Please note that there are two different conference venues:
June 14/15 - Century City Conference Centre
June 16 - Kirstenbosch Conference Centre (transportation available)
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Thursday, June 15 • 16:30 - 18:00
Building Resilience in Muslim Communities - Hafal Ahmad, Helena Oikarinen-Jabai, Marja Tiilikainen

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Building Resilience in Muslim Communities

Abstract #77
Title: Youth De-radicalization: Best Practices for Canada
Hafal Ahmad (Royal Roads University, Canada)
Youth radicalization leading to violence has become a growing fear among Canadians, as terrorist attacks are carried out in Western states. Although Canada has suffered relatively fewer acts of violence, this fear has intensified and a de-radicalization strategy is needed in the Canadian context.
Methods: In a qualitative case study methodology, interviews were conducted with school counsellors, religious leaders, and academics to explore solutions to youth radicalization. Youth de-radicalization approaches from Singapore and UK were analyzed and found that community-based initiatives were missing from programming. Social identity theory is used to explain that youth join radicalized groups to feel a sense of belonging and have to be provided an alternative and moderate group identity to de-radicalize.
Findings: Canada can incorporate lessons from the Singaporean and UK’s approaches by building trustful relationships and networks between the public and those providing the service. This could be achieved by including communities into de-radicalization and discuss community problems with these stakeholders. Otherwise, they may feel targeted and marginalized in their society. 
Abstract #80
Title: Young Finnish Muslims exploring and performing their resilience. A participatory study
Helena Oikarinen-Jabai (University of Helsinki, Finland)
My earlier participatory performative research with young second generation Finns suggested that for young Muslims religion is an important resilience factor. Presently I work in the project Young Muslims and Resilience -A Participatory Study. The participants belong to diverse Muslim communities and have different ethnic backgrounds (5 fem/5male)
Methods: The participants of the project are involved in creating an exhibition, workshops and seminars in which they can express their own viewpoints of resilience. Visual methodology created by Michael Ungar and his colleagues are applied, in addition to performative methodologies. In our research setting we have modified the method (‘a day in life’) to suit better for our purposes by making shorter video shootings focusing on issues chosen by the participants. They have continued with the issues they are interested in and concerned such as living in-between cultures, religion, gender, sexuality, generational relationships, fashion, Islamic diaspora cultures and islamophobia.
Findings: In my presentation I share some views and images created by the participants, and discuss participatory performative approaches as means to understand resilience of young people belonging to a (stigmatized) minority. The preliminary findings reveal the diversity of Muslim communities, also female and male participants concentrate on different issues.  

Abstract #79
Title: Resources and resilience among Canadian Somali and Finnish Somali youth
Marja Tiilikainen (Department of Social Research, University of Helsinki, Finland)
Following the civil war, Somali refugees started to look for a secure place and better future outside the Horn. However, in many diasporic countries Somali families have faced socio-economic challenges, discrimination, Islamophobia, and bad media image. In Canada, several young men of Somali descent have also been violently killed.
Methods: Regardless of the disadvantages, many Canadian Somali and Finnish Somali parents have been successful in supporting their children to do well and establish their place in the society. The aim of this paper is to discuss the factors, resources and processes that support well-being and resilience of young people of Somali descent in Canada and Finland. The paper draws from approximately 74 individual and focus group interviews with parents and young people of Somali descent in Toronto and Helsinki area, conducted as part of a five-year research project funded by the Academy of Finland.
Findings: The findings underline the importance of a family facilitating resilience of their children. However, studied parents and families differ in terms of resources that they have and rely on to support their children. Parents’ background, family structure and (in particular in Toronto) neighborhood impact the available opportunities. 


Hafal Ahmad

Royal Roads University

Helena Oikarinen-Jabai

University of Helsinki, Department of Social Research

Marja Tiilikainen

Department of Social Research, University of Helsinki
Marja Tiilikainen (PhD, Adjunct Professor in comparative religion) is Academy Research Fellow at the Department of Social Research, University of Helsinki, Finland. She has conducted long-term research on Somali migrants and carried out ethnographic research in Finland, Northern Somalia... Read More →

Thursday June 15, 2017 16:30 - 18:00 SAST
Room 07 Century City Conference Centre