Event Report – Debate: Youth, Radicalism and Terrorism

The Library and Research Sector attended the public debate ‘Youth, Radicalism and Terrorism’ organised by the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS) and the Italianieuropei Foundation, in partnership with the Belgian daily newspaper Le Soir.

The debate gathered representatives of different organisations and institutions, including youth organisations, as well as journalists and researchers. The discussion, moderated by Béatrice Delvaux (editor, Le Soir), focused on the radicalisation of religion, the marginalisation of youth, and the terrorist threats in Europe.

Massimo D’Alema, President of FEPS and former Prime Minister of Italy, described Daesh simultaneously as a political project, a traditional military structure and a terrorist group. He considered  that territorial and military victory over Daesh would not be enough to stop radicalism.

daesh_postD’Alema also briefly presented the book “Daesh and the terrorist threat: from the Middle East to Europe”.

Open the book in pdf format

Malika Hamidi, PhD in Sociology EHESS-Paris and Director-General of the European Muslim Network, spoke about the phenomenon of youth radicalisation.  In her view, this was a complex problem related to the interpretation of religious rules, psychology, and social marginalisation. She pointed out that Muslims today constitute a very vulnerable group since they are victims of both islamophobia and Islamic terrorism.

John Gatt-Rutter, Head of the Counter-Terrorism Division at the European External Action Service, explained how Europe was responding to terrorism. In his  opinion, the only way to successfully tackle the problem of radicalisation was by co-operation at a global level and by adopting a common political strategy.

Charles Picqué, Mayor of Saint-Gilles (Brussels) and Speaker of the Brussels Parliament, pointed out that the problem is not in the beliefs, but in the manipulation of the beliefs.

Johan Leman, Emeritus Professor  at KUL (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven), considered unemployment and the lack of prospects as the main factors which lead to youth radicalisation.

Ismaël Saïdi, film director and dramatist, spoke briefly about his play Jihad. He described Brussels as a multi-ethnic city and pointed out that the problems related to social diversification could not  be fixed in a couple of months.

Background information

Book suggestions on terrorism from the library collection

Suggested articles on terrorism from the library collection:

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