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GNRC participates in Consultative and Planning Meetings in Washington DC and New York to Address Violent Extremism

Participants at the consultation meeting

The GNRC Secretary General, Dr. Mustafa Y. Ali attended consultative and planning meetings to address radicalization and violent extremism in Washington DC and New York from 25th – 29th September.

The meeting, hosted by the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) and the Network of Religious and Traditional Peacemakers shared the best practices in the field and came up with recommendations on how to best address the problem of radicalization into violent extremism. 

Participants at the UN headquartersSome of the recommendations include; relying on other approaches such as community mobilization and counter-messaging, developing of alternative narratives and reducing relying on exclusive military approaches and that religious actors should be engaged from the beginning in identifying the problems and their solutions.

Understanding the role of religious actors is key—as they can for instance; use education in many ways to counter violent extremism through promoting peace and tolerance by providing formal and informal religious curricula on corrective interpretations of dogma and preaching. The importance of convening smaller organizations and foster collaboration and alliance between civil society and faith-based groups within countries and trans-nationally and/or encourage outside religious actors from similar background to visit and share best practice and show solidarity to those in conflict zones was encouraged.

photo8Panel discussions on how to address violent extremismIt was also recommended that necessary skills and knowledge be imparted through training of religious actors, helping them contextualize culturally/religious relevant frames. The challenge of trauma healing, media engagement (including social media), restorative justice, civil society engagement, critical thinking, active listening, political advocacy, conflict prevention, peace building, mounting public education campaigns, early warning were recognized as challenges that required community and societal approaches to address them. 
 
Dr. Mustafa Y. Ali presented the outcome of the discussions to the State Department and other US officials in Washington DC, as well as in New York at the United Nations Headquarters.

The meetings and consultations were a part of the work that the GNRC has been involved in on building, strengthening and enhancing community resilience against violent extremism.