Shared Values for Combating Extremism

The Royal Institute for Interfaith Studies and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom of in cooperation with the Faculty of Prince Hussein bin Abdullah II of International Studies at the University of Jordan organized a Workshop on" Shared Values for Combating Extremism ", on Tuesday, November 2015 24.

Dr Magda Omar, director of RIIFS, said during the opening session, that extremism that we see today can be returned to the historical, intellectual and psychological roots. Influences that make up the reason for the emergence of extremism we find poor distribution of wealth and the large gap between the classes and the collapse of the value of work Extremism can be seen as a legislative, religious or cultural or political problem or the problem of identity. She pointed out that extremism is not the preserve of the Arab and Islamic societies, all communities have suffered or are suffering from various forms of religious and political extremism, whether in thought and belief or practice and behavior.

For his part, Mr Ulrich Wacker, Resident Representative of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation, said that; we in Europe are shocked by the actual wave of violence and terrorism that we face. Young people like you are walking in the streets and being killed as they drink coffee. This terrorism comes from within our societies in Europe, newspapers and radio and television are filled with comments and ideas, we all ask ourselves questions that do not please ourselves; where does extremism and violence come from? How does it grow within our societies? Did we educate our children enough, so that they can judge the world by themselves, and that you will be skeptical toward the authorities, whether political or religious?

In the first session, entitled "Jordanian Model Of Religious Coexistence" Father Dr. Bassam Shahatit, Episcopal deputy of Roman Melkite Catholics, pointed out that Jordan is characterized by tolerance between the sons of celestial religions, and there is a wide space that accepts many types of sects and currents; noting to that the focus has always been in the Jordanian society on the concept of a family of all assets and roots, as well as of all religions and sects and creeds and races. Dr. Abdullah Al-Kilani, professor at the Faculty of Shaira at the University of Jordan, talked about the pillars of the Jordanian model of religious coexistence; stressing that the best way for the success of the dialogue is to understand the privacy of the community and the nature of the Islamic religion and to have dialogue within areas that do not collide with Islam or Christianity which are many. Islam opens the door for the deployment and promotion of religious teachings among Christians themselves, and this is right for Christians that should not be abused.

The second session of the workshop was centered on “Extremism in Social Media". Rev. Samer Azar, pastor of the Lutheran Church in Jordan, presented in his paper proposals to confront the phenomenon of religious extremism in Social Media, including using this space as a space for dialogue based on the grounds of religious co-existence, cooperation and citizenship, and he stressed that the Jordanian society is rich in of co-existence topics and stories, and the need to make social media a way to disseminate stories of brotherhood and models of cooperation and coexistence. Abdullah Mubaidin, from Jordan Media Institute, talked about extremism and hate speech on social media, where he sees that the effects of hatred speech is large over the social media because of the rapid spread of content, and because social media have become effective in shaping public opinion apart from the credibility of the information, and the level of education does not guarantee the Media Literacy. Besides that He noted that Social Media networks facilitated the arrival of extremists to large number of impressionable young people, and facilitated communication between the extremists across the border. Add to that the ease of use of the comments feature, and hide behind anonymous names and unreal addresses.

Social Media