Religion and Peacemaking

Religion is an important component in many conflict zones and a powerful tool for preventing violence. USIP has been a pioneer in religion and peacemaking, seeking new ways to combat violent extremism across all beliefs.

Learn more about USIP's Religion and Peacemaking center.

Inside Iran

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 09:30
Thu, 01/09/2014 - 11:00
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With Robin Wright and David Ignatius

Two long-time Middle East experts have recently returned from Iran. Their discussions with cabinet members, ayatollahs, hardliners, Members of Parliament, economists, opposition figures and ordinary Iranians offer rare insights into Iran’s increasingly vibrant political scene since President Rouhani took office and the implications of the new nuclear agreement. Robin Wright and David Ignatius offer fresh perspectives on what’s next.

Please join us for a moderated discussion on these and other issues important to Iran, its internal politics, and its relations with the world. Join the conversation on Twitter with #InsideIran.

This event will feature the following speakers:

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Current Challenges to Christian-Muslim Relations in Egypt

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 10:00
Fri, 06/14/2013 - 12:00

On Friday, June 14, two Egyptian religious leaders, Grand Mufti Mohamed Ali Goma’a and Bishop Mouneer Hanna Anis, discussed the challenges their communities face in the democratic transition of their state.

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After decades of authoritarian rule, Egypt’s transition to democracy is tackled incredible challenges including political, social and economic reform, infrastructural development, and the ongoing religious sectarianism.

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Egyptian President Resigns after Peaceful Protests

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has resigned on Feb. 11 after weeks of peaceful protests. USIP takes a comprehensive look at the situation and its implications.

 

UPDATED: February 15, 2011

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak resigned on Feb. 11 after weeks of peaceful protests. USIP takes a comprehensive look at the situation and its implications.

Thu, 02/03/2011 - 14:35
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Notes from Sudan

Ahead of the country's critical 2011 referendum on whether the South should secede from Sudan, USIP is dedicated to help resolve internal conflicts and help ensure the country's future stability and security. In "Notes from Sudan," USIP's Jon Temin writes about his recent tour of the country to get an update on the status of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that ended decades of civil war in Sudan and learn about preparations for the 2011 referendum and the 2010 national elections. 

 

by Jonathan Temin

Jonathan Temin
Fri, 08/21/2009 (All day)
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Post-War Reconciliation: Screening of Bosnian Film "Pretty Village"

Tue, 10/28/2014 - 14:00
Tue, 10/28/2014 - 16:30

The documentary "Pretty Village" is more than a film about one Bosnian village. Its stories can be universally recognized in any society torn apart by conflict. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion featuring protagonist and producer Kemal Pervanic.

The film documents the destruction of innocence in Pervanic’s village of Kevljani in northern Bosnia during the 1992-95 war. It questions whether it’s possible to achieve true peace and reconciliation in the aftermath of devastation and torture that pitted neighbor against neighbor and created cauldrons of abuse like the notorious Omarska concentration camp. Images of skeletal men filmed in August 1992 produced some of the war’s most indelible images.

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Islamist Party Leader Appeals for Aid to Bolster Tunisian Example of Moderation, Democracy

Sheikh Rachid Ghannouchi, the founder of Tunisia’s Islamist party, appealed this week for U.S. political and economic support as his country struggles to complete its historic transition. Tunisia, the lone success story out of the Arab uprisings, could serve as an example for Iraq, Syria, Egypt and others, he said.

USIP Staff

Ghannouchi, founder and president of Tunisia’s Ennahda Party, said his country’s success is also vital in proving that moderate Islam can co-exist with democracy -- and countering claims about links between Islam and terrorism. Democracy, he said, can actually be another way to fight terrorism.

Wed, 10/01/2014 - 12:42
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Is There a Role for Religious Actors in Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism?

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 10:30
Fri, 09/26/2014 - 12:00
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Voices from the Trenches

On September 26th, 2014, USIP hosted three panelists from the “Religious Actors Combatting Radicalization and Violent Extremism Symposium,” who presented key insights drawn from the workshop and their own experiences.

Recent events in Iraq and Syria underscore the devastating impact of violent extremism. In fact, it is one of the most pressing issues facing the world today, affecting many regions and threatening to destabilize the global community.

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Global Religious Engagement: Best Practices for International Affairs Professionals

It touches on often-contested issues such as gender and women’s voices, religious freedom, discussing personal beliefs in the public sphere, and how to integrate religion and programming. Participants will finish the course with a command of best practices for working on sensitive issues with communities of faith.

Amid Israel-Hamas War: Is Peacebuilding a Dream or Reality?

While in Israel two weeks ago, as sirens sounded, rockets and missiles flew, and the sadly-certain descent began to where the two sides find themselves today, I heard a common refrain from a range of partner organizations and other civic activists working on peacebuilding in Israel:  The current fighting will end, hopefully tomorrow, maybe in a week or a month. But when it does, the underlying dynamics and problems remain to be addressed.  Our work can't stop.

Lucy Kurtzer-Ellenbogen

The battle between Israel and Hamas forges ahead with little sign of let-up.  The death toll rises – more than 800 Gazans and at least 38 Israelis at the time of publication. And while international efforts to broker a ceasefire seem to be gaining momentum, they have yet to bear fruit.

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 13:43
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Engaging Afghan Religious Leaders for Women’s Rights

Women’s rights programs in Afghanistan need to work with religious leaders who have moral authority among large segments of the Afghan public. Engaging those traditional leaders who have a track record of supporting women’s rights begins with respecting their opinions and showing the patience to build trust through dialogue. It also requires supporting processes of change that are identified locally and ensuring that local partners take the lead role in the delivery of support as much as possible.

Summary

  • As the economic, security and political transitions take place in Afghanistan, it is essential to work with religious leaders who have credibility and moral authority among large segments of the Afghan public.
  • Religious leaders are among Afghanistan’s traditional “gatekeepers” for making local decisions, especially on questions of women’s rights, and they can be effectively engaged.
Palwasha L. Kakar
Wed, 06/18/2014 - 11:16
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Articles & Analysis

October 1, 2014
Ghannouchi, founder and president of Tunisia’s Ennahda Party, said his country’s success is also vital in proving that moderate Islam can co-exist with democracy -- and countering claims about links between Islam and terrorism. Democracy, he said, can actually be another way to fight terrorism.

Our Work In The Field

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Classroom Courses

Instructor:
Maria Jessop
December 8, 2014
Washington
Understand the theory and practice of facilitated dialogue, learn the fundamentals of designing a dialogue process, and examine lessons learned from both community- and national-level dialogue processes with a focus on conflict contexts where divides rooted in identity differences figure prominently.

Online Courses

Peter Weinberger
This course presents a set of "soft skills" for participants who engage with religious peoples for partnerships, programming and project implementation.
It touches on often-contested issues such as gender and women’s voices, religious freedom, discussing personal beliefs in the public sphere, and how to integrate religion and programming.

Publications

Muslims in general and Muslim leaders particularly have often been severely criticized for not more energetically condemning the violent acts of Muslim extremists. The uninformed often assume that extremists represent Islam’s mainstream.
By:
Ethan Beuno de Mesquita
This report was commissioned by USIP's Center for Conflict Analysis and Prevention. Consistent with the center’s commitment to conflict prevention, this report aims to inform the center’s ongoing work to expand the understanding of the determinants of terrorism and its support base.