Faizel Patel, Radio Islam News - 05-06-2018
A professor and research chair in Diversity and Community resilience has told Radio Islam that it’s morally and ethically wrong to blame an entire community for their belief system or their identity for acts of extremism and terrorism.
Michele Grossman from the Deakin University in Australia was speaking during the “Measuring and Building Resilience to Violent Extremism” workshop hosted by the Australian High Commission and ALPS Resilience at the Villa Sterne Hotel in Pretoria on Monday.
The objective of the workshop is to bring together key stake holders which include relevant members of civil society, government and the diplomatic corps in South Africa to learn about building resilience to violent extremism from subject matter experts.
Grossman says no religion across the world including Islam systematically supports or justifies the use of violence but rather argues for peace and restraint.
She says the problem is not simply peoples rush to blame religion, but people who use religion to justify their own political or ideological violent actions.
“This has been a very hard message to cut through to general communities. Part of the reason is that it then seems to be presented as a kind of a problem or dialogue, say in the case of Islam between Muslims who believe this and other Muslims who believe that. So it becomes branded as a Muslim problem, whereas I think that the way we need to approach it is to say this is a knowledge problem that is shared by all of us.”
Grossman says the question about why people are quick to ascribe blame or tarnish the reputation of communities, especially Muslims is a very complex issue and hard to challenge and is at the heart of the social challenges being faced in a number of countries across the world including South Africa.
Listen to the interview with Dr. Michele Grossman