In April, Muflehun ran the second “Internet Safety Workshop- What Parents Need to Knows” to an audience of 100 parents at ADAMS.
The Loudon County Sheriff’s Office and FBI WFO gave the first presentation, talking at length about youths’ online behavior, their tendency to be technologically savvier than their parents, and the pernicious threats they are vulnerable to online. The Deputy Sheriff and FBI Special Agent discussed ways children innocuously encounter unsavory material or are pursued by predators.
The FBI noted nearly two out of five missing children cases are connected to the Internet. Both the Deputy Sheriff and FBI Special Agent gave parents tips for discussing these issues with their children and steps to address their online activity at home, such as keeping tabs on all Internet-capable devices, using parental control software, and keeping the family computer in a visible spot in the house.
Tying into theme of online threats, NCTC and DHS CRCL spoke about another threat faced online: terrorist recruitment and radicalization. DHS CRCL spoke about its efforts to connect with communities through roundtables and address potential civil rights and civil liberties complaints logged with the government by citizens. NCTC discussed the new domestic strategy to prevent violent extremism by using a grass-roots approach, empowering communities and local partners to help address and prevent the threat. This included a discussion on how the strategy breaks into three parts: (1) community outreach and support; (2) increased training and information-sharing; and (3) countering the terrorist narrative while upholding our national values.
To conclude the event, Muflehun spoke about the importance of parents being aware about the online threats their children face and how they have a duty to speak honestly about the threat of radicalization to be able to confront it. Muflehun’s presentation focused on how youth can potentially fall into a path toward radicalization, one that progressively distorts an understanding of their religion. To help at-risk youth the community must understand the threat and step in early to provide the needed spiritual and social safety nets, to encourage youth to turn to trusted adults for questions or concerns, as opposed to merely searching for online answers . The presentation provided the congregation with a religious perspective for how to counter the terrorist ideology.
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