The Strategy Document

 

National Strategy Document

This document presents the National Strategy for Preventing Violent Extremism. It provides a general background of the reality of violent extremism in the Lebanese Republic, the rationale behind the development of this strategy and the steps that were taken to formulate it. It then outlines the key governmental positions adopted by the strategy, its general framework and the definitions of violent extremism and prevention, in addition to the standards that have been taken into consideration when developing it. Finally, the document introduces the nine pillars and areas of activity for the strategy that have been agreed upon by the ministries.

Basic Definitions

 
Definition of “Violent Extremism”
The definition of "violent extremism" varies according to the approach adopted. Therefore, the Strategy will adopt a definition of "violent extremism" that includes the following three points:

  1. The spread of individual and collective hatred that may lead to structural violence.
  2. The rejection of diversity and non-acceptance of others, and the use of violence as a means of expression and influence.
  3. A behavior that threatens values that ensure social stability.
Definition of “Prevention”
Prevention entails the development of policies that can be transformed into a societal culture that will enhance the community’s abilities to protect itself against violent extremism. Communities are subject to permanent social, economic, cultural and developmental transformations. The culture of prevention should become a sustainable behavior that materializes through:

  1. Raising awareness about the risks of violent extremism and by monitoring and anticipating social, cultural, developmental and behavioral transformations at the individual and community levels that may lead to violent extremism.
  2. Developing a list of social, economic, environmental, cultural, security and other risks and developing targeted responses through the establishment of specialized social observatories.

General Objectives

 

Regaining Social Trust

Trust among the members of a society and between the society and the state are the primary sources of social cohesion and stability. Its presence is positively correlated with increasing and sustained economic growth, effective institutional performance and the development of capacities necessary to confront the challenges of violent extremism. Increasing trust within Lebanese society is the most important way to counter the polarizing power of extremist rhetoric. Every public policy and program aimed at supporting trust-building among the various components of society on the one hand, and state institutions on the other, is seen as a strategic priority.

  1. The State encourages every scientific research effort that focuses on measuring the concept and indicators of trust among Lebanese citizens and institutions as well as the means of promoting and building trust and the subsequent effects on social peace and prosperity.
  2. Complying with the approach of the Government to regain trust is based on the importance of national engagement in this process.

Promoting Citizenship

  1. Promoting identity, citizenship and the sense of national belonging among all members of Lebanese society is a key goal for the strategy of preventing violent extremism.
  2. Promoting the national culture of the state as the guarantor of identity, citizenship and national belonging with responsibility for the implementation and follow-up of this strategy is essential.

Achieving Social Justice

  1. Social justice is a general principle that should be pursued and that should be the starting point of all public policies.
  2. The concept of social justice is an integrated concept that includes individuals, social components and geographic areas.

Monitoring Social Transformations

  1. As a result of the complex and cross-cutting nature of the challenge of violent extremism, as indicated in Section 2 of the General Framework, a preventive and proactive response requires that its signals be monitored and considered within the context of social transformations occurring at national and local level, by focusing on the interactions among the components of society and understanding their determinants, causes and effects. This should be done over an extended period of time, since such interactions occur in a cumulative way over time.
  2. Universities, research centers and official, community and international institutions will undertake a scientific effort to monitor, study and follow up on social transformations in order to prevent the emergence of violent extremism.