Introducing MIRAS

Mitigating Radicalization through Self-Empowerment

Our participants playing the game MirrorMind.

Introducing MIRAS: Mitigating Radicalization through Self-Empowerment

MIRAS is an initiative by IDEIS (Identity Development and Empowerment in Interfaith Spaces) aimed at bridging gaps between different communities in society. The project focuses on mitigating radicalization among youth through self-empowerment. In this project, IDEIS worked with several partners including Stichting Openhaard, STIP, Stichting SEVA Denhaag, Unique student association, Vereniging Betrokken Ouders Rijnmond, Stichting Witboek, and Platform We’RHERE.

The campaign was launched on January 1, 2020, and continued until November 1, 2021, with a delay of ten months due to the pandemic. The project aimed to prevent radicalization by making the process transparent and discussable. The methodology involved using a scientifically grounded approach and a toolkit for teachers, which included the game "Mirrormind" (formerly known as "Vallen en Opstaan"), specifically designed to start a dialogue on the topic.

The game was played with approximately 200 young people in different cities, and a tutorial video, brochure, and pilot model (5 games) were produced and used. The success of the game has led to its potential use in citizenship lessons by both Islamic and non-Islamic schools and will also be used in weekend Quran schools.

Through MIRAS, IDEIS has aimed to create a sense of community and empowerment while preventing radicalization. The activities of the project aim to reduce misconceptions about religion and promote the value of coexisting in a multicultural society. The project also aims to improve social cohesion, community spirit, and inclusion while empowering individuals who come from marginalized communities.

The results of the pilot study of "Mirrormind" are promising, and the sustainability of the project has the potential to be high due to the enthusiasm among participants. However, more research is needed to better introduce core concepts to students in the target group.

In conclusion, MIRAS has been successful in its aim of mitigating radicalization among youth through self-empowerment. The game "Mirrormind" has proven to be a valuable tool in starting a dialogue on the topic and creating a sense of community among young people. IDEIS and its partners have done a commendable job in their efforts to create a more inclusive and cohesive society.