Journal of Environmental Treatment Techniques  
2020, Volume 8, Issue 2, Pages: 735-738  
J. Environ. Treat. Tech.  
ISSN: 2309-1185  
Journal web link:  
The Role of Education System in Counteracting  
and Preventing Extremism among Teenagers and  
Sergei S. Oganesyan*, Nikolay V. Rumyantsev, Salikh Kh. Shamsunov  
Center of Studying of Problems of Management and the Organization Executions of Punishments in Criminally-Executive System, Federal Penal  
Administration Service Research Institute, Moscow, Russian Federation  
Received: 18/12/2019  
Accepted: 10/04/2020  
Published: 20/02/2020  
The authors believe that to prevent and control extremism and terrorism among modern teenagers and youth it is necessary to  
purposefully and systemically form, first, their value world and legal consciousness; and second, to instill a scientific perception of the  
world and mode of thinking in order to address social, worldview political, economic and other problems of the country and the world.  
The current surge of extremism and terrorism in the teenage and youth milieu on religious, racial, ethnic and other grounds is connected,  
on the one hand with a low level of legal consciousness and with legal nihilism. On the other hand, it is a consequence of the historical  
processes of transition of the mass of the population from the religious perception of the world and life in it to a life according to the  
norms and rules that are the fruit of their own intellectual activity. They are not “given” or “vouchsafed” from outside by some “Forces.”  
That is why one of the main aims of education today is the study of the issues related to the value world of the modern man. The authors  
argue that in the period of the change of the civilization mentalities of ethnic groups and peoples the role of education systems of states  
in bringing up a personality with a high level of legal consciousness and law abidance increases immeasurably. The problem takes on  
added relevance, especially for the education systems of the community of nations, against the background of the unstoppable integration  
and migration processes characterizing the modern world.  
Keywords: Civilizational mentality, Religious civilizations, Scientific world perception, Teenagers, Youth, Extremism, Terrorism  
In early 2020 the Federal Security Service (FSB) detained  
All these extremely negative phenomena in Russia are  
compounded by the drop of the birth rate.  
Birth rate dropped by 5.2 percent between 2017 and 2018.  
According to demographers, the country’s population declined  
by 173,000 between January and September 2018. By way of  
comparison, in 2017 the population dropped by 106.000 (4).  
What are the sources of teenage and youth extremism and  
terrorism? How does one account for the extremely low moral  
level of teenagers and youth against the background of the  
current demographic crisis? A host of reasons is named (4).  
This article is devoted to the problem connected with the role  
of the country’s education system in tackling the problems of  
teenage and youth extremism and terrorism.  
in Saratov two teenagers aged 14 and 15 who were planning a  
hate murder of at least forty pupils at their school (1). Earlier  
two teenagers in Kerch who were planning to blow up a school  
were detained (2). Their classmates and the people who knew  
them described them as quite “normal” guys. The same happens  
to teenagers not only in Russia but also elsewhere in the modern  
world. Data published by Russia’s Justice Ministry show that  
the phenomenon is not accidental and follows a pattern.  
According to the Justice Ministry, in Russia alone there are  
more than 450 diverse groups of teenagers and young people  
bent on extremism and terrorism who number close to 20,000  
Besides, there are in this country more than 30 religious  
2 Problem Statement  
organizations considered to be terrorist by court decision. Many  
of their members are young people (4). One also has to bear in  
mind the overall moral situation in the country which in recent  
decades has seen a massive growth of drug addiction and child  
prostitution. All this against the background of the  
demographic crisis which the country is experiencing (4, 5).  
The statistics cited by sociologists are catastrophic: nearly  
Without dwelling on the existing views and positions, we  
propose to set forth our position on the sources of modern  
teenage extremism and terrorism before attempting to  
determine the role and place of the country’s education system  
in preventing teenage and youth extremism and terrorism.  
Research Questions  
To start with, let us state our position: the source of modern  
0,000 new drug addicts. Teenagers account for 140,000 out of  
the more than two million drug addicts in modern Russia. (6).  
teenage and youth extremism and terrorism is that the present  
generation of teenagers and youth, like two or three preceding  
Corresponding author: Sergei S. Oganesyan, Doctor of Education,  
Professor, Chief Researcher of the Center of Studying of Problems of  
Management and the Organization Executions of Punishments in  
Criminally-Executive System, Federal Penal Administration Service  
Research Institute, Moscow, Russian Federation. E-mail:  
Journal of Environmental Treatment Techniques  
2020, Volume 8, Issue 2, Pages: 735-738  
generations, have lived in a period of humankind’s transition  
from epochs marked by predominance of the religious world  
view and corresponding norms and rules of behavior to the  
epoch of the scientific world perception mankind is destined to  
arrive at for all the diversity of its ethnic groups and peoples,  
with the excesses and extremes characteristic of transition  
As the whole history of the development of the human race  
convincingly shows, practically all the ethnic groups and  
peoples (with rare exceptions) have passed and are passing  
through three main stages of mental development. The first two  
are religious pagan and monotheistic. But the third stage  
which humankind is inevitably entering today is the scientific  
perception of the world and of themselves (their special mental  
and biological nature and essence) and organization of all the  
spheres of their life and activities in accordance with the  
achievements of their reason.  
This view is more than convincingly vindicated not only by  
a comparative analysis of the Holy Legends of paganism and  
the Holy Scriptures of monotheism (the Torah the New  
Testament and the Koran) but also by the trends in the  
development of humankind. It is no secret that at the stages of  
paganism and monotheism ethnic groups and peoples organize  
their life in strict accordance with the norms and rules of being  
introduced from outside: in polytheism, those “bequeathed” by  
the dead ancestors from the other world or vouchsafed (passed  
on through the prophets) by the One God Who, according to the  
Torah, the New Testament and the Koran, is the Creator of the  
Universe and of man created in His “image and likeness.” And  
the Creator “breathed into man’s nostrils the soul of man”  
whereon “man became a living soul” (7). The above-mentioned  
stages of the mental civilizational development of humankind  
nonage is self-imposed if its cause lies not in lack of  
understanding but in indecision and lack of courage to use one's  
own mind without another's guidance. Dare to know! (Sapere  
aude.) ‘Have the courage to use your own understanding,’ is  
therefore the motto of the enlightenment” (12).  
And finally, two centuries after the declarations of Rene  
Descartes and Francois Voltaire an outstanding Russian, V.I.  
Vernadsky, predicted the inevitable advent of the “noosphere,”  
that is, an era of reason when human intellect (reason) would  
become the most powerful instrument not only of cognizing but  
also of transforming the world (13).  
Casting a retrospective look at the past we see a clear  
picture of the pagans bringing up their young proceeding not  
from their own wishes and aspirations, but strictly following  
the traditions and customs bequeathed to them by their “fathers  
and grandfathers” who had become gods in the nether world  
and were helping their ancestors in their earthly life. The  
children of pagans knew exactly not only the norms and  
behavior rules of their community (family, gens, tribe), but also  
how to behave when encountering members of other families  
and tribes and especially alien tribes. They knew who is “one  
of them” and “a close one” and who should be seen as “an alien,  
“an enemy and foe.” They were convinced that there was an  
insuperable barrier between “one of them” and “the others.  
“Their own” had to be supported everywhere and always  
showing mercy and compassion for them (14). One should be  
ruthless and merciless with regard to “aliens.” Because they had  
alien gods who were the enemies of the pagan’s own gods all  
aliens were considered to be enemies. Enemies had to be  
destroyed everywhere and always unless peace had been  
concluded with their tribe (14). Observance of the norms and  
rules established in a family, gens or tribe was strictly  
controlled by the elders of the family or gens. Offenders were  
mercilessly punished, sometimes by death (14).  
(ethnic groups and peoples) are dwelt on in detail by one of the  
authors of this article (8).  
One of the greatest and most brilliant representatives of the  
pagan world, Marcus Tullius Cicero, reproached his kin who  
had diverged from the behests of their forefathers, with the  
words, “O tempora! O mores!” (“Oh what times, oh what  
customs!”). He asserted that “The Roman state could have been  
eternal if everyone had lived strictly according to the behests  
and customs of the fathers” (15). Cicero did not introduce any  
novelties to the norms and rules established by the ancestors.  
The situation in terms of norms and rules of behavior and  
the attitude toward the surrounding world, including toward  
representatives of alien tribes, began to change in the era of  
monotheism. The norms and rules of being came to be  
associated not with the behests of the forefathers, but with the  
prescriptions handed down by the One God to all the earth  
Purpose of the Study  
The purpose of this article is to reveal the main motives and  
causes of extremism and terrorism among modern teenagers  
and youth and to formulate the tasks facing the modern  
education system in Russia in terms of preventing and  
counteracting extremism and terrorism.  
Research Methods  
The study uses traditional methods and devices of human  
sciences: comparative analysis, deduction and generalization of  
the results obtained. In particular, a comparative analysis is  
made of the Torah, the New Testament and the Koran as well  
as the holy legends of paganism.  
As regards unconditional acceptance and strict adherence  
to the fundamentally new norms and rules of behavior, it is  
important that the One God was the sole Creator of mankind  
pointing out that it was He who had formed the first man  
(Adam) “of dust from the ground “in His own image and  
likeness” and then his wife (Eve), was created out Adam’s rib  
and then all the descendants of Adam and Eve were formed in  
all the diversity of tribes inhabiting the Earth (7, 10, 16).  
According to the Torah, the New Testament and the Koran,  
it was not until some of the ethnic groups and peoples had  
reached a certain level of mental development that the One God  
vouchsafed them the knowledge of how to properly organize  
their life in order to be righteous before the Almighty and not  
to be punished by Him. This is the clear message of the Torah,  
the New Testament and the Koran. The Koran furthermore  
announced that the time of prophets was over and that it was  
the One God’s last message to humankind (16).  
Let us start the presentation of our position by quoting the  
outstanding representatives of the Enlightenment era which in  
our opinion marked the transition from the religious to the  
scientific perception of the world. In particular, Rene Descartes  
and Francois Voltaire. Rene Descartes wrote: “Doubt  
everything” (9). This utterance is a direct challenge to the  
religious world perception based on the mental formula: “as  
you have believed, so let it be done for you.” This call of Jesus  
Christ was addressed to the mentality of His contemporaries  
10). “Everything is possible to the man who believes” (10).  
Francois Voltaire maintained: “A new generation is rising that  
hates fanaticism. The day will come when philosophers will  
rule. The kingdom of reason is being prepared(11).  
A hundred years after Voltaire, another great humanist  
philosopher, I. Kant (12), wrote: “Nonage is the inability to use  
one's own understanding without another's guidance. This  
Journal of Environmental Treatment Techniques  
2020, Volume 8, Issue 2, Pages: 735-738  
In monotheism, it was exceedingly important for the  
establishment of the norms and rules of the behavior of people,  
including the young generation, that the Holy Scriptures  
hammered home the message that no one could anywhere or at  
any time hide from the Creator’s retribution for violating the  
bequeathed commandments, laws and prescriptions, For the  
Almighty is omnipresent. He is impartial, eternal and immortal.  
He knows about all the sins of all people and He has no  
forgiveness for law breakers (7, 10, 16).  
All people, wherever and under whatever conditions they  
live, were to have “fear of God.” Fear of inevitable punishment  
by God. People with the civilizational mentality of monotheism  
had the fear of God and His inescapable retribution (7, 10, 16).  
Over time, after millennia of maturing within paganism and  
monotheism, beginning from the eras of Renaissance,  
Enlightenment and Reformation, the mentally “grown up”  
mankind began the transition to the scientific world perception.  
It was at the transitional stage when the attitudes and values of  
the monotheist era were becoming obsolete and the new ones  
were still evolving that the violations of the established norms  
and rules of behavior characteristic of the modern teenagers and  
youth became widespread. It has to be noted that today the  
whole world is in a state of transition, logical from the  
perspective of the Holy Scripture, from monotheism to the  
scientific perception of the world and life in it. Not only  
teenagers and young people who have no clear value  
orientation corresponding to the bidding of the “new times” but  
the overwhelming majority of grown-ups in practically all  
countries were left without clear benchmarks concerning “good  
and evil, life and death.”  
Moreover, by abandoning the world perception and the  
norms and rules characteristic of monotheism, which lent  
meaning to human life on earth by promising paradise in  
heaven, many of our contemporaries found themselves in a  
situation of “purposeless, meaningless, dead-end existence”  
limited to “carnal passions, goals and concerns.”  
Hence, in our opinion, the loss of so-called “spirituality”  
and the emergence of moral “permissiveness. This is logical.  
If all human orientations are focused on earthly existence, then  
gratification of one’s intentions and desires inevitably becomes  
the purpose of man’s existence on earth.  
Needless to say, there can be no return to the former  
worldview, behaviors and values. As for example St.Paul’s  
precept: “The husband is the head of the wife, just as Christ  
is the head of the church people. The church is his body and he  
saved it. Wives should obey their husbands ...” (10).  
Such phenomena as extra-marital sex, homosexualism,  
lesbianism and other “deadly sins” are today allowed under the  
law in the shape of divorce and same-sex marriages in dozens  
of countries. All this confronts us with the vital questions of  
what norms and rules modern teenagers and youth should live  
by. What should determine their values and accordingly, their  
moral world? What should be the relationships between  
children and parents, husband and wife, man and woman,  
among peers and with elders, etc. The answers to these  
questions are not as easy as they may appear to be.  
teenagers and youth the need for unconditional and unstinting  
compliance with national legislation.  
Because teenagers and youth, owing to their physiological,  
psychological and behavioral features, are more aware of the  
need to shape personal and social qualities that correspond to  
the fundamentally new stage in the development of humanity  
marked by the scientific perception of the world and the  
corresponding life activity.  
Let us not forget that the main purpose of the Holy Legends  
of paganism and the Holy Scriptures of monotheism was to  
introduce the norms and rules of behavior into the life and daily  
practices of people. These have successfully performed their  
functions over millennia.  
Thus it follows from the above that promoting legal  
consciousness and law abidance is one of the most important  
tasks facing the modern system of education in our country.  
Especially against the background of legal nihilism existing in  
our country. Hence for all the state and social institutions in our  
country the paramount task is to explain the features of the  
fundamentally new mental era which mankind has entered. To  
explain that tolerance of diverse views, opinions and positions,  
modes of thinking, way of life, tastes and preferences of other  
people, ethnic groups and peoples is of paramount importance.  
For the scientific world perception, unlike the religious world  
perception with its dogmas, cannot exist without constant  
discussions, arguments, “brain storming,” pluralism of  
opinions and positions, and awareness that “the final truth”  
does not exist and that the process of cognizing the world is  
infinite, that the social life of modern people cannot exist  
without the supremacy of the law, with constant renewal of  
outdated legislative acts. One need hardly argue that practically  
all the achievements of modern people in all the spheres of life  
are the products above all of their intellectual activity beginning  
from achievements in the field of medicine and technology and  
ending with sports, the arts and culture.  
That is why we are convinced that it is necessary to explain  
to teenagers and young people that a transition of mankind from  
the religious world perception and life according to the  
Scriptures to a scientific perception of the world and  
compliance with secular laws of their home country or the  
country of residence is inevitable. In addition, one should work  
tirelessly to shape law awareness and law abidance of children,  
teenagers and young people stressing the study of the basics of  
the laws of their country and international law. To this end, we  
believe that the curricula of all the countries in the world should  
include as a separate discipline, the history of law, which,  
adapted to the age of children, teenagers and young people,  
would reveal the logical nature of the transition of ethnic groups  
and peoples from pagan mentality and law to canonical law and  
from there to the modern secular legislation and human law  
It has to be stressed that the relentless integration and  
migration processes unfolding in recent decades make the  
problem particularly urgent for all countries. For it involves an  
inevitable clash between representatives of different ethnic  
groups and peoples which not only have their peculiarities but  
find themselves at different civilizational stages.  
As for concrete ways and methods and means by which our  
education institutions can form legal consciousness and law  
abidance among teenagers and youth in our country this, we are  
convinced, merits a separate publication.  
Some (above all the clergy) believe that the norms and rules  
should be determined strictly in accordance with those set forth  
in the Holy Scriptures. (17). Others, including the authors of  
this study, suggest that it should be the norms enshrined in the  
legal systems of modern states. These norms are the products  
of intellectual activities of people who become mature enough,  
as the Holy Scriptures predicted, to make their own laws (8).  
That is why, in our opinion, the key task of state and private  
education institutions in the country should be the shaping of  
legal awareness and law abidance of all citizens, instilling in  
Ethical issue  
Authors are aware of, and comply with, best practice in  
publication ethics specifically with regard to authorship  
Journal of Environmental Treatment Techniques  
2020, Volume 8, Issue 2, Pages: 735-738  
(avoidance of guest authorship), dual submission, manipulation  
of figures, competing interests and compliance with policies on  
research ethics. Authors adhere to publication requirements  
that submitted work is original and has not been published  
elsewhere in any language.  
Competing interests  
The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest that  
would prejudice the impartiality of this scientific work.  
Authors’ contribution  
All authors of this study have a complete contribution for  
data collection, data analyses and manuscript writing.  
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