Sunday 31 August 2014

Middle East again

Ed Husain speaks to La Repubblica:

Youth who are prey to extremism: recent migrants, or simply migrants who do not feel sufficiently integrated into their new (European) societies; new converts, who tend to be more fanatic; small delinquents; always youth who are not fully integrated, who do not have a strong social network, who already carry seeds of hatred. Usually they do not have a good knowledge of their religion.

Ed Husain says that strangely, when he was in the Middle East, he met Islamic scholars who opened his eyes to the difference between traditional Islam, practised by millions of people, and the ideological version.

Ideology and extremism cannot be fought with bombings and military interventions. We need a real war of ideas, involving Muslims themselves. We should not forget that the great majority of Muslims is not extremist. We need to launch an ideological challenge, one that is capable of conquering minds and hearts. Above all, we need to offer an alternative, "una versione migliore dell'Europa...."

Ed Husain: one time jihadist, and now part of Tony Blair's think tank, the Tony Blair Foundation, and of the American Council on Foreign Relations. Author of The Islamist.

(Jim Sciutto, "Intervista: Ed Husain," tr. Anna Bissanti. La Repubblica, Saturday, 30 August 2014, p. 21. See CNN 2014.) 

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