British Columbia

ISIS recruitment: former white supremacist Daniel Gallant fights radicalization

Reformed white supremacist Daniel Gallant is trying to deter young Canadians from being recruited to ISIS, by sharing his own story of radicalization.

Extreme Dialogues designed to act as an online resource for teachers, community leaders and parents

Daniel Gallant says the Internet is used as a tool for ISIS recruiters, so he created the "Extreme Dialogue" program, which offers online resources to deter young Canadians from extremist movements. (Facebook)

Reformed white supremacist Daniel Gallant is trying to deter young Canadians from being recruited to ISIS, by sharing his own story of radicalization, as part of a school-based program called Extreme Dialogue.

"My propensity for being recruited started when I was quite young. I grew up in a fairly traumatic upbringing and by a young age was homeless and on the streets," Gallant told Daybreak South's Chris Walker.

"By the time I was 18, in East Vancouver, I was introduced to a couple of white supremacist skinheads and was then given literature and information and music and a whole set of propaganda … which then gave me an explanation for the state of the world that I was living in."

Gallant, who is one of the project's creators, said while everyone comes to extremist ideologies from different backgrounds, there are many parallels in what he was taught and extreme Islamist ideologies.

"Interestingly enough, one of the online resources for the white supremacist literature came from Radio Islam which was the extreme Muslim dissemination​ of what we refer to as the jihadist narrative."

Gallant is now doing a master's degree in social work at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, B.C., with a focus on disengagement from right wing extremism.

Extreme Dialogues, which was launched two weeks ago in Calgary, is designed to act as an online resource for teachers, community leaders and parents. 

The website includes a series of short films and educational resources designed to help young people understand and ultimately avoid a path to radicalization.

To hear the full interview with Daniel Gallant, click the audio labelled: "Extreme Dialogue aims to deter ISIS recruitment."


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