Network members, Ahmad Mansour, Wael El-Gayar and Ridwan Bauknecht organized a conference entitled, “Young Muslims in Danger? Salafism in Germany” on November 3rd 2012. The conference gathered an audience of more than 100 people involved in counter radicalization in Germany including local officials, members of the police force, teachers, social workers, lawyers and academics.
The challenge now is to maintain the momentum built from the conference. Network members are exploring the possibility of holding further, targeted workshops with the police or schools in various cities in Germany on how to approach Salafism. They are also discussing hosting roundtable events in other European cities on the consequences of newly emboldened Salafist movements in North Africa and the Middle East on Muslim communities in Europe.
Click here for the full agenda in German. Below is a summary of the panels and speakers:
Salafism and Prevention - Claudia Dantschke, Centre for Democratic Culture, and Ahmad Mansour outlined their views on why and how Salafism has taken root in Germany and what can be done to not only tackle it once radicalisation has occurred, but how it can potentially be prevented in the first place.
Theology, Schools & Salafism - Ayfer Dagdemir, Academic & Researcher on Religion, framed Salafism in theological terms and described how Salafists root claim their ways are the ways of Allah. Ridwan Bauknecht shared his thoughts on how religion classes on Islam can be used to prevent extremism in schools, thereby hindering Salafism.
Radicalisation in the UK - Manwar Ali, Chief Executive of JIMAS, aand Network member Rashad Ali shared some perspectives on the state of Salafism in the UK.
Panel Debate on Radicalisation vs Integration - Marwan Abou-Taam, Humboldt-Universität Berlin; Bashir Ahmad Dultz, Muslim-Liga Bonn; Haluk Yildiz, Rat der Muslime Bonn; and Wael El- Gayar took part in a lively panel discussion and Q&A session. While Abou-Taam and El-Gayar took the opinion that integration is key to preventing extremism, Dultz and Yildiz were vocal in airing their views that the Islamic community should be better accommodated and institutionalised in Germany.
The conference was hosted by the Network for a New European Generation with support from the European Foundation for Democracy.