One after another, the women told their stories: the stigma, the repeated questioning by officials, the police anti-terrorism units following them. The women had become civic activists after losing their sons or husbands to the lure of violent extremism. They said they just wanted to make sure no one else suffered the same pain. But all the authorities could see was the relative of an extremist.
It was divides like this between religious leaders or people of faith on the one hand, and police or government officials on the other, that the U.S. Institute of Peace sought to bridge in a recent symposium in Mombasa, Kenya, that brought together more than three dozen men and women of faith with government and security officials from 11 countries.
While participants agreed broadly that the religious community was vital to addressing radicalization, they didn’t necessarily agree on how.