Back from the brink: combatting violent extremism

By staff writers
June 15, 2013

A critical modern issue affecting the global family is the rise of violent extremism and the roots and outlets of its ideologies.

The International Center for Religion and Diplomacy (www.icrd.org) in the USA is holding a free screening of a documentary called Back from the Brink: Combatting Violent Extremism.

The film follows three diverse communities around the world who look closely at the persuasion or indoctrination of their youth with violent ideologies, and then explores how they have used indigenous, commonly held religious principles to reconcile communities endangered by identity based conflict.

The showing takes place on Tuesday 25 June 2013, from 6:30-8:30pm, in James Chapel at Union Theological Seminary (3041 Broadway at 121st Street, New York City).

The discussion after the film will include Dr Douglas Johnston, President of ICRD, and Azi Hussein, who will discuss de-radicalisation work with imams in the madrasas of Pakistan, as well as the implications of faith-related diplomacy in political and economic terms. There will be time for Q&A.

Since its inception in 1999, ICRD has been seeking to develop and apply commonly-shared religious values to bridge differences between adversaries.

The International Center for Religion and Diplomacy played a role in helping to end the 21-year civil war in Sudan. It has also sought to ease religious tensions between the Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhist regions of Kashmir; has opened back-channel communications to promote improved relations with Iran; and has played an instrumental part in securing the release of 21 Korean missionaries held hostage by the Afghan Taliban in 2007.

Over the past 7 years, ICRD has engaged more than 2,700 Pakistani madrasa leaders in reforming the curriculums and pedagogy of their religious schools to develop critical thinking skills among the students and to inspire greater adherence to the principles of religious tolerance and global human rights.

The Center is also working with Syrian opposition leaders (at their request) to help them resolve their differences through a process of faith-based reconciliation.

* More about ICRD: www.icrd.org

* More on this event: Jennifer Crumpton (jennicrumpton AT icrd.org)

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