Bedër University in collaboration with the Union of Journalists of Albania organized the discussion panel “The open society, democracy and education as means to fight extremism”.
The speakers' panel, led by the Rector of the University Prof. Dr. Ferdinand Gjana, consisted of: Mr. Blendi Klosi, Minister of Youth and Social Welfare, H.E.Mr. Bernard Fitoussi, the Ambassador of French Republic, Mr. Aleksandër Çipa, Chairman of the Union of Journalists of Albania, and Mr. Besnik Mustafaj, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, the President of the Albanian Forum for the Alliances of Civilization.
Also, in the activity participated representatives of different embassies accredited in Tirana, such as: the Embassy of the Republic of Greece, the Embassy of the Republic of Kosovo, the Embassy of Switzerland, Russian Federate Embassy, the Embassy of the Republic of Serbia, the Embassy of OSCE, the Embassy of Libya, the Embassy of Romania, the Vice Chairman of the Muslim Community in Albania, Mr. Ali Zaimi, and other distinguished personalities of media and civil society in the country.
Having welcomed and thanked the attendants for participating the event, in his welcoming speech, the Rector of University Prof. Dr. Ferdinand Gjana emphasized that extremism or terror have caused great tragedies that have led to immense loss of people’s lives as a crude attack upon our common values.
“Unlike the previous century, the terror of this century is aiming to use faith and culture as a split between the two worlds through using a whole philosophy of violence and fear. I am convinced that this is not a war between cultures and civilizations but a war of barbarism against humanity, thus we must critically respond through civic commitments and promotion of dialogue between cultures.”- he said.
At the beginning of his speech, Mr. Klosi emphasized the importance of coexistence in our country as an example to be followed by future generations as well. He further explained that this balance, being admitted by entire world, is amongst the most difficult to be kept, therefore we must educate our youths with open-mindedness so that they perceive coexistence as a mission to be further pursued.
The new generation, the students of this university, the students of any other university in Albania, as well as students of secondary schools, need to be educated with the spirit of this good, the coexistence between religions, we need consistently to cultivate and advocate it.
Education institutions through scientific research or various forms of public debate clearly demonstrate that any kinds of ideology that promote extremism are harmful to society,”- he concluded.
Whereas, the Ambassador of French Republic, having thanked the organizers for the development and discussion of such topics in the public platform, made a summary of the facts of the terrorist attacks that took place in France last year as well as the attitudes undertaken towards them. He further stressed out that there is no one excluded among the victims of terrorism being they Muslims, Christians, Jews, etc. The terrorist attacks caused a social upheaval, which France and the entire world as well, had never experienced before.
“The reasoning that terrorism is related to the Islamic belief, that it is normal to kill in the name of a religion, is a very wrong reasoning and unacceptable for anyone, and quite dangerous one”- he said.
Meanwhile Mr. Mustafaj considered of special significance the elaboration of the topic of this panel, especially on the anniversary of the tragic events that affected the satirical magazine in France. He also said that each society must take measures obstruct any kind of extremism and only certain circles are not sufficient, thus the contribution of all is needed. In this regard, school or university takes an important significance, especially on the education of new generations.
“Preventing extremism is our greatest duty as a civil society, academics or media because those who are radicalized at an extent as to undertake such extreme actions are dehumanized”- concluded the President of the Albanian Forum for the Alliances of Civilization.
While the President of the Union of Journalists of Albania, Mr. Aleksandër Çipa, in his speech said that by hitting the love and sensitivity, the unique gravity of human society is actually defeated, and therefore the elements and structures of violence strike where the most delicate, the more sensitive issue is and it is our duty to revitalize this sensitivity, but, in order to do this we must identify the real dimensions that this risk has in our society.
“We find ourselves in a situation where the danger does not arise from within but is indulged from outside and the media, us, must emphasize the missionaries of these indulgences, to report them in order to strictly protect this heritage that is unique”- concluded Mr. Çipa.
The event proceeded with the discussions by participants about the numerous aspects of the topic.