Nick Lowles' blog

HOPE not hate ‘Counter-Jihad’ seminar

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 5 February 2013, 22:10

User engagement on the ACT! For America facebook page. Part of the presentation by the students at Amsterdam University

User engagement on the ACT! For America facebook page. Part of the presentation by the students at Amsterdam University

HOPE not hate held its first seminar on the ‘Counter-Jihad’ movement today. Called The ‘Counter-Jihad’ movement: Analysing the threat and developing community responses, the event brought together thirty-two people - from academics, researchers, practictioners, policy makers, Muslim, Jewish and Christian organisations and campaigners.

To my knowledge it was the first ever event looking specifically at the 'Counter-Jihad' movement in the UK.

I opened the event with a presentation on the ‘Counter-Jihad’ movement and this was followed by my colleague Matthew Collins who described the rise and fall of the English Defence League. Matthew Elworthy, from the University of Amsterdam, gave a fascinating presentation about online Counter-Jihadism. This was based on the data sprint he and 50 students undertook last month where they spent a week looking at the online behaviour and activity of ‘Counter-Jihadists’. More of this in another blog.

Graeme Atkinson and Jean-Yves Camus, a Research Associate at the Institut de relations internationales et stratégiques, Paris, looked at islamophobia and the ‘Counter-Jihad’ scene in European countries.

After lunch Dr Chris Allen discussed Islamophobia in Britain today, Fiyaz Mughal talked about the findings of the Tell Mama project and Sara Khan, from the Muslim women’s human rights group Inspire, looked at the use of Muslim women as political pawns.

The final presentation was given by Peter Adams, an interfaith worker from Luton, who not only discussed some of the issues he faced working in Luton but raised some of the challenges the Christian community had to address when dealing with the ‘Counter-Jihad’ world.

Over the next day or two I will try to expand on what people said in more detail and I will try to add my own thoughts about how we take our own work forward. In the meantime, I’d like to thank all those who attended today.

 Posted: 5 Feb 2013 | There are 1 comments


Comment 1 | From: Johnny Heartbreaker | Date: 6 February 2013, 07:30

"...looked at the use of Muslim women as political pawns." Brilliant. HNH keeping true to its word and continuing to broaden its spectrum of activities. Equally as important to challenge Islamic fundamentalism core value systems as it is to challenge Islamophobia. The two go hand in hand, never exisiting as seperate entities or ideologies (no less than Homophobia can ever be disconnected from Christian fundamentalism). The case of Malala Yousufzai - the Pakistani schoolgirl shot by the Taliban for championinng female rights last year - a case in point here. Ultimately, bringing together community's to work together to resolve differences/to look for ways to move forwards despite these differences, is always something to be applauded.

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