The project idea stems from an in-depth analysis of the European scenario and from previous studies conducted by Agenfor and Quilliam, one of the partners of this project. Today growing Muslim minorities live in a large number of EU Member States. After the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States the awareness that some segments of Europe’s Muslim populations may be susceptible to radicalization and terrorist recruitment has caused security concerns in EU Member States. In addition traumatic events such as the 2004 and 2005 terrorist massacres in Madrid and London that were carried out by Muslim citizens and / or residents in Europe has had a negative impact on public opinion even though the vast majority of Muslims are not involved in radical or violent activities. Thus, the issue has also been raised on whether governments adequately attempted to integrate Muslim communities and dissipate feelings of social exclusion and marginalization. During the last decade EU governments have increased their efforts to improve Muslim integration. A strong dialogue with Muslim associations and organizations has also enhanced efforts to tackle racism and discrimination.
EURAD aims at identifying a Shari’ah-based communicative approach through an innovative use of mass-media to prevent and fight contemporary forms of radicalization leading to home-grown terrorism in the EU. EURAD refers to the anti-jihadi narratives of Muslim Activists/Movements of the Arab Spring as a fundamental framework to develop counter radicalization processes. Experimental examination of metalinguistic and semantic elements to understand the impact of media in initiating and bolstering radicalization trends. This is carried out on the base of Islamist narratives, communication and EU and Muslim media identified through mapping activities.
- Radicalization paths linked to the home-grown terrorism phenomenon in EU Countries. The main issue is the perception of a schism between supposed Islamic values and the Western fundamental rights. This is following the new Ijtihad introduced by a number of movements/intellectuals actors of the Arab Spring.
- The consequent influence of radical narratives eventually leading to violent acts against European societies, considered within the framework of the Islamic Reformism;
- The relationships between language/Islamist narratives, communication and European media;
- Analysis of European media attitudes, both moderate and radical;
- Strategies to empower moderate Muslims and Activists of the reformism;
- Religious identity as important identity factor of Europe-born young Muslims and integration of minorities in the EU;
- Preventive approaches consistently pursued at EU and Member States levels.
All the above will be addressed by exploring the potential of a new reformist Sharia’ah-based communication approach designed for promoting integration and tolerance amongst different value-based cultures in the EU. At the same time it will enhance the opportunity of inter-faith dialogue at Euro-Mediterranean level. Religion will be a bridge for connecting different people, focusing on similarities rather than differences.