Within the framework of the "Peacebuilders in Egypt" project, Maat organizes training workshops to combat hate speech in the name of religion
Okeil : Peacebuilding steps come from empowering youth and targeting them as leaders and partners in society
Monica Mina: Community initiatives work to motivate the youth’s responsibility to address violence
Today, the first training workshop organized by Maat for Peace, Development and Human Rights Association will be launched within the framework of the project “Peace Builders in Egypt: Combating Hate Speech in the Name of Religion”, during December 2021. The workshops work to raise the awareness of 150 male and female students from different colleges and universities nationwide. The project aims to combat the phenomenon of hate speech in the name of religion and its repercussions, in addition to strengthening the role of youth, building their capabilities, and empowering them to activate their positive role within Egyptian society in this regard.
A group of experts from religion, politics, art, and media participates in the training workshops which are divided into two integrated phases. The first includes introducing the concept of hate speech, the root causes behind the phenomenon, and social repercussions, in addition to discussing the role of art and media in combating extremist thought, possible mechanisms, and efforts to combat hate speech. As for the second phase, it is under the title of “Your positive imprint in your community”, and it includes discussing the motivation for change and the simplicity behind successful initiatives, as well as the skills of designing and preparing community initiatives, and ensuring the success of the initiative.
In this context, human rights expert Ayman Okeil, Head of Maat for Peace, Development and Human Rights Association, stated that the escalation of hate speech and incitement to violence, whether in media or on social media, contradicts the principles and charters of human rights, especially the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. In addition, it constitutes a threat to democratic values, stability, and community peace, Okeil stressed that the Peace Builders in Egypt project aims to promote the values of tolerance and acceptance of the other, in addition to raising awareness and participatory dialogue among youth, as peacebuilding steps come from empowering youth and targeting them as leaders and active partners in building Peace. Okeil also added that this project is the first phase of work to combat violence and violent extremism to reach a safe and peaceful society.
Monica Mina, Director of the Programs and Projects Unit at Maat Association, added that the Association organizes three training workshops aimed at helping youth develop the necessary knowledge and skills they need, to create and implement a number of community initiatives proposed by students to activate new mechanisms within the framework of the goal of eliminating hate speech in the name of religion, These initiatives will stimulate their sense of responsibility to confront violence and defend human rights.
Mina also confirmed that Maat Association seeks to continue implementing training workshops and initiatives at the level of the Republic during 2022 and opening channels for communication with civil society organizations and youth.
It is worth noting that the training workshops are implemented within the framework of cooperation between Maat for Peace, Development and Human Rights Association and the King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Center for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID Center for Global Dialogue), based on their efforts to build local and international peace and address phenomena dangerous to society to promote dialogue and exchange of cultures in order to activate the goals of tolerance and acceptance of the other.