SAVE – 2

Bismillah. Patterns of Radicalisation, moderated by Farah Pandith (US Special Representative to Muslim Communities). With Imam Nurayn Ashafa of Nigeria (from the “Imam and Pastor” film), Sammy Rangel (inspiring Native American ex-gangster with a T-shirt saying “Kindness Is Not Weakness”), Angela King (ex-white supremacist) + Eric Gibson, ex-LA gangster in a wheelchair after being shot 5 times in a drive-by shooting in 1993, the 13-yr-old girl beside him was killed by a single bullet to the head.

Personal stories from Brazil + Iran. Then I was on a panel with Henry Robinson (ex-IRA), Mo Mohammed (ex al-Shabab, Somalia), James (the Pastor from the “Imam and Pastor” film). Chaired by Amanda Lindhout, who was kidnapped by al-Shabab in Somalia and held for 15 months, starved and treated brutally.  She has now set up the Global Enrichment Foundation, dedicated to helping the people of Somalia, especially the refugees and orphans who had to flee to neighbouring Kenya.

Workshop around integration. More inspiring people, including Bud whose 23-yr-old daughter died in the Oklahoma bombing of 1995 (she was born a month before me).

In the discussions about dialogue, I kept thinking of the ayah of Surah al-Hujurat, “We have made you peoples and tribes so that you may get to know each other.”

Someone mentioned “integration buddies” – used successfully in various places. I thought of the Prophet (pbuh) pairing his Meccan & Medinan companions after the hijrah: the Muhajirun & Ansar (Emigres/Refugees & Helpers/Hosts).

The final panel included Yasmin Mulbocus, ex “Al-Muhajirun” (so-called) from London, Paul Carrillo, chaired by a famous Chris Isham, not the Quantum Gravity expert from Imperial College London!🙂

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