Meaningful Discussions on Terrorism Will Continue To Matter in 2019

We live in an age of terrorism, which is why meaningful discussions on Islam will continue to matter in 2019. Violence from religious groups as well as violence perpetrated by far-right extremist groups will continue in the New Year.

For decades, I’ve been teaching and lecturing on violent behavior, focusing primarily on women in conflict as well as searching for answers on the key question: Why are some people more violent than others?

I have been working towards sound counter-terrorism solutions, and of course, taking a deeper look at the the true meaning and practice of Islam.

One of the key reasons I felt compelled to write is to tell the truth about Islam. To dispel stereotypes and sensationalist news. To help readers (and myself) appreciate the principles of love and mercy–the foundation of most world religions.  

As a community, deconstructing the violent narrative is an important step towards raising awareness and encouraging understanding Islam.

Without a proper reading of Islam, there will be confusion, contradictions and conflated theories of the world’s fastest-growing religion.

Understanding Islamic history, traditions, practice is essential to counter-terrorism work. As I’ve learned from numerous scholars, violent extremism negates Islam. Some say knowledge (of Islam) ends extremism. This is only partly true. There are a plethora of other factors that need to be considered to help vulnerable to misguided women (and men) to say no to terrorist behavior and groups. 

Why do I focus on women? I was raised by a strong-willed mother  born in conflict–she witnessed the partition of India and Pakistan; she joined the Army in her home country to fight for the valley of Kashmir; and her own mother set an example as an English-speaking educator and widow who raised five children.

Growing up, I was always surrounded by women who struggled, sacrificed, and ultimately, survived.

Early on, I learned the power of information. So I turned to research to learn the truth about women in conflict and wars.

Why do some women and girls choose violence? Why do they fight? What do they hope to achieve? What do men gain from women fighting & committing violent acts?  And what can we do to help women and girls reject violent extremism?

These are some of the burning questions that have defined my professional life as a counter-terrorism analyst, an American Muslim woman, and a concerned citizen.

As the New Year begins, I continue to search for answers on how to stop aggression and violent behavior as well as how to strengthen women in war.

This is a subject that will remain for many months and years to come. 

You can learn more about my latest work by clicking on the image below. 

Join thousands of readers who get new analysis and insightful links delivered to their inboxes.

You've successfully subscribed! Be sure to check your inbox for the next newsletter.