Muslim leaders strategize to thwart converts from radicalization
CBC Radio | February 20, 2015
“Al Qaeda, and ISIL, and groups like it, are desperate for legitimacy. They try to portray themselves as religious leaders, holy warriors in defence of Islam … they are not religious leaders, they’re terrorists.” – Barack Obama
U.S. President Barack Obama spoke this week at the White House, at a three-day conference on Countering Violent Extremism — or C.V.E. as it’s also known.
Parts of the world as varied as Paris, Copenhagen, Australia and Ottawa have all experienced the effects of violent extremism in recent weeks and months. And so political leaders the world over are obviously interested in strategies to combat extreme ideologies — and extremist Islam especially, which was the focus of the White House conference.
But it’s also religous leaders who developing such strategies … like Syed Soharwardy. He’s a Calgary imam with the Islamic Supreme Council. And he’s recently developed a sort of checklist for imams to use to help vet potential new converts to Islam, to help identify any problematic thinking. He says it’s one way to help counter the problem of radicalization and get people with troubling ideas the help they need.
Chelby Daigle is the editor of Muslim Link — an online newspaper serving Ottawa’s Muslim community.
This segment was produced by The Current’s Naheed Mustafa and Gord Westmacott.
Cat Stephens – “Peace Train”
We wanted to end this week by giving the Last Word to one of the world’s best-known converts to Islam, and his message of peace. This is Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stephens, with his song “Peace Train,” recorded live at a concert honouring Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus.