CVE Symposium

CVE Symposium

Expanding on the one-year anniversary of the 2015 White House CVE Summit and calls for action at the 2015 UN General Assembly meetings, Creative Associates International and other strategic partners held a dynamic CVE symposium for world leaders, policy makers, peacebuilders, media, technologists, and civil society to grapple with the challenges to countering violent extremism today, define gaps in methodologies, and redefine opportunities for innovative solutions and their implications in practice.

Muflehun joined a panel on the role of communities and addressed the role of civil society in preventing and intervening against extremism, rather than CVE being led by governments and security agencies.

Recognizing and Responding to Radicalization in Central Asia

Recognizing and Responding to Radicalization in Central Asia

The United Nations Regional Centre for Preventative Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA) and the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF) invited Muflehun to their regional workshop on “Recognizing and Responding to Radicalization that can Lead to Violent Extremism and Terrorism in Central Asia” as part of a comprehensive implementation of the Joint Plan of Action for Central Asia under the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.

Muflehun presented on “How can we counter radical and extremist messages on the internet and social media?” and additionally ran an interactive workshop session on “Metanarratives- developing messaging and narratives to counter radicalization and recruitment of youth on the internet and social media.”

The meeting was held to foster better understanding of the causes of radicalization and possible responses through the exchange of best practices at regional level and beyond; and promoted strengthened partnerships between state actors, civil society and communities to address the root causes and consequences of the phenomenon. Participants included representatives from Central Asian countries, observer states, regional and international organizations, as well as relevant experts, counter-terrorism practitioners, and civil society from across the region.

White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism

White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism

Muflehun participated in the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism held at the White House, including the Ministerial segment held at the Department of State.

Executive Director Humera Khan introduced the technology panel held at the White House and spoke about the use of social media by extremist recruiters and the needs for countering online indoctrination of youth.

More information about the event is available here:

FACT SHEET: The White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism

WH CVE Summit Panel

Dalai Lama & Muflehun Join in Panel Discussion on “Service in Action”

Dalai Lama & Muflehun Join in Panel Discussion on “Service in Action”
Dalai Lama meets with American Muslims
Dalai Lama meets with American Muslims

On Feb 6, 2015, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama joined Muflehun Executive Director Humera Khan on a panel discussion with American Muslims on “Service in Action.” The event was organized by DOST (Development Organization for Societies in Transition).

The panel was moderated by John T Pinna, (DOST) and panelists included Sheikh Al-Sahlani, general representative of His Eminence Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Al-Sistani and head of the Al-Khoei Foundation in New York; Ms Manal Omar, acting Vice President for the Middle East and Africa Center at the US Institute for Peace; Mr Anwar Khan, CEO of Islamic Relief USA in addition to Ms Humera Khan, Executive Director of Muflehun.

Ms Khan spoke about the values that underpin service by American Muslims: preservation of all life, preservation of faith (freedom of religion and beliefs), preservation of intellect (freedom of thought and expression), preservation of property and preservation of lineage & progeny. She emphasized the right of every human to live in safety and be able to believe as they want.

The work of Muflehun, in countering violent extremism, directly addresses the need to preserve life, faith and intellect. In addition Ms Khan addressed the need for accuracy in language and labels, especially in not using jihad as a synonym for terrorism. In reference to events in Paris, she echoed Ms Omar’s sentiments that the choice between freedom of religion and freedom of expression is a false dichotomy and one must respond to bad with something better.

Other coverage of the event:

GCTF – OSCE International Workshop on “Advancing Women’s Roles in Countering Violent Extremism and Radicalization that Lead to Terrorism”

GCTF – OSCE International Workshop on “Advancing Women’s Roles in Countering Violent Extremism and Radicalization that Lead to Terrorism”

In October 2014, Muflehun Executive Director represented the organization at the GCTF-OSCE International Conference on Advancing the Role of Women in CVERLT in Vienna, Austria.

This international workshop is part of a joint initiative of the OSCE Transnational Threats Department and the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF), supported by Germany, Turkey and the United States of America.

The purpose of the workshop was to promote gender-sensitive strategies, policies and measures to counter violent extremism and radicalization that lead to terrorism.

It was aimed at senior government officials. A previous workshop held on 13-14 May 2014 in Istanbul was organized for civil society practitioners.

On the basis of the two workshops, a draft good practices document will be elaborated for possible adoption by the GCTF.

Ms Khan spoke on a panel on “Building Partnerships with Civil Society Organizations to Advance Women’s Roles in Countering Violent Extremism and Radicalization that Lead to Terrorism.”

She started by offering a conceptualization of CVE, definitions and a CVE framework and shared examples from Muflehun’s CVE training and interventions with youth, families, imams, and law enforcement in the United States.

Importantly, CVE is neither diplomacy nor development work. In this context, partnerships with civil society present a number of advantages and limitations. They can engage with issues, groups, and individuals of interest, which public authorities might not be able to on their own; provide contextual knowledge; help bypass community gatekeepers; benefit from on-the-grounds legitimacy and existing networks of contacts and influence; and act as force-multipliers.

On the other hand, these partnerships often face limited financial resources; government funding can undermine partners’ legitimacy; civil society actors lack of awareness of national security threats; legacies of mistrust and sometime antagonism need to be overcome to rebuild relationships; international, national and local interests and priorities need to be reconciled; there is a need to acknowledge grievances for genuine counter-narratives; partners can be critical of governments and their action; and women should be better involved in CVE without securitizing women-led efforts.

Key principles for effective multi-sector engagement include: clearly defining sub-objectives and pursuing different approaches; ensuring all stakeholders share a common understanding, such as the difference
between CVE-relevant and specific actions; and developing relationships across the board, at all levels of civil society and government, and including within civil society and government.

For more information on the topic, see links below:

Expert Roundtable on “Developing an Effective Counter-Narrative Framework for Countering Violent Extremism (CVE)”

Expert Roundtable on “Developing an Effective Counter-Narrative Framework for Countering Violent Extremism (CVE)”

In June 2014, Muflehun participated in a one and a half day expert roundtable on “Developing an Effective Counter-Narrative Framework for Countering Violent Extremism (CVE)” organized by Hedayah and the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism—the Hague (ICCT).

The meeting included approximately 25 leading experts to examine the different requirements for an effective counter-narrative framework and provide recommendations on its implementation. The discussions used a background paper by Dr. Alex P. Schmid as a starting point to identify the challenges with existing governmental and non-governmental counter-narrative frameworks against Al-Qaeda’s violent extremist narrative, and to propose recommendations going forward.

Expert Roundtable On Developing An Effective Counter-Narrative Framework for CVE