What is the best way to fight against terrorist propaganda? It is definitely worth wondering such a thing, while Europe has again been victim of attacks few days ago in Barcelona. It is of course quite impossible to answer that question, and many communication strategies as well as public campaigns have been led by the public authorities all over the World over the past months and years in order to try to eradicate terrorist propaganda.
Although it is of course not the only way, it seems humour can be one of the solutions to counter the ISIS’ narrative. If you remember well, BBC used this way of counter-propaganda at the beginning of the year, with a show called “The Real Housewives of ISIS”. The show was very controversial, but was spread across Europe and the World, as it got more than 30 million of views.
It seems the Flemish government found this strategy efficient and this is why it decided to grant public financial support to humoristic and emotional projects that aim to counter the ISIS’ propaganda. The main point of this measure is to undermine the credibility of the terrorist organisation, in the framework of the action plan against the violent radicalisation and the polarisation.
Different ways can be used, such as emotions, humour, satire or theology. Toon De Bock, spokesperson at the Flemish Ministers of Home Affairs explained to De Standaard that the projects led by different stakeholders from civil society and the local communities “will have more impact” than the governmental initiatives, as organisations from civil society are closer to the people. The projects are required to have a special focus on youth and to be understandable to the Flemish youth. Although some researchers and experts are a bit sceptical about the efficiency of this measure, the initiative could affect many people.
The amount of money that will be granted reaches €500,000. And every single initiative can get up to €50,000 in a two-year period. Theatre shows or videos can then receive a financial support if their application is successful. In case you have some ideas about humoristic or emotional projects in order to counter the ISIS’ propaganda, you can apply for such a grant by the end of September.