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Learning from the Past: Sharing Experiences across Borders to Combat Extremism 16 Nov - 20 Nov, 2017
JUSTICELearning from the Past: Sharing Experiences across Borders to Combat Extremism16 Nov - 20 Nov, 2017


    Xenophobia, racism, and violent extremism are ripping at the fabric of societies across the globe. Although contexts and specifics differ, many shared human values do not: the wish to live in peace and security, and to ensure a positive future for the next generation. At the same time, where atrocities have occurred there is a need to commemorate victims and to confront perpetrators without perpetuating a cycle of violence or creating a climate overwhelmed by vengeance.

    Since 2010, the Salzburg Global Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention Program, implemented in partnership with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, has sought to increase the capacity of institutions with educational missions (universities, schools, museums, remembrance sites, documentation centers, civil society, and religious communities) to combat extremism and promote pluralism in their countries, and to find dignified methods to study and memorialize their own national tragedies. Cross-border and cross-cultural exchanges facilitate new ways of thinking and international partnerships for building better societies, and generate methodologies for outreach to the next generation to create a better future.

    During a workshop in Salzburg in December 2016, Salzburg Global Seminar convened fourteen representatives from six countries – Cambodia, Egypt, Morocco, Pakistan, Rwanda, and South Africa – and experts in Holocaust education and practitioners working on combatting extremism and radicalization across Europe. Together, the participants refined plans for pilot projects in the six participating countries to test local approaches to combatting extremism and promoting pluralism. Throughout 2017, Salzburg Global Seminar is providing support through peer advisory visits to the six countries by leading members of the network, to ensure hands-on expertise and wider impact in each location.

    This year, Salzburg Global Seminar seeks to scale these pilot projects upwards and outwards, engaging a wider range of stakeholders to magnify their impact.  Broader participation from each country and from additional countries will ensure the pilot projects can be further refined, modified for implementation elsewhere, and aided to spark positive change across their regions. Increased exchanges and partnerships among peers, including the involvement of diaspora communities, will strengthen common approaches and collaborations.  New stakeholders, from policy-makers to public communications specialists will facilitate new avenues to optimize the work, increasing its impact in shaping broader public opinion for peaceful, secure, and tolerant societies.

    Key Questions

    Participants addressed the following key questions:

    • What programs will build resilience and resistance to violence, help develop the necessary skills to challenge the idea of extremism, and encourage youth to become positive change-makers?
    • What is the impact of extremist religious or political indoctrination on youth that encourages violent behavior?  How can pluralistic visions within the same religion or society achieve precedence?
    • If radical and violent groups may be effective in recruiting young people due to an absence of positive alternatives offering inclusion and belonging, how can societies become more inclusive for youth, particularly those with more limited economic opportunity or from more isolated or remote areas?
    • What are the challenges of definition and nomenclature, causes, warning signs, propaganda, hateful or inflammatory speech, arising from the state’s own action or inaction?
    • How can civil society organizations, especially those with educational missions, build a culture of awareness among the younger generation of the horrors hate speech and intolerance can unleash?
    • What role do media play in reinforcing fears and stereotypes as opposed to increasing exposure to and understanding of diverse cultures?  How can media facilitate shared dialogue and meaningful social action to support positive change across borders, across cultures, and across divides?
    • In the face of sweeping populist and extremist narratives coming from social media and political sources outside the local communities, how can political, civil society, and religious leaders rooted within their local communities play a stronger role in supporting pluralist initiatives?
    • Can public policy create a welcoming environment for refugees and migrants and make citizens more comfortable with diversity by creating a new sense of shared identity?  What kind of initiatives can address this?
    • What role can diaspora communities play to bridge understanding between countries of origin and countries of settlement?  How can diaspora communities be better integrated and not themselves excluded from the societies in which they live?

    Multi-Year Series

    Since 2010, Salzburg Global Seminar has implemented the Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention Program in partnership with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Through a series of global and regional gatherings, the Program has engaged participants from more than 40 countries on six continents, the majority of which are non-Western countries, and many of which have a recent experience of mass atrocities. The Program has established a network of individuals and NGOs across these countries, and strives to deepen and extend their collaborative work, allowing practitioners to identify cross-regional strategies to empower institutions and individuals with tools for ethical education and peaceful conflict resolution.

    Audio Clips

    Could lessons from the Holocaust help people overcome the divisions created by modern day extremism? 

    On November 19, 2017, the BBC World Service featured Salzburg Global Fellows, Tali Nates, Freddy Mutanguha and Albert Lichtblau, and Salzburg Global Program Director Charles Ehrlich as they discuss the importance of teaching about the Holocaust in order to prevent future extremism.


    Session Chair

    Klaus Mueller
    Representative for Europe, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Germany


    Anwar Akhtar
    Director, The Samosa Media Project, Pakistan
    Sarah AlNemr
    Television and Film Studies, Lebanese American University, Egypt
    Ayub Ayubi
    Chairperson, Renaissance Foundation for Social Innovation, Pakistan
    Belin Benezra Yensarfati
    Doctoral Candidate, Department of Modern Turkish History, Bogazici University, Turkey
    Ruth Bolline Aluoch
    Directing Staff (Training, Education, and Legal), International Peace Support Training Center, Kenya
    Kenan Cayir
    Professor of Sociology, Istanbul Bilgi University, and Founder, Center for Sociology and Education Studies, Turkey
    Roman Gerodimos
    Principal Academic in Global Current Affairs, Bournemouth University (UK), Greece
    T. Jeremy Gunn
    Professor of Law and Political Science, International University of Rabat, Morocco
    Karen Hamling
    Freedom of Religion or Belief Desk Officer, Foreign & Commonwealth Office , United Kingdom
    Dervis Hizarci
    Director, Kreuzberger Initiative Against Antisemitism, Germany
    Mir Mofidul Hoque
    Director, Center for the Study of Genocide and Justice, Bangladesh
    Barbara Ibrahim
    Founding Director, Gerhart Center for Philanthropy and Civic Engagement, American University of Cairo, Egypt
    Fawad Javaid
    Lecturer of Pakistan Studies, Kohat University of Science and Technology, Pakistan
    Jean-Pierre Karegeye
    Director, Interdisciplinary Genocide Studies Center, Rwanda
    Gabriel El Khili
    Program Specialist - Focal Point for Tunisia and Mauritania, UNESCO, Tunisia
    Albert Lichtblau
    Professor of History, University of Salzburg, Austria
    Kimberly Mann
    Chief of Education Outreach, United Nations Department of Public Information, USA
    Sebabatso "Sabi" Manoeli
    Consultant, Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (South Africa), Lesotho
    Clark McCauley
    Research Professor of Psychology, Bryn Mawr College, and Co-Director, Solomon Asch Center for the Study of Ethnopolitical Conflict, USA
    Nagwa Megahed
    Associate Professor of Comparative and International Education, American University of Cairo, Egypt
    Charity Kombe
    Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, University of Pretoria (South Africa), Zambia
    Haydar Muntadhar
    Community Resilience Officer, Enforcement and Safety Division, London Borough of Newham, UK
    Freddy Mutanguha
    Regional Director - East Africa, Aegis Trust, and Director, Kigali Genocide Memorial, Rwanda
    Tali Nates
    Director, Johannesburg Holocaust and Genocide Centre, South Africa
    Tom Ndahiro
    Technical Advisor and Researcher, Interdisciplinary Genocide Studies Center, Rwanda
    Amie Njie
    Senior Education Officer - Life Skills Unit, Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, The Gambia
    Armin Osmanovic
    Head of West Africa Office, Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, Senegal
    Sadaf Rasheed
    Research, Social and Behavioral Change Communications Specialist, UK/Pakistan
    Astrid Reisinger Coracini
    Director, Salzburg Law School on International Criminal Law, Humanitarian Law, and Human Rights Law, University of Salzburg, Austria
    Srimanti Sarkar
    Doctoral Candidate, Department of Political Science, University of Calcutta, India
    Jeremy Silvester
    Director, Museums Association of Namibia, Namibia
    Joshua Spector
    J.D. Candidate, University of Pennsylvania Law School, USA
    Tad Stahnke
    Director, Initiative on Holocaust Denial and Antisemitism, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, USA
    Yasemin Tekgürler
    Student Sociology and Studio Art, Davidson College (USA), Turkey
    Günes Murat Tezcür
    Jalal Talabani Chair of Kurdish Studies, University of Central Florida, USA
    Obioma Uche
    Assistant Professor of Petroleum Chemistry and Engineering, American University of Nigeria, Nigeria
    Arjimand Wani
    Editor in Chief, Ziraat Times, India
    Dan Wilhelm
    President, Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, USA
    Steven I. Wilkinson
    Nilekani Professor of India and South Asian Studies and Chair, Department of Political Science, Yale University, USA

    Program Director

    Charles Ehrlich
    Program Director, Salzburg Global Seminar, Austria

    For more detailed information, please contact the Program Director, Charles Ehrlich (cehrlich@salzburgglobal.org).