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Evelin Lindner: The Role of Dignity and Humiliation for Terrorism

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Published on Oct 31, 2011

"The Role of Dignity and Humiliation for Terrorism" is a video clip that was recorded on October 30, 2011, in Portland, Oregon, USA, by Linda Hartling, for the World Dignity University initiative.
We are still all shocked and profoundly saddened that Norway, where we had the most wonderful and peaceful launch of our World Dignity University initiative (on 24th June 2011), has been struck by such violence.
The rose-processions in July in Norway gave us all courage. They highlighted that the future lies in the mobilization of responsible citizens who stand together in solidarity. Today, there is no place on this earth that is not affected by what happens in the rest of the world, be it that people are opening up or closing themselves off to this larger world.
Inga Bostad, Vice-Rector of the University of Oslo, greeted the conference participants of the 17th Annual Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies Conference in Dunedin, New Zealand (www.humiliationstudies.org/whoweare/annualmeeting17.php), on 26th August 2011. In the light of the terrible 22/7 terror attacks in Oslo and Utøya, she encouraged and urged the conference participants to work on the World Dignity University Initiative during the conference.
Her words confirm that we must work locally and globally: Dignity must be a movement, a culture, a spirit, both locally and globally.
And this is precisely what we work with in our Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies network and with our World Dignity University initiative.
Joining hands, nurturing a culture of mutual care, working for dignity, locally and globally, is what we need to invest all our energy in. Even though it cannot undo any harm that has happened in the past, it will, hopefully, help contribute to preventing more harm being perpetrated in the future. Never has work for dignity been more important.
We, in our work, see it as our responsibility, to create and disseminate narratives that respect the grievances that stand behind such violent narratives, yet, lead them into the direction of the dignity of a Mandela, rather than the direction of terror, genocide, and war.
We believe that the terrible tragedy that happened in Oslo and on Utøya is not just a Norwegian "problem" but a call that we, as humankind, have to show much more civic responsibility. The dignity of "unity in diversity" is the path to go, rather than "uniformity in division," or one camp trying to achieve "strength" through inner uniformity, in hostile division to the "enemy" camp that responds in kind (Christian versus Muslim, for example). Global interdependence, and the need for global cooperation in the face of global challenges, requires that we understand that narratives of hostile division bring demise to all of us, from whatever background such narratives may originate.
We are with you in Norway now, all of us, from all around the world, with our hearts and our tears, and, let us all understand that here we face a global responsibility, for all of humankind!
See also a chapter written by Evelin Lindner earlier, "The Relevance of Humiliation Studies for the Prevention of Terrorism," in Pick, Thomas M., Speckhard, Anne, and Beatrice Jacuch (Eds.), "Home-Grown Terrorism: Understanding and Addressing the Root Causes of Radicalisation among Groups with an Immigrant Heritage in Europe," Section 3.1: The Societal Subsoil Nurturing Intolerant Militancy and Terrorism, as Against Measures and Processes Nurturing Tolerance, Section 3.1, pp. 163-188, Amsterdam, The Netherlands: IOS Press, supported by the NATO Science for Peace and Security Programme, E: Human and Societal Dynamics, Vol. 60, 2009. These are Proceedings of the NATO Advanced Research Workshop Indigenous Terrorism: Understanding and Addressing the Root Causes of Radicalisation Among Groups with an Immigrant Heritage in Europe, Budapest, Hungary, 7-9th March, 2008. Please see here a long first draft of this paper, and see also some pictures of the event at www.humiliationstudies.org/whoweare/evelin02.php.

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