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The leader of the Christian Association of Nigeria women in Jos, Mrs Agwu (C), is flanked by Pastor Esther Ibanga (L) and Deputy Governor Paulyn Tallen, as she prays for the women protesting at the government house in Jos, Plateau State, on March 11, 2010. Over 10,000 women marched through the streets of Jos in black wears to the state House of Assembly and later to the government house to protest the killings of women and children at Dogo Nahawa village in Jost south, Plateau State.

Former adversaries preach the virtues of tolerance.

A Human Approach

January 2013, Number 04.01

“When hundreds of her fellow Nigerian Christians were massacred with machetes in 2010 near the town of Jos, pastor Esther Ibanga protested the violence with a “100,000 Women March” across the dusty plateau of central Nigeria. One person she shunned was Khadija Hawaja, a locally revered female Muslim leader from across the religious divide who was planning a similar march for her own co-religionists. That Ibanga and Hawaja now travel the world as partners expounding on the need for reconciliation is a tribute to the success of Vienna-based Sisters Against Violent Extremism (SAVE), founded in 2008 by Austrian professor Edit Schlaffer.

Schlaffer calls her organization the first women’s counterterrorism platform, a security network that considers mothers and wives, with their direct access to danger zones, the world’s “new security guardians.” Few deny the role women can play in fomenting violent extremism – a phenomenon abetted by online recruitment – but Schlaffer insists that behind many a mother ready to acclaim her son a martyr is a scared parent horrified at the bloodletting...”

Excerpt from per Concordiam Staff, “A Human Approach,” per Concordiam: Journal of European Security Defense Issues 4, No. 1, 2013: 17.

This article reflects the views of the author and are not necessarily the official policy of the United States, Germany, or any other governments.