On the weekend of 22-23.12.2018, a seminar on Peace Education Programme was held in Wuppertal at the MQI Wuppertal on the topic of counter-terrorism, peace and integration. The seminar was organized by Minhaj Youth League and Sisters League Wuppertal, Ennepetal and Berlin.
Few learning aims of the PEP Seminar were to assist members of Minhaj-ul-Quran International in Germany to obtain a clear and consistent understanding of the issue of (so-called Islamic) radicalization and a basis for coming up with effective solutions to the problem; the importance (and definition of) ideology (especially in relation to violent extremism. A key aim of the workshop was also to develop the ability of members to critically evaluate and put into perspective the variety of often contradictory and controversial messages in the media regarding violent extremism and its proposed solutions.
The Seminar attracted participants of MQI from all Germany interested in the work of Peace Education Programme and its potential to maximize peace and community cohesion within the local community.
Dr. Zahid Iqbal, Director of Peace Education Programme, conducted the proceedings of the event and welcomed the participants to the workshop. He informed the participants that the Seminar was designed as a form of training for individuals within MQI and the wider society so that individuals are able to garner a rational and coherent understanding of the issue of extremism.
The Seminar started with a ‘Debate and Discussion’ session using cue cards led by Dr Zahid Iqbal in which the audience were prompted to share their views and perspectives on certain topics. This was followed by a session titled ‘Terrorism – Its causative factors’ in which Dr. Zahid Iqbal delved into the various causative factors leading individuals towards terroristic tendencies. This session was key in giving individuals an insight into the different causes of terrorism and radicalization.
In the final session Dr. Zahid Iqbal and Khadija Atikonson discussed the achievements of the Peace Education Programme till date and its future potential in resolving the issue of extremism and terrorism and also creating ambassadors of peace who are able to carry the vision of Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr. Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri of peace, love and brotherhood.
In addition, a session on productivity was incorporated into the seminar on both days. This unit drew conclusions for the successful implementation of the seminar topic. Furthermore, the future of MQI Europe was discussed and some questions about this: What is the strength of MQI? which fields can be further developed? Where does MQI Europe see itself in Europe in the future? How to spread Peace Education Programme around Europe?
One Session at Day 2 was about pastoral care. Yasar Ahmad Sb., President of Minhaj-ul-Quran Wuppertal is a lecturer in Islamic pastoral care diploma courses and has presented some important aspects of his profession. He trains Islamic pastoral care students with the Colorado Theology Uni. According surveys around 1500 persons are needed in this field in Germany. The Peace Education Programme is a fundamental aspect for this field.
Dr. Zahid Iqbal thanked all participants for taking time out and attending the seminar. The Seminar was concluded with Yasar Ahmad Sb, President of Minhaj-ul-Quran International Wuppertal. Concluding with a Naat and a dua by Mohammad Arshad.