Humera Khan, Executive Director of Muflehun, featured in a special report by PBS NOVA that traces the evolution of terror strategies from the World Trade Center to today.
Muflehun joined ICRD and PAIMAN Alumni Trust in Pakistan to teach a week-long training workshop for women leaders and teachers at womens’ madrassas on preventing radicalization and violent extremism. With participants representing four major cities from different provinces, each team designed their own local, customized and contextualized implementation plan based on their learnings from the workshop.
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:
In April, Muflehun ran the second “Internet Safety Workshop- What Parents Need to Knows” to an audience of 100 parents at ADAMS.
The Loudon County Sheriff’s Office and FBI WFO gave the first presentation, talking at length about youths’ online behavior, their tendency to be technologically savvier than their parents, and the pernicious threats they are vulnerable to online. The Deputy Sheriff and FBI Special Agent discussed ways children innocuously encounter unsavory material or are pursued by predators.
The FBI noted nearly two out of five missing children cases are connected to the Internet. Both the Deputy Sheriff and FBI Special Agent gave parents tips for discussing these issues with their children and steps to address their online activity at home, such as keeping tabs on all Internet-capable devices, using parental control software, and keeping the family computer in a visible spot in the house.
Tying into theme of online threats, NCTC and DHS CRCL spoke about another threat faced online: terrorist recruitment and radicalization. DHS CRCL spoke about its efforts to connect with communities through roundtables and address potential civil rights and civil liberties complaints logged with the government by citizens. NCTC discussed the new domestic strategy to prevent violent extremism by using a grass-roots approach, empowering communities and local partners to help address and prevent the threat. This included a discussion on how the strategy breaks into three parts: (1) community outreach and support; (2) increased training and information-sharing; and (3) countering the terrorist narrative while upholding our national values.
To conclude the event, Muflehun spoke about the importance of parents being aware about the online threats their children face and how they have a duty to speak honestly about the threat of radicalization to be able to confront it. Muflehun’s presentation focused on how youth can potentially fall into a path toward radicalization, one that progressively distorts an understanding of their religion. To help at-risk youth the community must understand the threat and step in early to provide the needed spiritual and social safety nets, to encourage youth to turn to trusted adults for questions or concerns, as opposed to merely searching for online answers . The presentation provided the congregation with a religious perspective for how to counter the terrorist ideology.
Please contact email@example.com if you would like to schedule a similar event for your community.
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In October 2011, during “National Cyber Security Awareness Month” Muflehun organized and launched a new prevention program series “Internet Safety Workshop- What Parents Need to Know.” With the well attended pilot hosted at ADAMS, the objective was to raise awareness in parents regarding the full spectrum of internet based predators that target their families, both their physical bodies as well as their minds.
The presentations on internet predators were organized into three segments: Child Exploitation, Community Resilience & Protecting Against Extremism. The Child Exploitation segment was conducted by the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI Washington Field Office Child Exploitation Taskforce. The Community Resilience briefing was presented by the DHS Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties and the National Counter Terrorism Center. The Protecting Against Extremism segment was conducted by Muflehun.
This was the pilot event for the series that will be replicated at mosques and community centers around the country. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to schedule a similar event for your community.
Comments from attendees:
- “Excellent and informed session, it was an open eye for myself. Thanks a lot”
- “Very good information. Very important and helpful”
- “I hope that there will be a presentation for the youth on Fridays during youth programs on both issues: Internet + extremism”
- “Thank you for doing this”
- “Thank you for the service. It is a great presentation”
- “I have great appreciation for such presentations.”
- “I would love to see more presentations.”
Full image gallery can be seen here.