Publisher: Cve.gov.al 20/02/2023
Publisher: Cve.gov.al 20/02/2023
On February 15, 2023, a conference was organized in Tirana to assess the impact of the projects on the topic “Engagement of young people to build a sustainable community”, by the Muslim Community of Albania represented by its President H. Bujar Spahiu, these projects with the financial support of the US Embassy in Tirana represented by The Deputy American Ambassador in Tirana, Mr. Demian Smith, the Deputy Minister of the Interior, Mrs. Romina Kuko, Director of the Center for Countering Violent Extremism Mr. Denion Meidani, Chairman of the State Committee for Cults, Mr. Klodjan Bulku, with the wide participation of the Muslim community, muftis, imams, organizations, civil society, students, various young people, etc.
In his welcoming speech, the President of the Muslim Community of Albania, H. Bujar Spahiu, focused on the positions of the KMSH (Muslim Community of Albania) and the concrete work that has been done year after year to prevent the phenomenon of violent extremism in our society.
“Like every other European country, Albania has also been affected by the phenomenon of violent extremism. In this context, I want to emphasize that we were the first to take concrete steps institutionally. Since 2014 until today, the Muslim Community of Albania, with the support and in partnership with the US Embassy in Tirana, has implemented 6 projects in the fight against extremism, working with thousands of young people throughout the country to clarified this phenomenon, which contradicts the principles of the Islamic religion and democratic social ethics,” he said during his speech.
While the Deputy American Ambassador in Tirana, Mr. Smith, expressed gratitude for the fruitful cooperation that has characterized both institutions in the implementation of this project over the years. He appreciated the achievements of the working group in the development of hundreds of educational, cultural and social activities with young people from all over the country.
The opening session continued with the welcoming speech of the Chairman of the Committee of Cults, Mr. Bulku, who congratulated the Muslim Community of Albania for the concrete work done in terms of educating various interest groups against the instrumentalization of religion for various purposes.
To continue with the Deputy Minister of the Interior, Mrs. Kuko, who shed light on the continuous support of local authorities for the implementation of these projects.
This session was closed with the speech of the Director of the Center for Countering Violent Extremism (CVE), Mr. Meidani, who shared with the attendees a brief summary on the development of violent extremism as a phenomenon in our country, the measures taken against it and today’s current situation.
“State institutions have paid and will continue to pay special attention to the challenges of religious communities, including the financing of religious communities, which is carried out every year based on the decisions of the Council of Ministers. In this context, the Coordination Center for Countering Violent Extremism in Albania has also aimed to expand and deepen cooperation with religious communities in the country, as a need and necessity to provide more security and harmony for Albanian society – said Mr. Maidani.
“As its leader, I express the readiness of the CVE Center in Albania to support and advance the joint efforts between our institutions. Being aware of the work we have done together in the past, I am also aware of the needs and priorities that await us in our further work. Work with returnees, with young people, work in the virtual sphere as well as work with remote communities in Albania, are some points that need synergy and joint interventions”.
“At the same time, we need to work together and the contribution of religious leaders and young people is required to deal with other forms of radicalism and violent extremism in Albania, which according to surveys and studies are becoming quite worrying and demanding. a comprehensive approach, which must also include the establishment of a platform for kindness and tolerance, as we also find in religious teachings,” added Meidani.
The proceedings of this conference were further developed in its second and third sessions. Sessions in which the progress of the projects was analyzed, their impact on all those social categories that were part of it was also analyzed, personal experiences from participating in these projects were shared, etc.