Starter for Ten on the 3 day Summit on Countering Violent Extremism (CVE):
1. The aim of the Summit is to discuss community-oriented approaches to countering violent extremism.
2. It is anticipated that representatives at the Summit will develop a comprehensive and concrete action plan against violent extremism.
3. There is an increasing focus on social media as a vehicle for countering extremist narrative. The Summit will provide an opportunity to explore further collaboration with the information technology industry on empowering moderate voices and undermining violent extremists.
4. The approach to CVE is based on building awareness of drivers and indicators of radicalisation and recruitment to violence, countering extremist narratives and emphasising community led intervention.
5. The underlying premise of the approach to countering violent extremism in the United States is that (1) communities provide the solution to violent extremism; and (2) CVE efforts are best pursued at the local level, tailored to local dynamics, where local officials continue to build relationships within their communities through established community policing and community outreach mechanisms.
6. Obama has emphasised that the US is not at war with Islam, but with “terrorists who pervert it”.
7. The key message at the Summit seems to be that we are facing a global challenge that requires us to act locally.
8. The landscape of far right-wing groups is complex and rapidly changing. The danger is that there is a misplaced focus solely on the threat of radicalisation in Muslim communities. Despite attempts to move away from a focus on radicalisation of muslim communities at the Summit, there still seems to be a tendency to conflate religious extremism and political grievance.
9. The conference is expected to produce an action plan leading to a second meeting before the opening of the UN general assembly in September.
10. Is it a coincidence that the Summit was announced on the day of the unity march in Paris, which followed the attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish supermarket? Some say the announcement was a way to deflect from the notable absence of Obama at the march.