22 October 2015

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We welcomed a second class of 25 American students from the Danish Institute for Study Abroad to Quilliam and delivered a seminar on Counter-Extremism: Ideology and Narrative.

Sheikh Dr Usama Hasan gave a presentation on his own former support for the Islamist ideology, his current interpretation of Islam and its distinction from Islam, and the case for pluralism within Islam.

Senior Researcher Charlie Winter then presented his research on Islamic State’s principal narratives, as documented in The Virtual Caliphate.

Political Liaison Officer, Jonathan Russell, explained the need for counter-narratives and alternative narratives in counter-extremism strategy.

The students seized the opportunity to ask insightful questions of the panel and then broke into two groups for an interactive session. In this final session, the students divided into a counter-narrative group and an alternative narrative group and came up with concepts for a video to challenge Islamic State recruitment before presenting their idea to the panel, who gave them feedback.

The students and staff enjoyed the seminar and Danish Institute for Study Abroad are planning a third trip in early 2016.