Muslim academics praised for “tireless” work tackling radical Islamist narratives

26 March 2015

The Brussels-based EU Today features a detailed report on the public briefing organised by the European Foundation for Democracy and hosted by Julie Ward MEP (UK S&D) on 25th March 2015, "How to deconstruct the radical narrative? An alternative discourse of Academics and Activists of Muslim Heritage." The article presents an overview of the discussion as well as the views outlined by Karima Bennoune, Professor of international law at the University of California and Elham Manea, Associate Professor of Middle East Studies at Zurich University.

Julie Ward underlined the fact that policy-makers should be more open to the perspectives that Muslims can bring to the current debate on radicalisation. Karima Bennoune, whose recent book tells the stories of individuals with Muslim heritage fighting extremism, emphasized that it is primarily the local populations in Muslim countries, rather than people in the West, who suffer under violent Islamism. Elham Manea, Associate Professor in Middle East Studies, challenged the conventional wisdom, and argued that political Islam is in fact a radical ideology, not a moderate one.

This article can be read here.