Brussels, July 11 ||
Speakers urged the active role of diaspora communities and the role of civil society to counter extremism and terrorism in the European as well as home countries in the global south. They demanded the special focus on the social inclusion and integration of the young generation for the better protection against radicalisation and terrorism.
Speakers urged this in the day-long conference on "Countering Violent Extremism: Global Context and Bangladeshi Diaspora" held in the European Press Club in Belgium on Tuesday. European Bangladesh Forum (EBF) organized the conference as part of the series of programs against the violent extremism and terrorism in Europe and the perspective of Bangladesh.
President of the European Bangladesh Forum, UK Ansar Ahmed Ullah presented welcome address in the conference. In the opening session on Bangladesh and global context was chaired by the Head of the Centre for Study of Human Rights, London School of Economics, UK. The keynote paper on “Islamic Terrorism in Bangladesh: Progression and Prognosis” was presented by the Executive Director of the Institute of Conflict, Law and Development Studies (ICLDS) Major General (Retired) Abdur Rashid. The session was addressed, among others, by Julie Pernet from European Humanist Federation IHEU, Brussels on“The role of free expression and secularism in combating violent extremism in Bangladesh and beyond and Saleem Samad, senior journalist and Ashoka Fellow (USA) and working with Bangladesh Observer and Special Correspondent of the Asian Age, Dhaka.
The Member of European Parliament from the European Conservatives and Reformists Party, UK Geoffrey Van Orden presented the discussion as Guest of Honour on "Why is Counter Terrorism so Difficult" in the context of de-radicalisation. Van Orden stressed on the integration and social inclusion as root cause of increasing trend of terrorism among the young people with and without background of migration. Considering the recent history of the terrorism and violent extremism speakers in conference expressed their great concern at the rise of the terrorists inside Europe and in the home country they are from. Even not only the young people from Diaspora families, rather youth from the European families are being involved in the violent extremism due to the lack of integration, social inequalities and exclusion. The similar situation including the faulty educational system and the suppression of the freedom of opinions cause the root to the radicalization and terrorism inside the country and the export of terrorism from Bangladesh, they added.
The working session on Impact of Terrorism and what can the Diaspora do was chaired by EBF, UK President Ansar Ahmed Ullah. Member of European Parliament from Social-Democratic Party, Italy Brando Benifei addressed the session as Guest of Honour. Among others, Head of Counter Extremism Project in Brussels and Founder and President of the European Foundation for Democracy Roberta Bonazzi, Head of EU Office of Front Line Defenders in Brussels Emma Achilli on “Bangladeshi Human Rights Defenders at Risk”, Senior Research Fellow of Europe in the World, Egmont – Royal Institute for International Relations, Belgium Thomas Renard on “Key trends of terrorism in Belgium and Europe”, former Member of Parliament from Labour Party in The Netherlands Amma Asante, former Member of Parliament from Socialist Party in The Netherlands Harry van Bommel, on “Violent extremism: Islam or Crime” addressed the conference. The Coordinator of Brussels Dhaka Peace Committee M. M Murshed rendered vote of thanks.
Among others, BASUG Chairman Bikash Chowdhury Barua, President of German-Bangladesh Association and House of Integration Juboraj Talukder, President of Bangabandhu Foundation, Germany (BFG) Younus Ali Khan, BFG Advisor Mahbubul Hoque, BASUG Project Coordinator in Germany AHM Abdul Hai and Senior Program Officer Mahamud Firoz, Commonwealth Liaison Coordinator of the British and Commonwealth Women’s Club of Brussels Anar Chowdhury, EBF Organisers Atish Chowdhury and Sumana Barua, BASUG Internee Marco Schmidberger, Secretary of European Press Club Abu Tahir and about one hundred representatives from Diaspora, civil society and political organizations took part in the conference.