Chandni recounts experiences of studying MSc Social Development Practice at the Development Planning Unit
The thinktank I work for is called Quilliam - I started working there recently as Head of Fundraising.
Quilliam is the world’s first counter-extremism organisation, set up in 2008 by leading former extremists. It is a not-for-profit private company in the UK and incorporated as a 501(c)(3) organisation in the United States of America (USA).
Quilliam knows that extremism and terrorism are results of the challenges of integration, citizenship, identity and democratisation in a globalised world. We believe that the key to preventing these results is worldwide social change led by civil society. We aim to bring about this change by engaging, educating and encouraging civil society to make their own strategic civic interventions which advocate a democratic culture, promote religious freedom, and advance human rights.
To ensure that civil society is well equipped to bring about lasting social change, Quilliam works directly with youth in order to build social movements, cultivating a new generation of radical democratic thinkers. We also work with a number of organisations/agencies and individuals, including:
- Government to ensure that policies are able to effectively address the challenges or extremism and terrorism
- The third sector and media to ensure a level of awareness around extremism and terrorism is maintained
- Arts organisations to provide platforms to creatively address prominent issues
- Police and armed forces to sensitise them to the nuances in Islam and Islamism and to train them on how best to tackle extremist behaviours
- Colleges and universities to educate potential student extremists about the differences between Islam as a faith and as a political ideology, steer them away from extremist behaviours and provide a safe platform for open discussion/debate about Islam
At Quilliam, we also conduct extensive research into a variety of extremism related so that we and others can learn more from our work and experiences.