Religious intolerance appears to be on the rise in parts of Sub-Saharan Africa, leading to infringements of religious freedom and abuses of human rights. Islamist militancy has garnered the most attention, which in its most extreme form has found expression through the violent activities of Boko Haram, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, and Al-Shabaab. Meanwhile, the diffusion of the religious marketplace, accelerated by the spread of communications technology, has amplified extremist messages and weakened the grip of traditional religious authorities over their followers. Join us for a discussion on the drivers of religious extremism and on how state and non-state actors are responding. Panelists will explore how religious communities, civil society, and the media can become empowered to address the issue, and discuss what implications this trend has for U.S. policy in Africa.
Dr. Sarah Sewall
Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights, U.S. Department of State
Mamadou Diouf (Invited)
Leitner Family Professor of Africa Studies, Columbia University
Senior Policy Analyst, USCIRF
Associate Professor, Department of Religion and Center for African Studies, University of Florida