The role of religions in fighting extremism

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Council of Europe Exchange on building inclusive societies in Sarajevo, 2-3 November

“Building inclusive societies together”: the role of religions and non-religious beliefs in preventing radicalisation and violent extremism is the focus of the 8th edition of the Council of Europe Exchange on the religious dimension of interculturaldialogue which will take place in Sarajevo on 2-3 November.

Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland will deliver a keynote speech calling on religious leaders and politicians to speak with one voice to counter the ‘devastatingly simple’ messages used by extremists to radicalise young Muslims. “In Europe, diversity is here to stay. Those who seek to banish Islam or any other religion put us on very dangerous territory. It is the surest way to stoke anger and extremism”, he is expected to say.

Following Mr Jagland’s address speeches are expected by Ismail Serageldin, Director of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, Member of the UK House of Lords and Francesco Ragazzi, International Relations Expert at the University of Leiden, Netherlands.

The Conference is being organised in the framework of the Chairmanship of Bosnia and Herzegovinia of the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers and will be attended by the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Anne Brasseur, the Minister of the Interior of Austria, Johanna Mikl-Leitner, and the President of the Jewish Community and the President of the Interreligious Council of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Jakob Finci.

Delegates from religious communities and non-religious convictions, representatives of international organisations, NGOs, academics and youth leaders will discuss the role of religion in fighting extremism, its place in public spaces and the “teaching of religions and non-religious beliefs at school”. They will examine current threats to freedom of religion and religious expression (Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights) and take stock of the Council of Europe Action Plan against Violent Extremism and Radicalisation leading to Terrorism.

Source: Council of Europe

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