Initiative to raise awareness of Islamic extremism in Yemen
Aden in southern Yemen
Yemen, in the south of the Arabian peninsula, is one of the poorest countries in the world. As far as the German general public is concerned, Yemen is often mentioned in connection with the kidnapping of European tourists or terrorist attacks such as that on the USS Cole. Events like these have come about due to conflicts between Bedouin tribes and the government and the rise of Islamic extremism.
This latter is precisely the focus of a Yemeni initiative. Sultan Mohamad Saleh, the founder of this initiative, submitted a project application to Bernd Smuda and Monika Schimmelpfenning while they were in Yemen.
Sultan Mohamad Saleh
Most Yemenis, particularly in the more liberal south of the country around the port city of Aden, want to protect themselves against growing Islamic extremism and preserve their tolerant interpretation of Islam. For this reason, “Thagr al Yemen” (“Access to Yemen”), the umbrella organisation for Yemeni NGOs in Aden would like to publish articles in the national newspaper “Al Ayam” (“The Days”) with the support of imams. The plan is for one article per month to appear, highlighting issues such as tolerance in Islam, respect of other religions, etc., thus stimulating religious discourse among the general public. In order to break down these discussions further, one of the member groups of the umbrella organisation will discuss the themes raised in each article after its publication. The “Al Ayam” newspaper will then report on this discussion, too, to create a multiplier effect.
action five approves of this approach and decided in May to support the initiative for an initial three-month period and to the tune of 1,700 euros.