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The Concept

The Wasatiyah Centre for Peace seeks to elevate the role of communities in fostering peace and promotion of PVE, by supporting local solutions to global challenges. The primary objective is to provide expertise and consultation for community-level initiatives to address the local drivers of violent extremism by raising awareness, mobilising action, and offering positive alternatives. Local actors understand what drives recruitment and radicalisation to violent extremism in their communities and may have some of the solutions but are often unable or denied access to opportunities in order to start to make a difference.

WCP aims to integrate a “culture of peace” discourse, through the promotion of al-wasatiyah from an Islamic perspective which bears similar messages or ethos of moderation that can be found in various religions and cultures of the world. WCP believes an interreligious peacebuilding network serves as an integral part in promoting the culture of peace discourse in addition to a coordinate endeavour in achieving a culture of peaceful coexistence between the global population. In order to achieve the following objective, WCP seeks to integrate between top-down and bottoms-up programmes and approaches in aspects of faiths-based as well as intercultural dialogues.

To this end, WCP endeavours to promote and organise unofficial dialogues and problem-solving activities aimed at building relationships and encouraging new thinking that can inform the official process. This is in addition to encouraging and engaging in people-to-people diplomacy undertaken by individuals and private groups to encourage interaction and understanding between hostile communities and involving awareness raising and empowerment within the local communities – with the hope and aim of creating a groundswell for a culture of knowledge, peace and positivity toward regional and international affairs.

The WCP desires to be “as a centre endeavouring for the promotion and imbuement of a culture of peace through the principles of al-wasatiyah or moderation, in addressing conflicts and violent-extremism.”

The fight against extremism, will essentially require working within local communities and CSOs in addition to emphasis on research and academia, given that extremist tendencies and ideologies are not defeated by guns but by new ideas, and winning of the hearts and minds. Thus, working at the local level, especially youths and those most vulnerable represent the best ways of analysing thereby preventing violent-extremism.