Episode
December 19, 2011

Countering extremism in Pakistan

A youth movement hopes to take on religious violence in the country.
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As Pakistan struggles to deal with religious extremism, one group is trying to teach the values of tolerance and democracy. It’s called Khudi (self-esteem in Urdu) and it uses social media, speeches at universities, and other campaigns to counter Islamic extremism in Pakistan.

Since 2001, and estimated 35,000 Pakistanis have died from religious violence. Assassinations of key secularist public figures in the past year and the U.S. presence in neighbouring Afghanistan have also played a part in creating an environment where religiously-fueled extremism has thrived in Pakistan.

With over 60 percent of the Pakistan’s population under 25, Khudi hopes to foster democratic culture and create a “counter-extremist” social movement.

In this episode of The Stream we speak to Haroon Moghul, an editor at Religion Dispatches and The Islamic Monthly, and Khudi’s head counter-extremism trainer Imran Khan.

What do you think? Can a project like this be successful in Pakistan? Send us your thoughts and comments on Facebook or Twitter using hashtag #AJStream.

Here are some of the photos and videos in this episode of The Stream:
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