The 2007 Strategic Foresight Group (SFG) report, An Inclusive World: in which the West, Islam and the Rest have a Stake is a rare global manifesto for a common future. It is the culmination of three years of sustained global research, two international roundtables at the European Parliament, workshop with the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, along with confidential in-depth consultations with Heads of State, UN officials, cabinet ministers, parliamentarians, intelligence agencies and groups with extremist views. All of this has had the unflagging support of leaders, both Arab and Western.
“An Inclusive World is a rare document where Strategic Foresight Group puts forward a comprehensive agenda that combines analysis of the central dilemmas of our troubled times with solutions. An Inclusive World is a call to different protagonists to refrain from the manipulation of belief systems to justify the use of force… The building blocks identified by Strategic Foresight Group add up to the most comprehensive approach to the crisis of our time that has ever been proposed. One should hope that decision makers would respond to the challenge of this extraordinary document.” - Professor Shlomo Ben-Ami, former Foreign Minister of Israel.
Terror, the Report indicates is ugly and wanton, though the more dangerous phenomenon is that of extremism which has the ability to attract the masses for long. It was from this vantage point that An Inclusive World takes a global view of this trend. The recommendations that it contains offer hope in what appears to be a hopeless international system if the major world decision makers can develop the capacity to strike a balance between actions and principles.” - Professor Kamel Abu Jaber, former Foreign Minister of Jordan.
Challenging established wisdom, An Inclusive World concludes that terrorism and violent conflicts result from triple deficits in societies, – democratic deficit, developmental deficit and dignity deficit – where vested interests manipulate religion and other belief systems as vehicles for power politics.
The report infers that acts of terror take place when demand for terrorism meets with supply. That the current counter terrorism drives have failed because they wrongly perceive religion to be the driver of terrorism and neglect the real sources of terrorist threats. An Inclusive World explains how it is possible and crucial to disrupt both demand and supply lines and deconstruct terror.
An Inclusive World warns of a catastrophic confrontation between the East and the West due to the growing strength of extremism. Besides the Middle East and pockets in Asia, there is a high risk of extremism gaining ground in the United States, Europe and Russia. In the United States for instance, 29 states have seen a rise in Evangelical Christianity. These are precisely the states where two thirds of the population earning below $25000 per household lives. In other parts of the world, extremist forces wanting to use political Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, ultra-nationalism and Communism are alive and growing. The world is entering an age of competitive fundamentalism.
An Inclusive World is a call to pre-empt this dangerous contest. Since extremism does not originate from abstract concepts like religious beliefs, the framework of relative deprivation developed by Strategic Foresight Group can be put in place to dissuade young people from taking up arms and being trapped in absolutist visions of societies
The report identifies measures for creating a world without terrorism, reshaping the strained West-Islam relationship forever. It calls for an inclusive semi-permanent conference in the Middle East to resolve the Palestinian conflict, an Arab Islamic Renaissance (AIR) initiative, and other concrete ideas for dialogue and engagement processes between Western and Islamic leaders. Recalling that the Arab world once led the drive for modernisation and globalisation, the report explains that it is possible for a determined and united Arab leadership to recreate the conditions that once made their societies, thought leaders of the world.
Table of Contents
Part I: The Challenge of the 21st Century
- Clash of the Uncivilised
- A Problem of Humanity
- Al Qaeda and the West
- From Terrorism to Extremism
- Relative Deprivation
- Lies, Damn Lies and Definitions
- Human Civilisation, a Joint Venture
- Age of Competitive Fundamentalism
- Power and Principles
Part II: Collaborative Initiatives
- Inclusive Semi-permanent Conference on Peace in the Middle East
- Western-Islamic Dialogue and Engagement (WIDE) Initiative
- International Historical Study Group on Common Human Civilisation
Part III: Arab Islamic Renaissance (AIR) Initiative
- Spreading the Message
- Making Unity Work
- Houses of Wisdom and Capacity Building
- Enterprise and Social Development
- Freedom for Critical Inquiry
- Global Engagement
Part IV: Compact of 3Ds
Part V: The Next Steps