My name is Monsuru Temitayo Daranijo, I am a former MSc Violence,
Conflict and Development (VCD) student 2004 – 2007. Since graduating
I have been involved with various Islamic charities in one way or the
other. I must say some of us in the Muslim community are actually doing
a lot of work to address rise of ‘extremism’ from within.
However, it is debatable if this can ever be achievable because of the different interpretation, understanding and implementation of the various Islamic text. Nonetheless, I have come to realise, though, that if we in the Muslim community want to have even a limited success in addressing the rise of ‘extremism’ from within the Muslim community which unfortunately is also fuelling the rise of extremism on the other side - take the case of Darren Osborne who drove a van into a group of Muslim worshipers at Finsbury Park London, as an example - we in the Muslim communities are going to need some help and this is where I believe current and former students in the area of violence conflict/ conflict resolution can help play a role through an organisation I intend to set up.
To minimise the rise of ‘extremism’ in both sides I intend to set up an organisation - NETWORK OF DOVES with the primary objective of organising lectures, seminars and workshops on the theme of Violence, Conflict and Development in the UK and around the world which would be delivered by current students in the area of Violence conflict / conflict resolution, under the supervision of experts in the subject area.
Network of Doves vision is simple. It is a world where education is used to reduce violence, conflict and aid development.
The primary aim and objective of the organisation is to enable “the reduction of outbreak of violence and conflict in UK and around the world by providing parties with information which may help them understand their situations and assist them in making informed choices about the best possible means of resolving their differences”.
Indeed one may argue that there are lots of charities out there working in the area of peacebuilding, conflict resolution, mediation and related activities, nonetheless, it could equally be argued that, to some extend, we students in the area of violence, conflict and development are not ‘necessarily’ getting our messages across.
Among the challenges in getting our messages across is presenting key messages in a manner that a lay person could understand especially in an era where people are increasingly turning to the media - particularly the tabloid press - for information and often reacting in a negative way to the information they have received.
I have been in touch with Professor Christopher Cramer, who was then the convenor of MSc Violence conflict and Development at the School of Oriental and African Studies and the advice I got from him however, was that I should focus in London first, then get people to act as a TRUSTEE for the organisation.
With recent incidents happening in London, one would agree that London would be an ideal starting point. Currently the threat level in London is severe which means that a terrorism attack is highly likely. In addition to that in London we have other issues such as crimes carried out by people on bikes and a rise in the number of people getting stabbed.
Thus, Londoners are also seeking answers to the “carnage” happening around them and are becoming edgy.
People are increasingly looking for explanations to the destruction they see around them. It is hope that Network of Doves Worldwide could go some way in providing the information which they seek. Such information could be delivered to the masses by inviting them to open lectures, workshops or seminars which we plan to run at SOAS or at any other suitable venue.
The main role of a Trustee for the organisation is straight forward - monitor the works of the students delivering the paper. One way of making the task much simpler is to limit the participation of students to those who have been outstanding in their performance.
I was wondering if any of you would be Trustees. Though, this position is open to everyone regardless of their educational background, ideally, I would prefer someone with either of the following background : - a MSc in Violence, Conflict and Development, MSc in any relevant discipline in the area of violence conflict, or someone with a PhD in any relevant discipline to apply. Someone working towards a PhD would also be considered.
This role is something that could easily be fixed among other commitments because of the fact that it all depends on when the students themselves would be available.
Please if you are interested please let me know in the ‘contact us’ section Please kindly refer NOD to anyone who may be interested. Thank you. I am also open to suggestions. Kindly drop your suggestions in the ‘contact us’ section
With kind regards
Monsuru Temitayo Daranijo