the fact that political forces aren't helping the situation as much as they could.
"What makes me scared is that the politicians respond with such prudence," she said. "They put on their kid gloves but they shouldn’t be afraid to offend those who commit attacks."
She believes that French politicians have preferred to accommodate fundamentalist leaders with demands, rather than risk electoral backlash. That's why her group of mothers wants to work inside the neighborhood in order to affect change throughout the country.
"You have to do the work with civilians at the grassroots and demand that all the lawmakers be held accountable," she said. "Enforce the laws on secularism and equality and stop throwing money out the window."
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