Rotterdam: De-radicalization training session held under MQI

Alhamdulillah, the team of Rotterdam provided the members and volunteers of Minhaj-ul-Quran Holland with a much needed training last week. The de-radicalization training is developed to help the youth understand and spread the amazing work of peace, interfaith dialogue and harmony by Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr. Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, which is known by the name of the anti-terror curriculum. The speakers made the participants well aware of our responsibility as members, students and Muslims in general to help prevent, recognise and take action in the early stages of radicalization.

The answers on how to do this were given by Dr. Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri and the three trainers helped us further understand and bring this knowledge to practice.

The first trainer, Secretary General of Netherlands, kicked off the debate by offering an objective background of radicalization and terrorism in the world and specifically in the Netherlands. Many of those present mistakenly estimate the number of Muslim terrorists in comparison to the non-Muslims to be higher and forget that the biggest victims of terror are Muslims. He also spoke of the causes of radicalization like political violence, existence of a broader armed conflict, youth unemployment, attitudes towards immigration and employment discrimination.

Of course we cannot eliminate these causes but he showed us where we can play our part as buffers, preventing further radicalization with our educational system (courses and spiritual evenings), buddy projects, charity projects and warm personal contact.

After this, Tasneem Sadiq al-Qadri focused on the theological aspects of peace versus violence. After a brief explanation of the theory of Covey about the circle of concern, influence and control and how this works in the mind of a vulnerable person, he provided the participants with very clear cases in the life of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, and of the Sahabah on dealing with enemies, non-Muslim citizen and rebellion. The only right conclusion to take after this is that there is no place for terror in any form in Islam, a repeatedly heard message of Shaykh-ul-Islam.

After a short break for prayer and lunch the third trainer, Nazier Aziem, brought the participants an insight in the ways people on the verge of radicalization tend to think and how to have a good influence on them. He told us that we first have to know who we are, to be able to connect with them, tackle a wrong ideology and offer them a counter narrative. This can be established in various forms. Some of us try to make a difference by engaging in theological discussions on social media, some prefer a more emotional and warm bond and others are studying to be able to teach the right Islam. The important thing is to know our personal strengths, interests and responsibility and try to have an influence, big or small. For this we need to start with ourselves; Nazier reminded us of a beautiful treasure Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr. Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri provided us with: Minhaj-ul-A'mal. He ended his talk with some case studies and tips.

The training session was concluded with a Q&A and Dua. The participants left inspired and armed with practical tips on how to spread the counter narrative much needed to be heard. We intend to offer this training again in the near future inshaAllah, this time for a broader audience.

May Allah make it beneficial for us all!