Quilliam Director Maajid Nawaz was invited to moderate a discussion on Violent Extremism in Europe, hosted by the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies and the US Department of State, in Germany 5th – 7th November 2008. Delegates came from all over Europe and the US, from inter-governmental bodies, government ministries, national police units and research institutes.
Maajid presented on “How radicalization occurs at the local level”, explaining the need for a more nuanced approach to understanding the ideology of Islamism; that neither Islam nor foreign policy are exclusively to blame. He went on to state the need to move away from terrorist profiling as it is dangerously inaccurate, from detention without charge as it is a breach of fundamental civil liberties, and to revisit the UK Government’s historical approach to counter-terrorism, as it may have furthered terrorists’ aims rather than impeded them.
Maajid concluded by saying that there is a need to challenge the Islamist agenda on ideological grounds, which is one of the Quilliam Foundation’s chief objectives, as well as to speak out against ineffective government initiatives to counter terrorism.