The Foundation hosts day-long events examining the specific context of conflicts. In the past we have run events such as ‘Exploring the Northern Ireland Conflict’ and ‘Exploring the War on Terror’ to enable those affected by conflict and acts of terrorism to examine the different actors in conflict, consider how people have been affected and discuss the underlying needs and causes of the different conflicts. Invited speakers give an overview of the conflict being examined, and people who have been affected by incidents share their personal experiences.
The ‘Exploring the War on Terror’ event featured Professor Oliver Ramsbotham of the University of Bradford who talked about how the ‘War on Terror’ has developed. Participants then heard from a soldier who talked about his experiences serving in Iraq, a survivor of the London bombings on 7th July 2005 and its impact on her, and a young man who spoke about his experience of the reaction towards him and the wider Muslim community in the aftermath of 9/11 and the London bombings.
Participants had the opportunity to talk with speakers and discuss in more detail the conflict and its causes. The event also explored the people involved with, and those affected by, the ‘War on Terror’ and the positions, interests and needs of those affected to try to understand how and why the conflict continues.
Quotes from participants:
“This event has really helped to dispel misunderstandings about Islam.”
“It was useful to considering the similarities between conflicts – where human nature takes over.”
“It was helpful to get perspectives beyond the ‘usual; media analysis and put voices to the issues.”
“It was very important to hear different perspectives and learn about the political/social context as part of my healing. I am concerned that a lot of media debate about the 7/7 bombers has been simplistic and demonising, and this event played an important role in countering this and aiding understanding.”