Qatar's Experience in Countering Violent Extremism
The state of Qatar has paid great attention to Countering Violent Extremism (CVT) through working within the international system to fulfil its commitments under the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Strategy, working with the competent concerned organs of the UN and cooperating with others on all national and regional levels. Qatar has sent early warning messages about the geographic expansion of violence and extremism; we have always believed that no country or region is immune against this threat that targets all the peoples of the world regardless of race, religion, or different economic and social references.
First: Legal Framework
- Article 18 of the Qatari Constitution which stipulates that "justices, benevolence, equality, freedom and high moral standards are core values of the Qatari society".
- Publications and Publishing Law No.8 of 1979
- Qatar ratification of several international instruments against discrimination and respect of the right to cultural diversity including:
- The Convention on Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination of 1965
- The Convention on Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expression of 2005
Second: Activities and Executive measures
- Qatar is a founding member of the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund to which Qatar made a donation of five million US Dollars making it one of the biggest donors
- National institutions such as Doha International Centre for Interfaith Dialogue and Hamad Bin Khalifa Islamic Centre in Copenhagen have been established to promote the culture of dialogue, countering extremism and denouncement of violence
- Doha International Centre for Interfaith Dialogue (2007) and Arab Democracy Foundation (2007) were established to promote the culture of coexistence and dialogue and support the concepts of dialogue, tolerance and understanding to protect the society from terrorism and extremism.
- Implementation of UNSC Resolution No. 2178 (2014) which recognises that addressing the threats posed by Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTF) requires comprehensively addressing the principle factors conducive to terrorism.
- Extensive and intensive regional efforts have been exerted by Silatech Foundation to organise workshops to engage the youth of the region and train them, raise their awareness and provide the conditions which prevent them from joining extremist organisations. The Foundation is working on having a partnership with the UN Counter-Terrorism Centre and the UN Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force
- In April 2015, Qatar hosted the "13th UN Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice" which was concluded with the adoption of an important declaration by world leaders to face the challenges posed by crime and strengthen counter-terrorism efforts
- The Qatari (readable, audio and visual) media promotes the causes of peace, dialogue and inter-faith coexistence between the followers of different religions as part of Qatar's policy of free responsible media. The issues of dialogue, tolerance and understanding to protect the society from terrorism are widely covered by different Qatari media venues.
- Religious institutions have been activated to serve their roles in disseminating the correct Islamic principles and noble human values promoted by the Islamic religion and to correct deviant thoughts
- Implementation of the security strategy to combat the phenomenon of extremism accompanied by terrorism in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, which was adopted by virtue of the GCC Supreme Council Resolution in its 22nd session (Muscat, December 2001)
- In 2015, the National Human Rights Committee held a conference that was attended by more than 400 participants representing over 50 institutions from around the world and was concluded with the adoption of "Doha Declaration on Combating Hate Speech and Extremism".
- On 31 August 2015, Qatar permanent mission to the UN organised, in collaboration with the UN and Colombia University of New York, a seminar on countering and preventing extremism and rehabilitation and reintegration of children and youth influenced by violent extremism. The seminar witnessed wide participation by representatives of different UN member states, experts on countering and preventing extremism and NGOs working this field; important recommendations were adopted and submitted to the UN.
- Expression on different occasions of denouncement of all forms of violence and rejection of any attempt to stigmatise any religion, state, or race with violent extremism and terrorism; stressing that such attempts to use independent violent attacks to link extremism to a certain religion, as the case is with Islamophobia, are not only misleading but rather are failing the sincere efforts aiming to identify and address the real causes of extremism.
- a. An affiliate national working group to the National Anti-Terrorism Committee (NATC) has been formed comprising representatives of relevant authorities (Ministry of Education and Higher Education, Ministry of Culture and Sports, Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs, Qatar University) along with representatives of the civil society and leading intellectuals of the community to assist NATC achieve the following:
- Prevent the spread of extremist thoughts conducive to terrorism and prevent recruitment of individuals to join terrorist organisations
- Promote the values of tolerance, cultural coexistence and acceptance of the other, eventually leading to renouncement of all forms of extremist thoughts
- Integrate the values and concepts of tolerance and acceptance of the other into the educational system
- Engage local communities, civil society organisations and intellectuals in laying down efficient strategies to counter the extremist discourse and enable the youth to take part in this responsibility
- Suggest media awareness campaigns to highlight the dangers of extremist thoughts and their devastating effects on the youth
- Suggest activities and programmes that help the youth spend their spare times and spread moderate thoughts among them