Islamic extremism: causes, effects on society and security, prevention approaches


On 5 September 2015, the European Foundation for Democracy organised a closed-door expert workshop in Berlin. The event was held in cooperation with the Muslimisches Forum Deutschland (Muslim Forum of Germany or MFD).

MFD was created because of the Forum members’ strongly held belief that the majority of German Muslims are underrepresented in existing associations. In July 2015, EFD Programme Director Ahmad Mansour was elected Chairperson of MFD. The Forum promotes co-existence in a pluralist, democratic society though supporting human rights, democracy and freedom of thought and belief. The Forum’s 16 members have backgrounds in media, academia and the law.

The event centred on the causes and effects of Islamic extremism and the results were consolidated in a document called “Berlin Theses—key developments in Islam and Muslims’ roles in modern society”. The seventeen Theses support a modern interpretation of the Quran and Muslims’ full participation in society, without forgetting Islam’s rich liturgical history. The Theses were presented to the German media at the German Federal Press Conference in Berlin in October.