Interethnic distance, violence and violent extremism leading to terrorism

The Defense and Security Research Center conducted a survey on “Interethnic Distance, Violence and Violent Extremism Leading to Terrorism”. The research was conducted in five multiethnic municipalities. It encompassed the population of primary and secondary schools in Subotica, Sombor, Novi Sad, Backa Petrovac and Bujanovac. A total of 900 students were examined. The Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development supported this research.

Some of the results of this research are alarming, and above all, the interethnic distance is 20 years after the disintegration of Yugoslavia and is still high. The greatest distance is towards Roma and Albanians, and also Albanian children towards all other nationalities. The pupils responded in most cases that they do not want to socialize with Roma and Albanians or to have closer emotional relationships with them. This indicates the deep divisions that exist in the school period, which is unacceptable if we think that we are building a complex and democratic society in the future.

The second part of the research concerned violence against schools, extremism and terrorism. As an organization dealing with security, it was important for us to determine how young people are related to violent behavior, weapons, and whether they know what terrorism is. The research showed that as much as 51% of students were violent, whether in a verbal, physical or some other way, but certainly this issue is worrying, because it is more than half of the pupils. Also, 7% said they own a cold weapon, and 12% said they wanted to buy it. We have already 17% of respondents who have struck someone and 5% who would be violent towards teachers, and 14% are sometimes exposed to harassment by other young people at school or in leisure.

While only 35% said they trusted the police and as many as 13% said they supported terrorists in some situations. It is also worrying that 17% of students said they hated members of the gay population. It is also significant that 100% of respondents stated that they have access to the Internet and use social networks.

This is just a part of the research we have presented to you, the overall results will soon be available on the ICOB website. We have highlighted this as the results warned by line ministries and parents, and in this way we express sincere appreciation for the results obtained. We hope that the situation in schools will be followed up and that this research will serve as the basis for further action and through the necessary preventive activities.

You can take a look at the conference on this research at