FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: In Atlanta, Soyia Ellison, firstname.lastname@example.org
ATLANTA — An article published in Al Akhbar, a Moroccan newspaper, on Sept. 21, makes false allegations against Moroccan preacher Oustada Naima Ben Yaich, who was a participant in a Carter Center workshop earlier in the month. The Carter Center strongly refutes the false allegations in the article entitled, “The preacher Ben Yaich incites international jurists against Moroccan Security Services in a Countering Daesh workshop in Switzerland.”
On Sept. 7-9, The Carter Center organized a workshop in Switzerland on countering Daesh recruitment propaganda with religious and community leaders from Morocco, Tunisia, France, and Belgium. Daesh uses social media tools to persuade youth to join them and strike at countries like Morocco. The Carter Center has a commitment to wage peace, and works collaboratively with religious and community leaders to delegitimize Daesh narratives and protect vulnerable youth from its propaganda. The Carter Center workshop mentioned in the article served this purpose by helping participants address religious violent extremism and Islamophobia – two sides of the same coin.
The workshop urged a multi-pronged approach for preventing violent extremism. Youth, women, and religious leaders were highlighted as a critical constituency in preventing and countering violent extremism. As positive agents of change, they need to be continuously and meaningfully engaged.
Mrs. Ben Yaich was an essential participant in this project. At no time did she engage in criticism of the Moroccan government or any other institution, official or unofficial. The Carter Center, Mrs. Ben Yaich, and all workshop participants were focused on the singular goal of combating Daesh recruitment propaganda and its malicious manipulation of religion for violent political ends.
Morocco has been an international leader in combating violent extremism. The Carter Center and Mrs. Ben Yaich share that same goal. False allegations against Mrs. Ben Yaich only serve political interests designed to cause rifts between workshop participants. We reject in the strongest terms Al Akhbar’s false account of her activities at the Carter Center workshop.
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A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, The Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in over 80 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; and improving mental health care. The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide.
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