Logo SAVE - Sisters against violent extremism

10. February 2010

SAVE UK group picture ©WwB

The majority of the participants of the SAVE UK launch at the Austrian Embassy in London.

Salma Jabeen, Houriya Ahmed, Sara Silvestri © WwB

Salma Jabeen, Houriya Ahmed and Sara Silvestri at the SAVE UK launch at the Austrian Embassy in London


The Road to Understanding: Listening to the Other

On January 16th, Women without Borders officially launched SAVE UK at the Austrian Embassy in London. SAVE UK will address the pressing issues regarding violent extremism and will focus particularly on Islamist extremism-- understanding the motivation of those involved, the tools that they use to spread their message, and the ways in which they recruit new members. SAVE UK will reach out to the young generation in Britain in an effort to enhance the dialogue between Muslim and non-Muslim communities and particularly to address the young generation who are more vulnerable to falling trap to violent Islamist ideologies.

The SAVE UK chapter will be led by Hadiya, one of the SAVE pioneers. Hadiya, a former member of an Islamist group who was recruited at the age of 18 at her university, will lead a dialogue with Rachel North, a survivor of the 7/7 bombings in London. Rachel is also a SAVE pioneer and a brave face in civil society, as she led outreach to the Muslim communities after the horrendous bombings in 2005. Hadiya´s and Rachel’s unique conversations will be filmed and turned into a DVD. This DVD will serve as a tool for consciousness raising on campuses across the UK.

SAVE UK also aims to highlight the damage and destruction of radical and violent ideologies and actions.
The very ambitious aim of SAVE UK is to create a national network of women who are dedicated to ending terrorism and sharing best-practices. As mentioned, Rachel North was already on the forefront immediately after the 7/7 attacks trying to educate citizens in the UK. Rachel‘s message is that each individual has a voice and a responsibility to stand up against terrorism. We need more Rachels out there.

An energetic, inquisitive and intelligent group was meeting in the Austrian embassy in London:

Ahlam Akram / Arab Jewisch Forum, Ministry for Peace
Anna Nayyer / Women´s Engagement Officer, Preventing Extremism Unit
Nadia Oweidat / St. Antony´s College University of Oxford
PC Salma Jabeen / Police officer, Birmingham
Nabila Pathan / Television and Radio Presenter
Rachel North / freelance writer, survivor of 7/7 attacks in London
Hanan Ibrahim / Somali Family Support Group
Hannah Stuart and Houriya Ahmed / Center for Social Cohesion
Hadiya / former member of an Islamist group
Swadeka Ahsun / journalist
Diana Basterfield / Ministry for Peace
Fiona Hodgons / Conservative Women´s Organization
Hilde Rapp / Centre for International Peace Building
Sara Silvestri / City University of London

We cordially thank Dr. Gabriele Matzner-Holzner, the Austrian Ambassador in London, for hosting the SAVE UK launch. We are thankful for not only the distinguished surroundings of the reception rooms in the Embassy, but also for her handmade apple strudel, which was unforgettable. Ambassadors, such as Gaby, have the power to connect not only nations, but also hearts and minds around the world. Her contribution represents female diplomacy in action.


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