GW’s Central Asia Program and RFE/RL are happy to announce Not In Our Name

October 16, 2018
According to recent estimates, countries of the former Soviet Union are the largest single source of foreign fighters in the Syria/Iraq conflict – more than neighboring states in the Middle East. Although they share no cultural or language ties to Syria or Iraq, it is estimated that more than 4,200 Central Asians have joined the conflict. Communities across the region will feel the effects for decades as those exposed to the horrors of war and extremist ideology return. The challenge Central Asian communities face from extremist groups is real, but so is their determination to fight back on a social and state level.

Not In Our Name,  produced by  Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty  (RFE/RL), is the first regional counter-extremism project ever produced for Central Asia. Staff traveled to diverse areas within the region, exploring and reporting on how residents can work together at the local and national level to prevent the spread of violence and extremism. This unique project collected video portraits of individuals who lost family members in Syria and Iraq, and presented those portraits to young people from Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan, asking them   to share their experiences and perspectives .

RFE/RL’s goal is to use journalism to empower communities to stand up to violent extremist recruiters that claim to represent them. Town halls were held in each country with two different audiences--those directly affected by extremist recruiting and those who have not been impacted. A final session brings all participants together to share their very different experiences and learn from one another.

Uzbek, Kazakh, Tajik, and Kyrgyz participants from all ten town halls agreed there are no simple answers. This film follows them as they come to a deeper understanding of the challenges they face and consider what they can do together to form strong communities that take a stand and declare Not In Our Name .

2:30-3:30pm. Panel 1. Research Results

Noah Tucker (Executive Editor Not In Our Name and CAP associate) , Serik Besseimbaev (Lead Project Moderator, Project Design Consultant Not In Our Name ) , Asel Murzakulova (Project Deputy Editor, Producer Not In Our Name )

3:30-4:10pm. Film screening

4:10-4:30pm. Coffee-break

4:30-6:00pm. Panel 2. Violent Extremist Mobilization in Global Context: What Works (and What Doesn’t) to Prevent Recruiting?

Peter Bergen (New America Foundation), Daniel Kimmage (Global Engagement Center, US Department of State), Haroon Ullah (US Agency for Global Media/BBG)

Registration for this event is required.

The Central Asia Program (CAP) promotes academic and policy research on contemporary Central Asia, and serves as an interface for the policy, academic, diplomatic, and business communities. Central Eurasia Religion in International Affairs (CERIA) promotes a better understanding of religion in Central Asia.

The Central Asia Program
Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES)
Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University
1957 E Street, NW | Suite 412 | Washington, DC | 20052
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