Hosted by The European Parliament ‘Friends of Ahmadiyya Muslims’ Group
Chair: Dr Charles Tannock MEP (ECR)
The European Parliament, Brussels Room PHS 3C50 Tuesday 4th December 2012 (15:00 – 17:00) Followed by a Reception
The challenge of extremism did not start with 9/11 and neither did it end with the Arab Spring and with the increasing international tensions its hold on the world is growing stronger by the day. From the recent shooting of Malala Yousafzai in Pakistan for her unequivocal right to education, to the conflicts and wars (proxy or otherwise) that continue to engulf the world, extremism is perhaps the biggest challenge of our time.
Extremism feeds off militant philosophies (whether jihadist or otherwise) and exploits the tensions that arise from international political jostling and economic imbalances and derails genuine efforts for peace. Inthe west, extremists can mask their activities behind the very same democratic freedoms and human rights that we have struggled so hard to secure and, consequently, they can remain undetected until it is too late.
Extremism is not a phenomenon unique to any single country or region and can entice the oppressor as well as the oppressed. Indeed, in an ever-shrinking world, ignoring its reach as well as its roots is simply not an option, for events in one part of the world can have serious ramifications several continents away. Little wonder then that President Obama spoke on this very issue at the UN.
This timely debate seeks to explore the issue of extremism, a scourge that confronts us daily on our screens and in our papers. The event also features a keynote address by His Holiness Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the world’s leading Muslim figure dedicated to peace. He heads a global community that continues to bear the brunt of violence yet it holds firm to its pacifist principles and is now emerging as a force for peace in these turbulent times.
There is a dire need to understand, discuss and counter extremism in all its forms and that is a challenge all of us must embrace with the sense of urgency and sobriety that circumstances demand.