Muflehun co-sponsored a round-table discussion for government officials and NGOs with Sheikh Habib Umar bin Hafiz, Director and Founder of Dar al Mustafa in Yemen. The event focused on “Understanding Extremism, Embracing Tradition: Can Islamic Theology Help Undermine Violent Extremism?”
Habib Umar addressed the issue from the perspective of traditional Islamic scholarship, and highlighted how extremism has no place within the religion of Islam, giving the analogy of the Kharijites who were excommunicated because of their deviance.
Additionally, he highlighted the need for intervention to turn violent extremists away from aggression, and in the circumstance that they are unwilling to change their perspectives, the need to work with law enforcement for the security of society.
A central theme of the discussion was the need for traditional scholarship, as the lack of authentic religious education is a common factor amongst violent extremists. Books and internet-based studying while important and beneficial are not a substitute for learning through legitimate scholars.
The Congressional Research Service report “American Jihadist Terrorism: Combating a Complex Threat“ by authors Jerome Bjelopera and Mark Randol has been updated as of Dec 10, 2010 to include several new incidents that took place between October and November 2010. The new version of the report can be downloaded from the FAS website.