A new booklet published in English and Arabic (available for download below) contextualises the phenomenon of religious extremism, and offers tools and ideas for preventative initiatives. The target group is educators and organisations as well as politicians and others dealing with issues of religious extremism or radicalisation. The booklet is titled ‘Fostering Social Resilience Against Extremism’ and has been published with support from the Danish Arab Partnership Program (DAPP).
The methods and tools are developed by a diverse group of people from Lebanon, Syria, Egypt and Denmark. As Muslims, Christians and non-believers with an array of professional backgrounds, the group unites around a shared believe in dialogue as a means for peaceful co-existence. The authors are a part of the program Leaders for Interreligious Understanding and have completed a one-year training in management of religious diversity. With the new publication out, the authors hope to equip and inspire others to take action themselves.
Religious extremism is a global challenge permeating boundaries of nation states, cultures ad religions. The approach presented in the book reflects a view on extremism as socially produced. Extreme ideas do not come out of thin air and do not vanish into the blue without if left alone. Civil society is the key actor in the creation of a social environment that counters the rise religious extremism. It has the potential to meet challenges that cannot be solved at the political level.
Following an introduction to the concept of extremism and dialogue as a method, five prototypes for initiatives exemplify how to turn theory into action within religious or educational institutions, in media or in politics.
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LEADERS FOR INTERRELIGIOUS UNDERSTANDING (LIU) is a partnership program between Danmission and four of our partner organisations in the Middle East: Egyptian Coptic Evangelical Organization for Social Services (CEOSS), Jordanian The Royal Institute for Inter-Faith Studies (RIIFS) and Lebanese Forum for Development and Culture (FDCD) og Adyan. Since its start in 2011, more than a hundred young leaders have completed the year-long interreligious dialogue training program.