Voices Against RadicaliVAR Campaign Infographsm” is a powerful, Project Nur-led campaign initiative aimed at encouraging our members to stand up to radical and extremist behaviors and speech aimed at violating the rights of others. We believe that young people can make a difference. Young people have the ability to change our society and have been involved in the most effective and rapid changes our world has seen. It is the responsibility of Project Nur members to “cultivate an environment of acceptance and mutual understanding between Muslims and all communities.” It is unfortunate that media attention has focused on radical groups claiming they speak and act in the name of Islam. As a PN member, you can help change the perception of your community about this radical group and others like it. You can help change the conversation and negative perceptions.

#VoicesAgainstRadicalism

Introduction_ The ProblemAs an involved and curious student, it doesn’t take long for you to find news and information about the commonly used word “radicalism.” As of late, media outlets are focusing on the robust and dangerous military campaign of the “Islamic State” (IS), alternatively known as ISIS (“Islamic State of Iraq and Syria”) and ISIL (“Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant”). Through their campaign of terror and violence, IS has managed to gain control of large areas of Iraq and Syria. They have committed atrocious human rights violations, such as kidnappings, rapes, beheadings, torture, and forced religious conversion. Governments and citizens around the world are trying to stop the deadly spread of IS through military operations, diplomatic efforts, and domestic initiatives aimed at interfaith cooperation and prevention of citizens leaving to join IS.

For the purposes of this campaign, we should define our terms. We may define “radicalism” as a movement (political, religious, secular, etc.) that seeks to change the existing social fabric of a society through drastic measures instead of a gradual process. “Fundamentalism” is a movement to enforce strict religious doctrines on a group in terms of belief and behavior.
“Extremism” is a movement or ideology generally not considered to be mainstream in a particular society, with a special emphasis on behaviors and actions. You can see that these terms may overlap, and that—in and of itself—may be a cause for discussion and dialogue among your chapter members, fellow students and university community.

For the purposes of this campaign, we should define our terms. We may define “radicalism” as a movement (political, religious, secular, etc.) that seeks to change the existing social fabric of a society through drastic measures instead of a gradual process. “Fundamentalism” is a movement to enforce strict religious doctrines on a group in terms of belief and behavior.
“Extremism” is a movement or ideology generally not considered to be mainstream in a particular society, with a special emphasis on behaviors and actions. You can see that these terms may overlap, and that—in and of itself—may be a cause for discussion and dialogue among your chapter members, fellow students and university community.

Introduction_ The Problem-2

The “Voices Against Radicalism” campaign encourages Project Nur members to organize events on campus discussing the following four core areas:

  1. Causes of Radicalism: societal drivers, religious motivation and justification, political events surrounding rising extremism, etc.
  2. Victims of Radicalism: religious minorities, women and children, immigrant communities, etc.
  3. Prevention of Radicalism: educational efforts, community involvement, policy changes, roles of non-­‐profits/religious/interfaith organizations, etc.
  4. Case Studies: events focused on specific radical groups, such as the “Islamic States,” Boko Haram, etc.

Social media is increasingly the quickest and easiest way to access news and information. It’s no wonder hashtags like #muslimapologies and #notinmyname take off so quickly because they allow people to find a conversation—an ongoing dialogue—about current events. Social media has revolutionized communications in activism; who doesn’t know about the #icebucketchallenge or #bringbackourgirls? With these hashtags popping up all over Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the blogosphere, people are able to quickly engage with the topic at hand and teach themselves about a cause. Raising awareness is an important component of human rights activism, and with so many people on social media outlets, hashtags allow activists to inform others easily.

With this in mind, we at Project Nur headquarters in Washington, DC will be utilizing
#VoicesAgainstRadicalism as our hashtag—and we encourage you to do the same! If you tweet, instagram or take pictures to upload to Facebook during your events and efforts in and around campus, make sure to use this hashtag to join the conversation. We all have a voice, and when we express this voice collectively, we will be heard. Remember: “The wheel that squeaks the loudest gets the most oil!”

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