Peer to Peer (P2P) VTC Dialogue Oct 28 2017

a) Peer to Peer (P2P) VTC Dialogue Oct 28 2017

Religious Orthodoxy and Intolerance Management at University Campuses

Sponsors:       INDUS-Mobilizing people’s Power, AdvoPak in Washington D.C.

Islamabad University Islamabad. Pakistan

Time: 10:00 A.M. Washington D.C. and 7:00 PM Islamabad

Medium of discussion: Video Conferencing Number of participants on each side: 15-20

Duration: 90 minutes Date: October 28, 2017

Concept note for the discussion

For the last several decades Pakistan’s social fabric has been a target of extremism and intolerance. Extremists are using various means and ways to extend their agenda. Out of 200 million people, 63 percent of Pakistan’s population comprises of youth. Of these, 58.5 million are 20-to-24-year olds while 69 million are aged under 15. This naturally makes youth the main target of extremist outfits who exploits young impressionable minds in the name of religion. By keeping in mind the threat spectrum it is prime need of time to cultivate awareness of the menace among young Pakistanis. It is believed some students of natural sciences are a soft target on religious orthodoxy and there is a dire need to educate them about the social conflict management so that they can resist the extremist ideologies. In general other students are generally aware of religious orthodoxy and extremist ideologies none the less, they are also a target these threats. Therefore, a comprehensive approach is required to address growing threat of extremism and intolerance at the university campuses.

Proposed Steps: Besides cultivating greater awareness, educational campuses perhaps need to provide diverse set of extracurricular and social activities on the campus such as Science Club, Debates Forum, Fine Arts, Student Government & Leadership Association, etc. Besides providing these outlets, there is a definite need to block student access to extremists’ social media sites. Following recommendations:

1) Academic institutions faculty inter-communication aimed at sharing student issues and discussing resolution of these

2) Building Parent teacher relationship to discuss student focus periodically to maintain a positive and healthy outlook to combat influence of extremist organizations and agents of intolerance,.

3) The issue of extremism, intolerance and religious orthodoxy must be discussed by the board of each academic institution and a uniform policy of maintaining focus on education and learning is adapted with rules of implementation to be observed by all faculty members and imparted to the student body.

4) The focus should be on providing avenues for student activities on the campus for evolving passionate and committed leadership for a stronger and stable Pakistan

5) There is a need to rationalize the courses, academic programs and teaching the notion of citizenship, being a Pakistani first and awareness of the rights of individual. This cannot be addressed by sharing student data with intelligence agencies or by asking them to get a character certificate from the police. These are non-starters. Students violating university rules must be subject to strict disciplinary actions


Important Points

Medium of discussion: Video Conferencing Number of participants on each side: 15-20
Time: 10:00 A.M. Washington D.C. and 7:00 PM Islamabad
Duration: 90 minutes Date: October 28, 2017

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