New York, NY, June 23, 2017 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) welcomed today’s announcement by the Department of Homeland Security that grants designed to help counter violent extremism had been approved. At the same time, ADL underscored that policymakers should remember that civil society organizations have a critical role to play in the fight against extremism.
The League also remains concerned that the Trump Administration has proposed to cut funding for the Countering Violent Extremism programs in the 2018 federal budget.
Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO, issued the following statement:
We applaud DHS for this new set of grants as part of the Countering Violent Extremism program. We need to adopt new innovative approaches to deter people from succumbing to dangerous ideologies -- whether that be white supremacy or radical interpretations of Islam -- and becoming violent extremists.
But ADL has concern because today’s announcement seems to indicate that DHS is shifting its funding focus away from community-based civil society organizations and toward law enforcement agencies. Police play a critical role, but we cannot enforce our way out of this problem. Community-based organizations must help lead this work, because they are much more likely to have credibility and trust needed to reach the targets of extremists, which include many disaffected or vulnerable youth. We call on DHS to clarify its funding criteria and demonstrate that it is committed to funding the full range of programs designed to counter all forms of violent extremism.
In addition, we will not defeat extremism with one set of grants. This struggle demands patience and requires a long view. We call on DHS to confirm its long-term commitment to funding grassroots programs that are designed to counter the full range of violent extremism – domestic and international – in the years ahead. In this moment of heightened concern, we hope that Congress will consider reinstating the funding for such programs in the 2018 budget.