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Understanding political Islam

Published: Friday, 10th April 2015

The Director’s Note following the Foundation’s most recent conference, “Global ambitions and local grievances: understanding political Islam”, held at Ditchley Park last month is now available online.
One issue to which participants kept returning throughout the discussion was the importance of language. Too often commentators conflated political Islam with extremism and the arguments in support of a more inclusive and tolerant interpretation of Islam failed to be heard. All round the table recognised the importance of countering the extremist narrative, something which had to be led by Muslims themselves. The proposal mooted for a virtual group to take this forward is a welcome practical outcome.

The discussion was also characterised by a common desire to find constructive ways forward, though the tone of much of the conference was unavoidably gloomy.  There were no easy solutions, but some directions of travel to emerge are included in the Note summarising the discussions. To read the full report click here.