Democratic Security in a Time of Extremism and Violence
14-16 January 2017
All democratic societies that value the liberties of their citizens, are content to declare that a crime is an act, not a thought, and is punished after the fact, and indeed have constructed elaborate legal and judicial procedures to ensure that police and prosecutors actually punish the guilty party after proving that they are responsible “beyond a reasonable doubt”. They prefer to let a guilty party go free than to incarcerate an innocent person.
Terrorism poses a different challenge. The public wants the government to prevent the act of terror from occurring. To prevent an act from happening will require broadened surveillance and police powers to act on suspicions of conspiracy rather than to await that terrorists execute an act of terror and then capture the guilty party. That sets us on a dangerous path, where our liberties at risk. Recall the US “Patriot Act” passed after 9/11 to give government powers to fight a “War on Terror” begat Guantanamo, preventative detention, torture and the systematic murder by drone attacks.
Where does the right balance lie? Does it differ from country to country?
These are the questions that the Conference seeks to explore. However, it must also be emphasized that whatever the decisions that are reached by individual governments, ultimately terrorism shall be defeated through cultural confrontation, defeating extremist ideas with ideas of openness and pluralism.
The rising problem of terrorism on both sides of the Mediterranean does not only pose military and security challenges, it also raises a fundamental set of cultural challenges. For in the end, the violent extremists among the religious zealots and the political movements that are devoted to terrorism as a means of achieving their aims, all need to be defeated in the realm of ideas. Their views must be exposed for the sham that they are and their positions must be marginalized so that their appeal to younger generations is minimized. This set of tasks is important for all governments, and constitute a basis for collaboration between the governments on both sides of the Mediterranean and beyond to all the civilized countries of the world.
Saturday the 14th of January 2017
|9:30 – 14:00|
Registration and Coffee
13:00 – 14:30
|14:30 – 16:00|
Opening Session: Introductory Statements
· Welcome and Introductions: Professor Ismail Serageldin
· H.E President George Ivanov, President of Macedonia (2009–To date)
· H.E President Olusegun Obasanjo, President of Nigeria (1999–2007)
· H.E President Boris Tadic, President of Serbia (2004–2012) (On Behalf of NGIC)
· H.E Professor Adel El-Beltagy, Chair of the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, (On behalf of the BA)
· H.E Ambassador Moushira Khattab, Minister of Family & Population of Egypt (2009–2011)
|16:00 – 16:30||Coffee Break|
|16:30 – 18:00|
Session II: Terrorism and the Constitution – A Framework for Action:
The Constitutions of all civilized countries guarantee the fundamental Human Rights of the citizens. Thus fundamental rights (free speech, freedom of assembly, the right to petition, the right to organize, the right to strike and the right to privacy, to be safe from unreasonable search and seizure, etc.) should be guaranteed even in periods of so-called “War on Terror”. The presumption of innocence and the right to refrain from self-incrimination, and of Habeas Corpus in the Anglo-Saxon system, are equally fundamental rights must be consistently protected.
Advocates of passing special laws to provide broader powers to the security forces, to allow them to move swiftly under conditions of imperfect knowledge, argue from fear of the consequences of delayed action. Opponents believe that it is risky to engage on such a “slippery Slope” and that it would lead inevitably to curtailment of civil rights of the ordinary citizens. They believe that it should be sufficient to have some expanded surveillance (under strict judicial review and control) plus extra-territorial cooperation of the investigative, policing and prosecutorial powers of various governments …
Where is the right balance between these two views?
Chair: H.E Mr. Amr Moussa, Secretary-General of the Arab League (2001-2011)
· Judge Tahani El-Gebali, Former Vice President of the Supreme Constitutional
· H.E President Ivo Josipovic, President of Croatia (2010–2015)
· H.E President Amine Gemayel, President of Lebanon (1982–1988)
· H.E President Petar Stoyanov, President of Bulgaria (1997–2002)
· H.E Dr. Abdulaziz Altwaijri, Director General of the Islamic Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (ISESCO)
Rapporteur: Mrs. Heba El-Rafey, Director of Public Relations, Bibliotheca Alexandrina
|18:00 – 19:30|
Session III: A Review of Past Experience
Since 9/11 the “War on Terror” has been the dominant form of confrontation between the civilized world and the merchants of hate and the artisans of terror. But there were other earlier campaigns of terror and governments managed to defeat them. From the IRA in the UK, to the OAS in France, and from the FARC in Colombia (the longest such campaign in history) to the GIA in Algeria and the Jama’at Islamiyya in Egypt (who assassinated President Sadat) all have lessons to teach us about how democratic regimes and centralized power confronted these challenges, and the insights that can be gained from these experiences. So what can we learn of previous terrorist campaigns and how they were confronted?
Chair: Sir Gordon Conway, Former President of the Royal Geographical Society
· H.E President Rosalia Arteaga Serrano, President of Ecuador (1997)
· Dr. Khaled Azab, Head of Special Projects Sector, Bibliotheca Alexandrina
· Dr. Lobna Shattab, Algerian Researcher and Media Expert
Rapporteur: Ms. Shahira Amin, Egyptian Journalist and Senior Anchor.
|20:00 – 20:30|
|20:30 – 22:00||Gala Dinner|
Sunday the 15th of January 2017
|9:30 – 11:00|
Session IV: Current Perspectives: The Muslim-Majority Countries
Clearly however, there is a cleavage between Muslims and non-Muslims almost everywhere. And even though the vast majority of the 1400 million Muslims in the world are peaceful, law-abiding citizens, there undoubtedly developed in the last thirty to forty years or so, some strong currents of religious fanaticism that are bigoted and exclusionary. These currents have shifted the center of gravity of Muslim communities towards a more conservative posture. Even more, in same period we have seen militants take over established movements and sects, and the resurgence of the Sunna/Shia split has become more pronounced.
But confronting them will require actions on many levels, and returning the center of gravity towards the more liberal, open and rational Islam of old requires that we confront ideas with ideas and change the religious discourse, the historical narrative and the public discourse in our societies.
So this session will review what is happening in the Muslim world generally, and more specifically its impact on the Muslim communities of Europe.
Chair: Dr. Hisham El-Sherif, Chairman, IT Investments
· H.E Mr. Taher Masri, Former Prime Minister of Jordan (1990–1991)
· Dr. Abdel Moneim Said, Director, Regional Center for Strategic Studies in Cairo
· Professor Naseem Ahmad Shah, Department of Islamic Studies and Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Kashmir, India
Rapporteur: Ms. Farida El-Choubachy, Egyptian Journalist and ColumnistP.
|11:00 – 11:30|
|11:30 – 13:00|
Session V: Current Perspectives: The Western Countries
Scratch the surface of security and you get a prompt abridgement of liberty. Those who practice the politics of fear and hate expound populist promises of security and economic opportunities by scapegoating minorities and immigrants, which are proclaimed to be free-loaders and opportunists not to mention potential terrorists. These same politicians attack the legitimate governments, which are branded as incompetent or in the pay of special interests.
Today there are such politicians in every country who fan the fears of the public, who play on the economic difficulties, promote hatred and xenophobia, and use the ensuing distress to build a power base and to try to dictate to the state the course that it should follow. They build on the alienating effect of vast bureaucracies and on the real distress of many who are suffering economic deprivation. They point to the presence of minorities and the difficulties of culturally assimilating them, to call for a return to a pure and powerful vision of the nation, the people the religion that they claim as the cure-all for the ills of society. But is more debate, more participation sufficient to check the advance of the populist xenophobes? Or are there major other actions that are required?
Chair: Engineer Hoda El-Mikaty, Deputy Director of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina
· H.E President Rexhep Meidani, President of Albania (1997 – 2002)
· H.E President Petru Lucinschi, President of Moldova (1997–2001)
· H.E President Emil Constantenescu, President of Romania (1996–2000)
· H.E President Viktor Yushchenko, President of Ukraine (2005–2010)
Rapporteur: Professor Kazuo Takahashi, Professor at the Division of International Studies, International Christian University, Tokyo, Japan.
|13:00 – 14:00|
|14:00 – 15:30|
Session VI: Proposals for Action: In the Muslim world
The Arab and Muslim Worlds are in a paroxysm of violence and chaos; of collapsing states and rising militias; of terrorism and horrors beyond description; of countless victims and dislocated populations. Doubtless military force and strong state policing will be needed to restore order, stability and security. But beyond the necessary military and police actions, there is still the need to understand why these extreme ideas that beget violence and terrorism have spread in the Arab-Muslim societies and how to fight such ideas with ideas.
It is clear the cultural landscape needs to be changed to promote an open and tolerant current where we can promote pluralism and multi-faceted identities within the national entity, or even the supra-national entity, as in Europe. Such a cultural framework should address the rights of all citizens, and recognize that women’s rights are human rights, and it should also facilitate orderly change through discussion and debate and peaceful participatory means of citizen engagement. All these aspects will diffuse the potential tensions and make it difficult for extremism to take root, for dissidence to turn to anger, and for anger to turn into rage and violence.
Chair: Professor Mohamed Hassan, President of the Inter Academy Partnership (IAP)
· Dr. Mostafa El-Feky, Egyptian Political Thinker
· Dr. Farida Allaghi, Libyan Politician and Sociologist
· Dr. Mohamed Mehanna, Professor of International Law, and Advisor to the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar.
Rapporteur: Ms. Shahira Amin, Egyptian Journalist and Senior Anchor.
|15:30 – 16:00|
|16:00 – 17:15|
Session VIII: Inter-Religious Dialogue, The Case of Egypt
Egypt, is a key country in the Middle East and North Africa Region, and a country that has confronted extremists and terrorists before, and is continuing to do so at present. Egypt recognizes fully the necessity of promoting greater social cohesion among its Christian and Muslim citizens, while marginalizing those who are trying to promote violence. The inter-religious dialogue launched by the highest religious authorities in the land, begat the “Bait Al-‘A’ila” (the Family Home) initiative and other approaches. This Session will attempt to discuss the experience of ‘Bait Al-Aila” initiative and other similar approaches.
Chair: Dr. Sameh Fawzy, Deputy Head of Special Projects Sector, Bibliotheca Alexandrina
· H.E Dr. Mahmoud Hamdy Zakzouk, Former Egyptian Minister of Religious Endowment (1995–2011) Secretary General of the “Bait Al-‘A’ila” (the Family Home) initiative
· His Grace Bishop Ermia, General Bishop, Head of the Coptic Orthodox Cultural Center and Deputy Secretary General of the “Bait Al-‘A’ila” (the Family Home) initiative
· Professor Amna Nosseir, Member of Egyptian Parliament and Professor of Comparative Jurisprudence
· Professor Mohamed Kamal Eldin Emam, Professor of the Islamic Shariah Faculty of Law- Alexandria University and Legal Consultant for Al Azhar
Rapporteur: Noha Omar, Deputy Head of Special Projects Sector, Bibliotheca Alexandrina.
|17:15 – 18:30|
Session VII: Proposals for Action: In the Western World
The challenges in Europe, where societies must adapt to having significant Muslim minorities in their midst, pose difficult problems and will require imaginative solutions. But Europe has achieved its enormous successes due to visionaries such as Monet and Schumann. It gave birth to the European Union on the old continent, rising like a phoenix from the blood bath of the Second World War. A lattice of former enemies becoming allies; a community of nations. It succeeded beyond our wildest dreams. Within a generation young people from France and Germany could no longer imagine their countries going to war.
Today that vision has stalled. The economic crisis and the rising tide of migrants as well as the growth of alienated, mostly Muslim, minorities within the countries of the EU are posing new problems. In this session we will try to draw out the best possible suggestions that emerged in the previous discussions in the various sessions, to identify general recommendations for ensuring security in a democratic society.
Chair: H.E Mr. Zlatko Lagumdzija, Former Prime Minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina (1997–2014)
· H.E President Boris Tadic, President of Serbia (2004–2012)
· H.E Ms. Eka Tkeshelashvili, Deputy Prime Minister of Georgia (2010–2012)
· Professor Alexander Likhotal, Former President, Green Cross International
· H.E President Valdis Zatlers, President of Latvia (2009 – 2011)
Rapporteur: Professor Kazuo Takahashi, Professor at the Division of International Studies, International Christian University, Tokyo, Japan
18:30 – 19:30
Session IX: Taking Stock: A Roundtable Discussion:
Having ranged far and wide in the preceding sessions we will try to have a roundtable that will organize the most promising ideas emerging from these discussions. Thus the rapporteurs will report briefly on the key issues that emerged and further discussions will enrich the collective understanding of these issues.
Chair: H.E. Ms. Katherine Yushchenko, First Lady of Ukraine (2005-2010)
· Professor Kazuo Takahashi, Professor at the Division of International Studies, International Christian University, Tokyo, Japan
· Ms.Shahira Amin, Egyptian Journalist and Senior Anchor.
· Noha Omar, Deputy Head of Special Projects Sector, Bibliotheca Alexandrina.
· Mrs. Heba El-Rafey, Director of Public Relations, Bibliotheca Alexandrina
· Prof. Staffan I. Lindberg, Swedish political scientist and Director of the V-Dem Institute at the University of Gothenburg
|19:30 – 20:15|
· Professor Ismail Serageldin, Director of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina