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Challenging Radicalization: Youth, Violence, Religion and the State (forum)
28 September 2015 @ 16h00 - 18h00
Incidences of violence framed in religious language have been on the rise in Africa. While this is not new for countries like Nigeria, for countries like Cameroon and to some extent Kenya, it is a relatively novel phenomenon. In particular, extremist violence in these countries purporting to speak on behalf of Islam has attracted international attention and prompted “global responses”. These globalist narratives, perceptions and responses are sometimes been instrumentalised by national governments to justify punitive measures against entire communities.
The aim of this academic and civic forum will be to critically interrogate the local contexts of this kind of violence and to examine local and national responses.
By comparing the emergence of violent mobilizations in North East Nigeria, north Cameroon and the coastal and north east regions of Kenya, we hope to shed light on various intertwined that explain it. We will explore a number of questions: What is the role of economic and social deprivation of youth – male and female? What is the role of new forms of religious commitment? What is the role of histories and imaginations of violence in these regions? What role does the state play in provoking or exacerbating the problem of violence?
This forum is a space to discuss local conditions of violence and to interrogate the concept of “radicalization”. By facilitating discussions between academics, policy practitioners and NGOs from these three countries, the forum will contribute to the theoretical understanding of the complexity and complexities of this violence through a critical examination of local contexts and narratives on violence and also contribute to the urgent and important search for local, nation and global solutions to the problem.
The Forum will take place on September 28, 2015 as the first of three events. It will be followed by a closed- door meeting for academics at IFRA and a public forum at the Nairobi Safari Club, Lilian Towers from 4-6 pm also on September 29.