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Evaluation of a Multi-Faceted, U.S. Community-Based, Muslim-Led CVE Program

NCJ Number
Michael J. Williams; John G. Horgan; William P. Evans
Date Published
June 2016
167 pages
The findings and methodology are reported for the first evaluation of a U.S. community-based CVE (counter violent extremism) Program, which is led by Muslims.
The CVE program examined was initiated by the World Organization for Resource Development and Education (WORDE), a community-based Muslim-led organization whose CVE programming focuses on creating and maintaining networks of civically engaged individuals who are sensitized to issues of violent extremism and have proactive, cooperative relationships with local social services and law enforcement agencies. WORDE's approach to CVE does not consist of a single program, but rather an interlocking set of three types of programs that involve community education, Islamic training for law enforcement and social services cooperation, and volunteerism and multi-cultural programming. As part of its community education focus WORDE programming addresses the early identification of individuals at risk for violent extremism. One of the highlights of the current evaluation was the development of empirically based recommended practices for both the recruitment and retention of CVE program participants. The evaluation's experimental tests found that fear of damaging one's peer relationships reduced individuals' willingness to intervene when they observe signs of the potential for violent extremism. Evidence-based initiatives are suggested for addressing this fear of peer rejection in training people to act appropriately in recognizing and responding to indications that a person advocates or is motivated to engage in extremist violence. In examining whether WORDE programs are effective, the evaluation found that of all of WORDE's activities, their volunteer-service and multicultural programming had the intended positive effects on 12 of 14 CVE-relevant outcomes. In addition, there were no discernable unintended effects. Thus, the evaluation concludes that WORDE's volunteer-service and multicultural programming is the first evidence-based CVE-relevant programming in the United States. It is worthy of expansion and testing in other municipalities. 60 references and appended methodological instruments and details