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With EU Support, Islamic Community Starts Project on Preventing and Combating Violent Extremism


Department of External Affairs and Diaspora of the Riyasat of the Islamic Community in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with the support of EU Delegation to BiH has started a project called Preventing Radicalization Leading to Violent Extremism among Youth which consists of training seminars for 25 imams and muallims.

The first seminar for imams and muallims/educators is to be held on 20 and 21 February 2018, at Center for Personal and Professional Development in Sarajevo. The first seminar, Preventing and Combating Violent Extremism, started at 10:30 AM today, and was opened by the head of the Department for External Affairs and Diaspora, Razim Čolić. Mrs. Medina Mehmedović-Mulalić provided information about the program of the seminar and the trainers.

Sessions at this two-day seminars will be led by university professors and analysts: Associate Professor Sead Turčalo, Associate Professor Edina Bećirević, Professor Senija Tahirović, Aida Ganović, Muhamed Jusić, Azra Ibrahimović and Medina Mehmedović-Mulalić.

The aim of the project is establishing a system for preventing violent extremism and radicalism in different areas of B&H, especially in those regions with increased risk of radicalization which can lead to violent extremism. This will be attempted through building resilience to radicalization in local communities, especially among youth, by creating a unified network of action and communication. In further stages of the project, selected coordinators will be trained in teaching skills of supportive (advanced) parenting and life skills development, which they will later teach through series of workshops in their local communities.

„What we noticed in dealing with this challenge is that ideologically reductionist interpretation of religion is only one of the factors why young people turn to violent groups.... If we foster critical thinking, empathy, solidarity, openness and tolerance in our children, then we are investing in our future where there will be no place for backward ideologies, hatred and conflicts. I am especially pleased that this project is supported by the European Union,“ said Čolić at the opening of the project.