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Honorable Giulio Terzi – ICT16

13/09/2016 | by Terzi di Sant'Agata, Giulio (Amb.)  

“Countering Extremism and Radicalization: A Fight for Values”

The Honorable Giulio Terzi, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Italy

The session was part of the ICT's 16th World Summit on Counter-Terrorism: "Unpuzzling Terrorism". Terzi discussed the importance of the political debate focusing on radicalization and violent extremism. He noted that the West is facing a "war of morals and ideals" similar to prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall. He also discussed the threat posed by Iran, which he claims has been overshadowed by the ISIS threat.

Summary

During his keynote address, Minister Terzi spoke of the importance of placing radicalization and violent extremism at the center of the political debate in the West. He criticized the leadership in the West for failing to create a shared political framework for the military engagement against ISIS and their inability to develop effective programs to counter radicalization in Muslim communities inside Europe and the U.S.

Furthermore, Terzi compared the current situation to the “war of moral and ideals” that the West faced before the fall of the Berlin Wall. He argued that we must revive our commitment to our national project by restoring confidence and respect for our democracy and values.

Terzi emphasized the magnitude of the threat that Iran and its militias represent to the West. He argued that ISIS has been distracting the West from the robust and extensive network that Iran has developed to promote extremism and anti-Western sentiment. To illustrate this example, he cited several examples of important Muslim institutions in Europe that are associated with Iran and promote anti-Semitism and anti-Israeli sentiments. In a similar vein, he warned against doing business with Tehran due to their known practice of funding terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah. Lastly he heavily criticized the unregulated migration to Europe and the governments’ inability to secure their own borders.