Prof. Radwan El Sayed of American University in Beirut discussed violent extremism as a new phenomenon. He calls for radical change, saying it is necessary to implement effective reform which revives the spirit that we are all brothers in the world.
Fr Nabil Haddad of Jordan identified corruption, inequality, political unrest, and unstable institutions create a breeding ground for extremism.
Dr. Baptiste Jacques Aurele Brodard of unifr has extensively researched the European context around radicalization, and explained the dangers of intolerance of the "other," of a dichotomous worldview, and all-or-nothing rhetoric.
Dr. Sasa Cekrlija discussed the context of extremist ideology in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Dr. Hassene ben Ali Moussa closed our panel session with a passionate quote about recognition: "You don't have to love me, but you will not ignore me - I exist. I exist. I exist."
"There is no distinction to be drawn between violent and non-violent extremism." -Secretary General of the WMuslim CCDRBECHARI was explicit as he explained that normalizing any degree of extremist ideology is dangerous. "We must categorically rebuke all hate speech," he added.
According to Dr. alfredo maiolese, Pres of the European Muslims League based in Italy, recent immigration trends into Europe are a cause for increased Islamophobia. Throughout history we have seen socioeconomic frustrations confounded with anti-religious sentiment.
Moderator H.E. Rabbi Jair Melchior, closed the panel session and Day 1 of the conference with this takeaway on collective identity: The concept of 'oneness'- is not that we are all the same... it is that we are IN UNITY."
Dr. Ibrahim Najm has worked to debunk misconceptions between young Muslims and Jews. He expanded on the false dichotomy which presupposes national identity and religious identity are incongruent, when they can and should support each other.