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December 10, 2018 No.
694

Marking Its 20th Anniversary, MEMRI Launches Its Reform Project's New Website – Highlighting Reformist Voices In The Arab And Muslim World

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) launched the new webpage for its MEMRI Reform Project to coincide with the 70th Human Rights Day, marking the day the UN adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Reform Project amplifies the voices of reformists in the Arab and Muslim world. The new webpage is part of the rollout of new web pages, projects, and initiatives for MEMRI's 20th anniversary. The MEMRI Reform Project, established in 2002, identifies and supports advocates of reform and human rights in the Arab and Muslim world who speak out against violent extremism and antisemitism.

MEMRI's research and translation efforts highlighting voices of reform in the Arab and Muslim world are crucial resources for informing policymakers, media organizations, and the public at large. MEMRI asks for your help to allow us to continue this important work – please consider supporting the Reform Project with a tax-deductible donation. You can also subscribe to the Reform Project to receive all the latest updates.

The aim of the MEMRI Reform Project is to provide Arab and Muslim reformists with platforms from which they can reach out to their societies and to religious, political, and educational leaders, and to provide Western policymakers with a solid basis for long-term strategic plans for supporting their efforts. The project includes MEMRI translations of articles by reformists and videos featuring them discussing reform, as well as analysis pieces on relevant topics.

Reformists from the Middle East and South Asia are on the MEMRI Board of Advisors. Regarding MEMRI's solid history of highlighting voices of reform, the late Richard Holbrooke, special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan and former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. said: "MEMRI allows an audience far beyond the Arabic-speaking world to observe the wide variety of Arab voices speaking through the media, schoolbooks, and pulpits to their own people. What one hears is often astonishing, sometimes frightening, and always important. Most importantly, it includes the newly emerging liberal voices of reform and hope, as well as disturbing echoes of ancient hatreds. Without the valuable research of MEMRI, the non-Arabic speaking world would not have this indispensable window."

The new webpage highlights reform analysis, latest research, featured reformists, presenting videos and research from the project's eight subtopics: Women's Studies, Counter-Radicalization Initiative, Education, Combatting Antisemitism, LGBTQ Issues, Democratization, Religious Minorities, Secularism and Civil Society, and a section highlighting reform efforts in specific countries. Additional sections are under development as current events unfold. It also includes an in-memoriam section for notable reformists who have passed away and whose work is key to understanding these issues.

Among the prominent reformists highlighted by the MEMRI Reform Project is Abd Al-Hamid Al-Ansari, former dean of Islamic Law at Qatar University and an unconventional voice in Qatar's media. With his focus on counter-radicalization efforts, he wrote recently: "The struggle against terror will not be effective unless it takes the form of an ideological, cultural and religious campaign, as part of a comprehensive educational, cultural, media and religious strategy that will increase the immunity of the youth to the terrorist idea."

The Reform Project's complete archive of hundreds of pages of translations and analysis reports will remain available on the MEMRI Reform Project page, and its archive of hundreds of hours of translated video clips will continue to be available on the MEMRI TV Reform Project page. Please also visit the MEMRI Women's Studies Initiative Tumblr page for all new content.

 

WOMEN'S STUDIES

This project aims to help advance women's rights in the region, researching, examining, translating, and analyzing Arab and Muslim primary media sources in order to report on their status, their struggles, and their triumphs.

 

COUNTER-RADICALIZATION INITIATIVE

This project focuses on researching and disseminating advocates of reform in the Arab and Muslim world that are discussing and disputing tenets of jihad, arguing against current jihadi streams and organizations, and speaking out against violent extremism.

 

EDUCATION

This project highlights efforts in the Arab and Muslim world to revise school curricula, remove extremist content, replace textbooks that encourage violence and incitement, introduce tolerant and pluralistic content, and moderate educational policies.

 

COMBATTING ANTISEMITISM

This project identifies, supports, and publicizes advocates of reform in the Arab and Muslim world who speak out against antisemitism. Some of these reformists have participated in the Capitol Hill events held by MEMRI's Tom Lantos Archives on Antisemitism and Holocaust Denial.

 

LGBTQ ISSUES

This project seeks to provide a platform for those who defend LGBTQ rights in the Arab and Muslim world in the face of intimidation and murder sanctioned and perpetrated by Islamists.

 

DEMOCRATIZATION

This project monitors advocates of democratic values in the Arab and Muslim world and examines the challenges they may face in doing so.

 

RELIGIOUS MINORITIES

This project supports advocates of interfaith dialogue and those who promote equal rights for religious minorities in the Arab and Muslim world.

 

SECULARISM AND CIVIL SOCIETY

This project provides support to reformists in the Arab and Muslim world who seek to advance secularism and strengthen civil society, in the face of challenges in promoting these causes.

It is only because of you that MEMRI can continue this important work. Please support MEMRI's work TODAY with a tax-deductible donation. MEMRI is a 501(c)(3) organization. Every dollar of every donation is tax-deductible.

If you already support us, you understand the value and uniqueness of our work. Please consider helping sustain MEMRI for the long term with a recurring monthly donation. Also, donating online minimizes our administrative costs. If you prefer, you may mail your gift to MEMRI at P.O. Box 27837, Washington, DC 20038-7837.

About MEMRI:

Exploring the Middle East and South Asia through their media, MEMRI bridges the language gap between the West and the Middle East and South Asia, providing timely translations of Arabic, Farsi, Urdu-Pashtu, Dari, and Turkish media, as well as original analysis of political, ideological, intellectual, social, cultural, and religious trends.

Founded in February 1998 to inform the debate over U.S. policy in the Middle East, MEMRI is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit, 501(c)3 organization. MEMRI's main office is located in Washington, DC, with branch offices in various world capitals. MEMRI research is translated into English, French, Polish, Japanese, Spanish and Hebrew.

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