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Talking to Extremists: gender, power and belonging

Hosted by the Centre for Women, Peace and Security

Online public event


Shannon Foley Martinez

Shannon Foley Martinez

Consultant, Polarization & Extremism Research & Innovation Lab

Deeyah Khan

Deeyah Khan

Documentary Filmmaker

Shafqat Mehmood

Shafqat Mehmood

Founder and Chairperson of PAIMAN Alumni Trust


Sanam Naraghi Anderlini MBE

Sanam Naraghi Anderlini MBE

Director, LSE Centre for Women, Peace and Security

You can watch a recording of this event on our YouTube channel here

In the second event of the "Coming of Age of Women Peace and Security, In Conversation" series, Sanam Naraghi Anderlini MBE will host three guests who have had the courage and conviction to talk to extremists.

As polarised echo chambers are exacerbating the divisions and entrenching extremes, the parallels between acts of domestic terrorism, such as the January 6th insurrection against the US Capitol in Washington, DC, and violent extremist movements in other parts of the world are evident. The radicalisation of individuals - men and women - is a complex process. Drawing people away from violent extremism is equally complex with a need to understand not only the political, cultural, psycho-social and emotional factors at play but also the centrality of gender ideology and roles. 

In this conversation our guests will talk about their experiences and work making them uniquely placed to respond to these issues.

About the speakers: 

Shannon Foley Martinez (@_Shan_Martinez_) has worked within at-risk communities teaching and developing dynamic resiliency skills. She has helped to build preventative models of counter-extremism, focusing on family values, the importance of individual empathy, and intersectional consciousness. Since leaving the white supremacist movement over 25 years ago, Ms. Foley Martinez has been equal to the gruelling task of educating others and building expertise within herself. She has worked for school systems, nonprofits, and community organisations sharing expertise with many entities including the UN Office of Counter Terrorism, National Counterterrorism Center, and US government and global media outlets.

Deeyah Khan (@Deeyah_Khan) is a two-time Emmy award winning and twice BAFTA nominated documentary filmmaker. Through her work she has explored how people are drawn to violent extremist movements. She has spent years filming Islamist extremists, convicted terrorists, former jihadis, as well as current and former white supremacists and domestic terrorists in America for her documentaries. Deeyah is also the founder of Fuuse, an independent media and arts production company. In 2016, she became the first UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for artistic freedom and creativity. 

Shafqat Mehmood, founder and Chairperson of PAIMAN Alumni Trust (@PaimanTweet), served in the defence forces for 33 years and retired as a Brigadier General. He is one of PAIMAN’s most experienced peace practitioners and a pioneer of PAIMAN’s model of community engagement for P/CVE which received international recognition and was declared best practice initiative by the European Union and replicated in a few countries with PAIMAN’s technical support. He has been instrumental in the de-radicalisation, rehabilitation and re-integration of thousands of radicalised youth. Mr. Mehmood has presented PAIMAN’s work and contributed to P/CVE subjects at numerous international seminars and conferences.

Chair:  Sanam Naraghi Anderlini MBE (@sanambna) is Director of the LSE Centre for Women, Peace and Security and the founder of The International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN)

This event is co-hosted by The International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN) and The Centre for Feminist Foreign Policy


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