Promoting creativity to end radicalization

Posted at 10:13 PM, Jan 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-01 22:13:02-05

Federal agents say the terror arrest in Rochester on New Year's Eve is another example of radicalization spreading across the country.

One western New York man says his organization, geared towards teenagers and young adults, uses peace to fight terrorism.

Faizan Haq, the founder of wnymuslims.org, says that terrorism groups promote, "losing ideas. This is the losers ideology."

Haq is conviced that radicalization, a perverted form of Islam, will be defeated, comparing it to Nazi Germany.

The Islam that Haq knows is based off of love and compassion.  That is why he's reaching out to those at-risk, mainly those who have the potential to feel suppressed, with his organization.

"The more integrated you are, the more you share, and then you find out that there are other things to learn about other people."

The focus of wnymuslims,org is to give participants a creative outlet. In most cases that includes work and internships for Studio Kulam, which is based off of an era and place of peace and different religions working together. The organization also teaches writing press releases, encourages diversity and promotes community service.

The goal is to eliminate feelings of suppression that can be exploited by extremists of any ideology.

"It is about providing a platform where you can share your ideas, you can share your ideas, your thoughts," Haq says. "It's about teaching how to disagree, how to tolerate another person, how to have an opinion and how to share."

Haq believes that values in the United States are perfect for bringing up a generation that does not cave to hate. He notes that the upcoming generation is often trusting and wants to share things, even pictures of food on social media. Haq sees that as a positive trait, one in which youth are open.

"America is doing something right," Haq says, comparing the United States countries overseas. "That is providing people space to express themselves."

Haq does not just open his doors to Muslims. Diversity is a key component of his organization, as well as keeping young adults of all religions and backgrounds on the right path.

"Providing this creative outlet for any backgrounds who feels this identity pressure and they would like to share what they have through creative activity," Haq states as his goal.

Haq is looking for organizations throughout the community to work with. He wants to expand wnymuslims.org throughout New York State.





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