A FORMER senior member of a radical Islamist group, who used universities to recruit Jihadists, took to the stage of Rose Theatre and discussed his perspective of Islamic State on April 11.
Ex Al-Muhajiroun member Adam Deen pointed out numerous ways in which to prevent extremism, explaining that religion is not to blame.
He said: “I don’t think religion is the only cause of extremism, however it is extremely powerful when religion comes into the mix because it is far more indoctrinating. I believe that what we are witnessing is the wrong reading – IS is out of control and we have to identify it and control it.”
Audience members had the opportunity to ask the extremists questions on radicalisation.
One of the audience members asked Deen: “How can people deal with extremism?” and the ex-extremist answered: “We must be acquainted with their ideology to understand where they came from.”
Kingston University student Shukri Ahmed, who attended the event, said she feels like her religion is being misrepresented because she believes Islam is a religion of “peace not violence”.
“I witness a lot of things in the news today and we as Muslims are just as shocked as other people when we witness the violence on television. Hearing from Adam Deen today helped me realise that not everyone perceives us as violent,” she added.
Deen is part of a foundation called The Quilliam Foundation which aims to challenge extremist narratives while advocating pluralistic, democratic alternatives that are consistent with universal human rights standards.