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"United Against Terrorism"

From left to right: Shahina Siddiqui (Director, Islamic Social Services Association, Winnipeg/Canada), Carla Amina Baghajati (Spokesperson on media and women‘s issues of the Islamic Community in Austria), Dr. Hans Winkler (Director, Diplomatic Academy Vienna), Verena Fabris (Director of the Austrian Counselling Center for Extremism), Ambassador Mark E. Bailey, Dr. Edit Schlaffer (Director of NGO "Women without Borders"), Ingrid Steiner-Gashi (Kurier)
Photo credits: © Embassy of Canada/APA-Fotoservice/Rossboth


The panel discussion "United Against Terrorism: Protecting Youth Against Radicalisation”, organised by the Embassy of Canada in Austria in cooperation with the Diplomatic Academy Vienna and the Austrian daily KURIER, attracted great interest.

The four speakers contributed their vast personal and professional expertise to the debate, which opened an unusually wide range of perspectives. Shahina Siddiqui from Winnipeg drew upon her experience as Executive Director of the Islamic Social Services Association, as author, counselor, speaker and educator.

The other speakers - Edit Schlaffer, a social scientist and initiator of projects such as "Women without Borders", "Sisters Against Violent Extremism" and "Mother Schools"; Verena Fabris, Director of the Austrian Counselling Center for Extremism; and Carla Baghajati, spokesperson on media and women‘s issues of the Islamic Community in Austria – were already well-known to the majority of the audience. Ambassador Mark Bailey, who worked as a diplomat in the Near and Middle East for many years, also provided highly interesting insights. Numerous suggestions and conclusions emerged in the course of the discussion moderated by Ingrid Steiner-Gashi (KURIER), including the following key messages:

  • There is no “one size fits all“ solution since the circumstances of radicalisation vary widely;
  • Generalisations and undifferentiated suspicions play into the hands of terrorist recruiters;
  • Everybody, in particular public opinion leaders, can contribute to a climate of deradicalisation through tolerance and alertness;
  • The exchange of experiences and joint, concerted efforts are a good strategy – in accordance with the motto of the event "United Against Terrorism".



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