Host of Islamophonic and journalist for Guardian UK Riazat Butt turned down the chance to be “Famous for 30 seconds” in an anti-extremism ad campaign for Pakistani youth. PREVENT, the campaign’s sponsor organization, asked her and others to represent the face of moderate Islam in Britain and set an example for youth in the Muslim world.
Riazat Butt asked:
I wonder what defines Britishness, success and integration and whether these qualities are enough [to] persuade young Pakistanis not to engage in extremist activity. The government’s £86m PREVENT programme continues, distributing funds to groups and organisations around the UK, in an attempt to build resilience against radical and extremist ideology. It is too soon to say whether this initiative, or the one in Pakistan, will work. Besides, in the case of preventing violent extremism, how do you measure success? Fewer explosions?
The main question is: what other projects could appeal to Muslim youth, prevent anti-West violence, and have measurable success? What about the popularity of hip-hop festivals in Morrocco? Or heavy metal in Baghdad? Could organizations like Hip-Hop Diplomacy do more with the funds and measure their impact in fans? What are your thoughts? Send us an email or leave a comment below to continue the conversation on Inside Islam: Dialogues and Debates.