Tackling militant Islamism means also confronting its non-violent forms

Sept 11

By Elham Manea

#Islamism #Extremism #HopeNotHate #Radicalisation #GMABlog

The call is often from a worried teacher. They are noticing changes in students from immigrant backgrounds. Before, they defined themselves by nationality, as Kosovars, Bosnians or Turks, now they say they are Muslims. Before, they took part in art classes, now they insist their religion prohibits art. Then there’s a second change: these young men and women start to talk of a war against Islam that targets Muslims – targets them.

When I listen, I remember myself as a 16-year-old, the daughter of a diplomat from a secular family, coming back to my home country, Yemen, after four years in Morocco. It was 1982 – a period that saw the mushrooming of Islamist ideology in North Yemen. I was fascinated by a religious group led by a charismatic young woman of 17. The group met in the schoolyard. I would later learn it was part of a strong Islamist movement that saw Salafists work hand-in-hand with the Muslim Brotherhood.

The sessions were fascinating. Our leader explained about the love of God. The moment we enter into Islam, she said, all our sins are washed away and we become equal. The fate of those who are not Muslims was never mentioned. She told us that we could be better people if only we embraced the message of Islam – the true Islam, not the corrupted form of our society. For a teenage girl, lacking direction, the message was mesmerising, and I embraced it wholeheartedly.

The changes in me were gradual. It started with language. Instead of greeting others with ‘good morning’ or ‘good evening’, I used only the salute of Islam: ‘assalamu alaikum’, peace be upon you. Later I would learn that this salute is only reserved for Muslims. “Do not use it with non-Muslims,” I was told.

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The Story of Boko Haram

GMAs-Vice-Chairperson-Shahid-Khan-in-solidarity-with-Nigerian

By Cleora Broens

#BringBackOurGirls #BokoHaram #Nigeria #GMABlog

Boko Haram, meaning ‘western education is forbidden’, is a Islamist group based in northeast Nigeria, as well as in Chad, Niger and northern Cameroon. The estimates of associates differ between one hundred to ten thousand, and the group has been linked to al-Qaeda and the ISIL, which stands for ‘Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant’.

Boko Haram has murdered more than five thousand people from July 2009 to June 2014, in attacks mostly taking place in the northeast, north central and central of Nigeria. Deception in the security services, as well as human rights abuses, committed by Boko Haram, have hindered attempts to challenge the anarchy.

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Global Minorities Alliance candlelit vigil – in pictures

Vigil 3

By GMA

#Peshawar #BokoHaram #Baga #CharlieHebdo #ParisAttacks #Freedomofspeech #antisemitism #islamophobia #interfaith #GMABlog

A vigil held in Aberdeen on Friday (23 January) called for worldwide peace following the recent atrocities in Paris, Pakistan and Nigeria.

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