How to deconstruct the radical narrative? An alternative discourse of academics and activists of Muslim heritage
On 26 March 2015, the European Foundation for Democracy hosted a public briefing with Julie Ward MEP (UK S&D), Karima Bennoune and Elham Manea on how Muslim academics and activists can best deconstruct the radical narrative, increasingly proving so attractive to young Muslims across the globe.
MEP Ward expressed support for the efforts of people like Karima Bennoune and Elham Manea, renowned international academics who are themselves of Muslim heritage. She said that Muslim communities should also be “at the forefront” of the debate “and we should be more open to the perspectives this can bring.” Both academics stressed that it is primarily the local populations in Muslim countries, rather than people in the West, who suffer under violent Islamism. They commended those who stand up and fight radicalisation from within their own communities particularly in the countries of Northern Africa and the Middle East. The event attracted more than 40 participants.
Karima Bennoune, Professor of international law at the University of California – Davis School of Law
Elham Manea, Associate Professor of Middle East Studies at Zurich University
Julie Ward, Socialist Member of the European Parliament for the North West of England