A panel of leading experts in the field of counter-terrorism and de-radicalization, including Professor Sherifa Zuhur of the US War College, addressed academics, government officials and practitioners on the importance of community and government partnership in defusing violent extremism.
The group examined the effective role of Islamic theology in combatting violent ideologies, including - controversially - the success of work carried out by Islamic groups who are often deemed ‘radical’ themselves.
The importance of grassroots knowledge, experience and credibility in addressing at-risk individuals was also highlighted.
In concluding discussions, significant agreement emerged that scholars of Islam and activists with a strong Islamic perspective and street credibility are best placed to do counter-terrorism work individually and in some cases in partnership with the government.
Hosted by the Department of Theology and Religion as part of an interdisciplinary research programme with the Institute of Applied Social Studies, the colloquium facilitated discussion on new, community led de-radicalization initiatives.