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Extinguishing Extremism

By 5 November 2010 No Comment

03Newsliners11-10Khudi, a recently initiated social movement that aspires to extinguish the spread of extremist ideology in Pakistan, hosted an occasion to engage in dialogue about the complex issue on October 9, in Islamabad. The evening featured talks from Khudi’s founder, Maajid Nawaz (a former member of an extremist group), two prominent international activists, Noman Benotman and Oscar Morales, columnist Fasi Zaka and talk show host Hamid Mir, among a few other prominent personalities. Their talks tackled issues of extremism in the Pakistani context, how the media plays both a positive and negative role in this regard, and what steps could be taken by the Pakistani youth to give voice to their opinions through the use of social media.

The event also witnessed the launch of Khudi’s nationwide student magazine, Laaltain (lantern), a short clip introducing the movement, and the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Khudi and diverse youth groups from across the nation. The student magazine will serve as a platform for Pakistan’s youth to comment on issues of social and political relevance.

In an interactive session following the talks, audience members – comprising nearly 20 youth groups from all four provinces of Pakistan – engaged in a dialogue with the speakers on issues of identity, democracy and the role of religion in politics and nationalism.

The event was successful in engaging the youth in Pakistan’s core issues and hopefully more such events will follow.

Read an interview with Maajid Nawaz here.

Zara Farooqui is an APNS award-winning journalist. She was an editorial assistant at Newsline from 2010-2011.

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