Dr. Hathout, Al-Marayati Talk About Violent Extremism & Online Radicalization

May 9, 2013

Last Sunday before a full house at All Saints Church, Dr. Maher Hathout and Salam Al-Marayati, MPAC's Senior Adviser and President, spoke about the need for community leaders to intervene if they see signs of potential violent extremism rather than shunning those who might be troubled or susceptible to extremist recruiters.

SEE: "Creating a United Front Against Terrorism: American Muslim Leaders Outline an Alternative to Extremism" (YouTube) 

Al-Marayati commended mosque leaders across the nation for working diligently to reject any extreme and intolerant ideas from their houses of worship, and he reminded those gathered that any threat of unlawful or violent behavior should be referred directly to law enforcement authorities: "Now, we are dealing with a growing issue that stretches beyond the walls of our religious centers and is taking root online. Many leaders are finding themselves asking, 'What signs do I look for?' "

"Looking at this issue is a lot like preventing gang violence by young men recruited into gangs. It's very similar here when you're looking at young Muslim men being recruited into extremist groups," Al-Marayati said. "It's talking to young people about their challenges and opportunities, about their opportunity not only to be leaders of the Muslim community but to be leaders of our country, to be champions of human rights, to deal with grievances, address them in a non-violent manner, to provide social programs in underprivileged communities."

To address these concerns, MPAC is spearheading a campaign to train mosque leaders in intervention techniques, host forums and promote programs that support positive youth engagement.

"Extremism is not a Muslim problem but a human phenomenon -- and a problem we must solve together," Dr. Hathout said. 

Help us continue our work with a quick
one-time or monthly donation.