On 3rd December 2019, Jordan Morgan, Middle East Programme Manager, delivered a speech on the topic of transnational terrorism in Gaza to over 250 religious scholars. The intervention formed part of a conference entitled, “A Better Understanding of the Relationship with the West.” 

Jordan was also joined by Francois Burgat, a political scientist arabist and Senior Research Fellow at the French National Centre for Scientific Research for a panel discussion. 

The speech, delivered by Jordan on behalf of Oliver McTernan, Forward Thinking’s Director, was the second intervention in a series of conferences. It discussed the nature of terrorism, the legitimisation of acts of violence and the importance of perception when thinking about how to define terrorism. The topic also evokes strong emotional reactions but highlighted that such reactions deprive decision makers of the need for rational discussion aimed at reaching a minimum level of understanding of the different perspectives. 

The aims of these conferences are to build a better understanding  between the East and West of Islamic discourse, counter distortions of the Islamic faith and build the capacity religious institutions to promote better relationships within and outside the region.