Baroness Williams
Baroness Williams

Partnerships needed to defeat extremism, says UK Minister

ANI | Updated: Jun 12, 2018 17:19 IST

New Delhi, June 12 (ANI): UK's Minister for Countering Extremism, Baroness Williams, has said no country alone will be able to tackle extremism and hence there is a need for countries to come together to take on this unprecedented threat.
"Defeating extremism all its forms is not something any government can or should do alone. We need everyone's help and that is why we are dedicated in working in partnership together', the minister said while delivering the second keynote address at the international conference on "Tackling insurgent ideologies', organised in Delhi by Observer Research Foundation and Geneva Centre for Security Policy.
"Together, with our trusted allies and partners, we will defeat the extremists and build a stronger global community," the minister said, adding UK do not see extremism and terrorism as the same thing.
Saying no one becomes a terrorist from the start, the minister emphasised on the need to destroy the process of radicalisation. "We have been doing an international work focussing on destructing flow of extremist individuals, money and individuals between the UK and overseas, working with international partners to tackle extremism, building resilience and capacity overseas to address the drivers, narratives, and enablers of extremism," the minister added.
She said UK has established a network of communication coordinators to identify groups challenging extremism at local level, regional level, national level and international level, and is working with the UN actively to clamp down on violent extremism across the world.
In the inaugural session on Monday evening, India's Minister of State for External Affairs, MJ Akbar, emphasised on how important sustaining democracy is for fighting extremists and terrorists. He said India's success in checking extremism was mainly because of its inclusive democracy.
"Today, the reason why Indian Muslims are not falling victim to this Islamist violence is because Indian Muslims are the only Muslims in the world who have enjoyed seven decades of sustained democracy", Akbar said while delivering keynote address.
He said "if you have to challenge faith based terrorism, fighting battles is not enough. You have to win the battle in the mind, you have to be eclectic in your dialogue".
He pointed out that a hundred years ago, the age of empire finally began to collapse as Gandhi led the movement of democratisation as a mass virtue, and demonstrated that one does not need to raise an army to defeat the military might of the colonial empire.
The minister said the Islam that has been reborn by man is synonymous with violence and faith supremacy while the original Islam, that was born from Allah, was pluralistic and accepting, and believed in equality of faith.
Given the sheer enormous variety of India, what we have achieved in this country in keeping equality of faith, is an answer to the idea of terrorism, the minister said.
Delivering the opening remarks, ORF chairman Sunjoy Joshi said countering hate speech involves a range of strategies. Tackling radical technologies online requires sustained engagement and a concerted approach to counter narratives. "We need to keep reformulating strategies at hand to explore better methods of countering narratives, and counter-messaging is not enough," he pointed out.
"For any narrative to draw in people, it needs to tell a story that draws from cultural resources, rather than financial or military resources. It needs to evoke a sense of belonging for the targeted audience, and extremists are using this to their advantage," Joshi said.
Ambassador Christian Dussey, Director of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy, said narratives and counter-narratives are very important, and we have combined all forms of media -- traditional media, social media and art -- to create a project that analyses best approaches to PVE. "Let's make peace more captivating than conflict," he said.
Tamara Mona, Charge De Affairs, the Embassy of Switzerland, said children, women and young adults play a very important role in CVE. They are the most vulnerable to radicalisation. They need to be involved in the process to establish best practices that will help us create approaches that will provide alternatives to violence.
More than 60 speakers from India, Afghanistan, West Asia and Europe are participating in the three-day conference. (ANI)