The U.S. embassy in Belgium has allocated $200,000 (£154,000) for a group to ‘counter violent extremism’ through pushing ‘positive narratives’ of mass migration to Europe.NGOs and nonprofits have until 29 May to apply for the year-long grant, for which they will be asked to “provide positive narratives concerning refugees and immigrant populations” and “dispel the narratives of extremist groups that incite violence and provide alternative narratives”.
Warning that “violent extremist groups are using advances in technology … to spread their propaganda and attract new recruits and inspire individuals more than ever before”, the U.S. embassy says the winner of the grant should be “creative”, and spread “counter messaging” about mass migration “into the cyber realms of gamers, bloggers, and digital activists where the war of ideas is really being fought”.
The grant winning group should promote ‘positive, tolerant messages’ about migrants and people of foreign origin, through “TV, radio, [the internet], and [via] social-media campaigns”, states the embassy document which outlines the project.
Other objectives mentioned in the grant’s announcement include “amplifying the role of women in building secure, tolerant families and communities”, and “directly working with schools … to engage young people in activities that provide exposure to moderate viewpoints and eliminate bias”.
The embassy aims for the programme, which can be completed anywhere in Europe, to “be sustainable beyond the life of the grant”.
According to the embassy in Belgium, which is one of the countries that U.S. President Donald J. Trump has yet to appoint a new ambassador to serve in, the grant to pedal rose-tinted views of mass migration will “reduce violent extremism and terrorism by promoting a comprehensive approach to address violent extremist challenges in Europe”.
More than a million migrants flooded into Europe in 2015 after German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced an open borders policy. Since then, Europe, Germany in particular, has seen suicide bombings, axe attacks, and a truck rampage, with numerous asylum seekers amongst the perpetrators.