June 18, 2015
The challenging extremism
project it is something which I would consider
as very extraordinary because it is
something that is very community-based.
Edventure partners and the U.S. State
Department invited us to
create counter narratives to violent extremism.
So what we did is we did a lot of research behind
what they're doing to actually recruit
and we wanted to do the opposite.
You know, I think the project is a global challenge.
to give young people an opportunity
to be part of the solution
rather than just part of problem.
And I think that's one of the biggest issues that we
when countering violent extremism.
23 Universities around the the globe were tasked with a challenge
to create digital projects designed to counter violent extremist narratives.
Well, violent extremism, what people don't realize it's really everywhere.
and just individuals using violence to
achieve their goals
and so it can really happen anywhere and our
on that global aspect of it. So 195
altogether creating a solution, but a community level.
When I used to hear 'countering violence'
I would think military force or in a governmental way to
counter violence. But throughout this
project our research has led us
to all these different options that are
far more efficient and so through
education and again social media outreach
to counter their messages , we've created a different kind of program and so
yes the definition has definitely changed for me since the beginning.
52Jumaa is an interactive app and it is essentially an empowering mechanism
a young people. A mechanism that increases social identity of young people.
It increases the community resilience
of Muslim communities in particular.
It gives users another option, by giving them
prophetic messages as well as self-fulfilling challenges
that they can compete in
and links Muslim people to other muslim people.
I worked with the WANT Movement.
And the WANT Movement stands for "We Are Not Them."
I like that word beacuse
it kind of represent so many different things that we have.
It's like we want direction or we want understanding,
we want guidance, we want
integration, we want community.
And this campaign that we created kind of brought all those things together.
In a way that was really neat for me to see.
And what our first task was, was to really
help people understand that the muslims we know and meet everyday
are not radicals.
So on platforms like Facebook
by using strong visual messaging like
infographics. By debunking myths
and by having people actually have
opportunities for dialogue.
So there was no passive media in what we created as a part of the WANT movement
There was always the opportunity for
because we think it's really important
to make sense
of these complex issues together.