Courtesy of Rim-Sarah Alouane
By Dina Temple-Raston
In Arabic, haqq is the word for truth.
Last week in the United Arab Emirates, group of Muslim scholars held what they called a “haqqathon” – a hackathon meant to create new ways for Islamic scholars to connect with young Muslims and, by doing so, defuse violent extremists like the self-proclaimed Islamic State.
The competition took place in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi, on the sidelines of the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies. More than 400 Muslim clerical scholars — Sunni, Shiite and others — gathered for the second year to talk about how extremists are hijacking Islam, and what to do about it.
The urgency for something like the haqqathon is clear, because groups like ISIS have had great success recruiting young people on social media.
“We do want to start speaking the same language as our youth,” said Zeshan Zafar, the group’s executive director. “What is that language, and who are the individuals that need to be part of that whole mix as well. So that’s vital for us.”
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