What is CVE?

CVE stands for Countering Violent Extremism. CVE programs aim to:

  • prevent individuals from becoming radicalized or extremists,
  • rehabilitate individuals who have already become radicalized or extremists,
  • incapacitate individuals who have already become radicalized or extremists, and may engage in violence because of those ideals or to further them.


Previous iterations of law enforcement and government-led CVE programs have been based on the discredited "Radicalization Theory." According to this theory, there are paths or stages through which any individual must pass before he or she becomes radical. Furthermore, there are "indicators" or "red-flags" which signal that an individual is on a path towards radicalization or extremism. The problematic aspects of previous CVE programs have been that they list common and constitutionally protected religious, political, and social activities as "indicators" for propensity or likelihood of engaging in violent extremism.

As a result, government-led CVE programs turn constitutionality protected, non-criminal activity into red flags, resulting in the individual being reported or monitored.  

It is improper for the government to engage in programs which police ideology, political and social views, and religious interpretations. This role exclusively belongs to religious leaders and teachers. 


No. In community policing law enforcement agencies build a relationship of trust with communities, and work for the shared interest of protecting from external threats. CVE programs deputize religious leaders, social workers, and others to share information regarding constitutionally protected activities of community members which may indicate propensity for violent extremism. This results in self-censorship and the deterioration of intra-community trust, and burdening of First Amendment activities.    


get updates