Hedayah participates in White House Summit on countering violent extremism

ABU DHABI, 26th February, 2015 (WAM) — Dr. Ali Rashid Al Nuaimi, the Chairman of Hedayah Steering Board, the International Centre of Excellence for Countering Violent Extremism, headed the Hedayah delegation to the CVE Summit held from 17th-19th February at the White House to highlight domestic and international efforts to prevent violent extremists and their supporters from radicalising, recruiting, or inspiring individuals or groups in the United States and abroad to commit acts of violence.

Maqsoud Kruse, Hedayah Steering Board Executive Director and Ivo Veenkamp, the Deputy Executive Director, accompanied Dr. Al Nuaimi. At the summit, Dr. Al Nuaimi stressed the crucial need for all nations to work in close partnership to stop extremist recruiting networks now and more than ever, saying, “These efforts are all the more important given the current threat of Daesh (ISIL) that may very well be the greatest test our human family faces in the 21st century, particularly in light of recent, tragic attacks in Ottawa, Sydney, Paris and now Copenhagen.” At the summit, Maqsoud Kruse delivered remarks on the vital role of Hedayah as an independent and international “Think and Do Tank” that focuses on Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) in all of its forms and at all levels. Hedayah, since its establishment in December 2012, has set a perfect example of global collaborative efforts in assisting not only the member countries but also NGOs in conducting inspiring research, initiating dialogue, launching programmes, developing policies, providing training and building capacity.

Mr. Kruse laid out Hedayah’s top priorities, where education is key in the international community’s efforts for countering violent extremism. Such an important role is highly emphasised in a GCTF good practices framework document, the “Abu Dhabi Memorandum on Good Practices for Education and Countering Violent Extremism” that underlined the ways in which education can be used as a resource and a tool by policymakers, teachers and educators, community-based and other non-governmental organizations, families and parents to prevent and counter violent extremism.

Hedayah supported the drafting and development of this document through a series of workshops and independent research. Hedayah’s activities have been also focused on sharing CVE national strategies with other states, preventing prisons from continuing to be recruiting grounds for extremists by developing methods of disengagement, rehabilitation and reintegration of former terrorists, improving community policing through conducting training programmes for community policing techniques, promoting counter-narratives to civil society groups and NGOs, amplifying the voices of victims and survivors through telling their stories to family, friends and community, engaging community and youth and empowering women, the mothers of extremists, through educating them on how to counter the arguments of recruiters and re-integrate extremists back into the fold.

In its efforts to do more to help lift up voices of tolerance and peace, particularly online, Hedayah held the world’s first Global CVE Communications Expo to counter terrorist propaganda and hateful ideologies.

“Strategic communication and the role of social media is yet another key area that requires our collective creativity and vision for a Global Communications Collation for effective alternative messaging. At the first ever-global CVE Communications Expo in Abu Dhabi in December last year, Hedayah brought together almost 300 delegates. These included high-level government officials, mid-level government action officers, industry partners, technology specialists, academic experts, and civil society actors. All striving towards a shared purpose and all with a part to play in creating a cohesive and effective alternative narrative”, said Kruse.