An international Seminar (Online) on
"Religion, Extremism, and the Digital Age: Navigating Challenges and Solutions"
12-13 December, 2023

About Seminar

The seminar aims to achieve the following key objectives:

  1. Comprehensive Exploration: To delve deeply into the intricate interplay between religion, extremism, and the digital age, analyzing the multifaceted dimensions of this phenomenon and its implications on societies worldwide.
  2. Understanding Religious Extremism in the Digital Era: To critically examine the rise of religious extremism within the context of the digital age, unraveling its root causes, mechanisms of dissemination, and its impact on individuals, communities, and global affairs.
  3. Identifying Challenges and Opportunities: To identify and elucidate the key challenges and opportunities that arise from the fusion of religion and the digital landscape, highlighting their social, cultural, political, and technological implications.
  4. Promoting Tolerance and Dialogue: To explore strategies and initiatives that can foster tolerance, dialogue, and understanding between diverse religious communities, countering the spread of extremist ideologies in the online environment.
  5. Inclusive and Diverse Perspectives: To promote a rich and diverse exchange of ideas by inviting scholars, researchers, practitioners, and intellectuals from various academic disciplines, religious backgrounds, and regions, facilitating a comprehensive and global perspective.
  6. Ethical and Responsible Digital Engagement: To examine the ethical dimensions of digital interactions in religious contexts, emphasizing responsible online behavior, media literacy, and measures to counter misinformation and hate speech.
  7. Building Collaborative Networks: To foster collaboration and networking among participants, facilitating the sharing of expertise, resources, and best practices in countering religious extremism and promoting interfaith understanding in the digital realm.
  8. Policy Recommendations: To formulate evidence-based policy recommendations for governments, organizations, and stakeholders aimed at mitigating the negative impacts of religious extremism in the digital space and advancing positive digital engagement.

The following are potential thematic inspirations, but the list is not exhaustive.

  1. The Nature of Religious Beliefs and Extremism: This theme will explore the philosophical underpinnings of religious beliefs and their potential connection to extremism. Discussions will center around questions such as: What are the distinguishing features of religious beliefs? How do these beliefs interact with extremist ideologies? Can religious teachings be interpreted in multiple ways, leading to diverse attitudes towards extremism?
  2. Radicalization and De-Radicalization: Understanding the process of radicalization is crucial in countering extremism. This theme will delve into the psychological, sociological, and philosophical factors that contribute to the radicalization of individuals online. Moreover, it will explore strategies for de-radicalization and the potential of technology in promoting counter-narratives and interfaith dialogue.
  3. Cyber Theology and Religious Discourse: Investigating how religious ideas and beliefs are shaped, interpreted, and debated online, and the impact of digital platforms on traditional religious discourse and theological developments.
  4. Technology and the Amplification of Extremist Narratives: This theme will examine how the Digital Age has facilitated the amplification and spread of extremist narratives. The seminar will investigate the ways in which social media platforms, online echo chambers, and algorithms contribute to the dissemination of extremist content. Participants will explore the role of technology companies in addressing this challenge and debate ethical concerns related to content moderation.
  5. Interfaith Dialogue and Digital Collaboration: The seminar will emphasize the importance of interfaith dialogue as a means to bridge religious divides and promote understanding. Participants will discuss the role of digital platforms in facilitating global conversations, fostering empathy, and building bridges between diverse religious communities.
  6. Online Religious Education and Counter-Narratives: Evaluating the role of digital platforms in religious education, and exploring the potential of counter-narratives to challenge extremist ideologies and foster inclusivity.
  7. Technology for Peacebuilding: Examining innovative technological approaches to promote peacebuilding, conflict resolution, and intercultural understanding in religiously diverse societies.
  8. Case Studies and Best Practices: Presenting real-world case studies and successful initiatives that have effectively addressed religious extremism in the digital age, with a focus on transferable best practices.Top of Form
  9. Ethics, Regulation, and Freedom of Expression: The tension between freedom of expression and the need to counter extremist content online will be a central focus of this theme. Ethical considerations surrounding online regulations, surveillance, and privacy in the context of religious extremism will be explored. Participants will critically analyze the role of governments, tech companies, and civil society in striking a balance between these values.

Through these themes, the online international seminar aims to foster comprehensive discussions and generate actionable insights that contribute to understanding and addressing the challenges posed by religious extremism in the digital era.

The seminar will bring together a diverse group of participants, including:

  • Academics and scholars in the fields of religious studies, international relations, and peace studies.
  • Policymakers and representatives from government agencies and international organizations.
  • Religious Leaders and Practitioners: Religious leaders, clerics, and practitioners from different faith traditions who can provide insights into the challenges and opportunities posed by digital interactions within religious communities.
  • Interfaith Organizations and Dialogue Initiatives: Representatives from interfaith organizations and dialogue initiatives that seek to promote understanding and cooperation among different religious communities.
  • Civil society activists, NGOs, and grassroots organizations engaged in peacebuilding and countering extremism.
  • Media Professionals: Journalists and media practitioners who can discuss the role of media in reporting on religious extremism and the importance of responsible reporting in the digital age.
  • Students and Young Scholars: Aspiring scholars and students with an interest in the topics of religion, extremism, and digital engagement, providing a platform for emerging voices and fresh perspectives.
  • Enhanced Understanding: Participants will gain a deeper understanding of the complex interplay between religion, extremism, and the digital age, including the mechanisms through which extremist ideologies are propagated online.
  • Best Practices and Solutions: The seminar will showcase successful case studies and best practices from different regions and disciplines that have effectively addressed religious extremism in the digital space, serving as practical models for future initiatives.
  • Policy Recommendations: The seminar's deliberations will culminate in evidence-based policy recommendations for governments, organizations, and stakeholders to effectively counter religious extremism in the digital age while safeguarding freedom of expression and privacy.
  • Interdisciplinary Insights: By bringing together scholars, practitioners, and experts from diverse academic and professional backgrounds, the seminar will foster interdisciplinary insights and collaborations, enriching the overall understanding of the subject.
  • Building Collaborative Networks: The seminar will facilitate networking opportunities among participants, encouraging ongoing collaboration among scholars, organizations, and stakeholders committed to addressing the challenges posed by religious extremism in the digital age.
  • Promotion of Tolerance and Dialogue: The seminar's emphasis on interfaith dialogue and understanding will contribute to the promotion of tolerance, respect, and mutual understanding among diverse religious communities in the online environment.
  • Innovative Approaches: The seminar will explore innovative technological approaches to peacebuilding, conflict resolution, and intercultural understanding, harnessing the potential of technology for positive social change.
  • Dissemination of Knowledge: The seminar's outcomes, including research findings, policy recommendations, and best practices, will be widely disseminated through academic publications, reports, and public engagement, contributing to a broader awareness of the challenges and solutions in the realm of religion, extremism, and the digital age.

Overall, the seminar's expected outcomes aim to foster a deeper understanding of the complexities surrounding religious extremism in the digital era and to provide actionable strategies and recommendations for building a more inclusive and tolerant digital environment that fosters constructive engagement among religious communities.

Methodology and Structure of the International Seminar:

  1. Technical Sessions:
  • Format: The seminar will feature live virtual technical sessions led by distinguished experts, scholars, and practitioners in the fields of religion, extremism, and digital technologies.
  • Focus: Technical sessions will delve into specific aspects of the seminar theme, exploring the interplay between religion and extremism in the digital age, as well as innovative approaches to address challenges.
  • Interactive Discussions: Participants will have the opportunity to engage in interactive Q&A sessions with the speakers, promoting in-depth discussions and knowledge sharing.
  1. Paper Presentations:
  • Call for Papers: Scholars and researchers will be invited to submit research papers related to the theme of the seminar.
  • Selection Process: A review committee will review the submitted papers to ensure academic rigor and relevance to the seminar's objectives.
  • Dedicated Sessions: Selected papers will be presented during dedicated sessions, where authors can showcase their research findings, methodologies, and theoretical contributions.
  • Academic Exchange: Presentations will be followed by constructive feedback and discussions, fostering academic exchange and collaboration.
  1. Case Studies:
  • Invited Showcases: The seminar will feature case studies from organizations, practitioners, and researchers who have addressed issues related to religion, extremism, and the digital age.
  • Real-World Insights: Presenters will share practical experiences, lessons learned, and the impact of their initiatives, providing tangible insights for the audience.
  • Panel Discussions: Case study sessions may also include panel discussions to compare and contrast different approaches and highlight best practices.
  1. Keynote Speeches:
  • Prominent Speakers: Eminent experts and thought leaders will deliver keynote speeches that offer visionary perspectives and cutting-edge insights on the seminar's theme.
  • Broad Scope: Keynote speeches will provide an overarching framework, contextualizing the challenges of religious extremism in the digital era and envisioning potential solutions.
  • Inspirational Vision: Keynotes will inspire participants by emphasizing the importance of collaborative efforts and innovative thinking to navigate the complexities of the digital age.

By incorporating these methodologies and structuring the seminar with a well-balanced mix of technical sessions, paper presentations, case studies, and keynote speeches, the event aims to provide a comprehensive and collaborative platform for exploring challenges and innovative solutions related to religion, extremism, and the digital age. Participants will gain valuable insights, forge meaningful connections, and contribute to advancing knowledge in this critical field.

Seminar Organization:

The seminar will be a collaborative effort, jointly organized by Wisdom Islamic Studies and Education, Darul Huda University in Kerala, with the event taking place online.

Format: The seminar will be conducted in an online format.

Important Dates:

The participants should upload the documents on the seminar's website as shown the below

CV and Abstract upload: 15 October, 2023

Paper upload: 5 December, 2023

Seminar Date: 12-13 December, 2023

Conclusion: The online international seminar on "Religion, Extremism, and the Digital Age: Navigating Challenges and Solutions" aims to be a beacon of insightful scholarship and meaningful exchange. It seeks to harness the collective wisdom of scholars, thinkers, and practitioners from around the globe to confront the intricate web of challenges posed by religious extremism in the digital era. Through rigorous philosophical analysis and innovative problem-solving, the seminar aspires to chart a path towards a more tolerant, inclusive, and harmonious digital world where diverse religious voices can coexist in peace.