The Peace through Moderation Project: A Powerful New Strategy to Counter Extremist Violence
The Extremist Violence Threat
Every society seeks to live in peace and security. Tragically, a few extremist elements have become a serious threat to safety, security, and prosperity. Civilian targets have been exploited causing large-scale death and destruction across the globe. Social and economic systems are vulnerable to disruption and serious damage.
A Citizen Action Solution
Military might alone cannot deter extremist ideology, nor can it defeat terrorist tactics. This is a struggle between the vast moderate majority in all societies and the small extremist minority that resorts to violence rather than reason. Private citizens, as well as their governments, must take a stand and respond.
Mobilize a Civilian Response
Although governments and international institutions have mobilized forces to counter the threat, citizen-based organizations have emerged as the vital component in this epic struggle between extremist elements and the voices and forces of moderation and nonviolence. Civil society initiatives that promote tolerance, understanding, and peaceful coexistence make a critical difference. But, they lack sufficient resources to scale up and meet the challenge. This project is designed to mobilize the financial community and other philanthropists to invest in peace – Peace through Moderation.
Invest in Voices of Reason
The Peace through Moderation project seeks to strengthen the voices of moderation and reason so they can help dissuade vulnerable populations from aligning themselves with and supporting extremist elements. It will build on the remarkable work of the U.S. – Muslim Engagement Project, the Alliance of Civilizations, and other initiatives that are creating effective responses to this challenge. Education programs and media campaigns, as well as employment projects and inter-faith and cross-cultural dialogues can have a powerful impact. An expert leadership team is developing the overall strategy, and the Peace through Moderation project will encourage leaders in the global financial community to invest in programs that will make a difference.
Written by Charles F. (Chic) Dambach, President and CEO, Alliance for Peacebuilding (AfP)