Twenty years of War on Terror

Twenty years after 9/11 and the War on Terror, many questions remain unanswered.

The rhetoric of exporting an American version of democracy has in fact left us with the erosion of global citizenship, while the arbitrary deprivation of freedoms and rights has become the new normal.

The Polis Project and CAGE are thrilled to announce a joint reflection to understand the present through the events of the last twenty years. In dialogue with the communities who are most affected by the Islamophobia and racialization of terror that followed 9/11, we plan a series of publications, conversations, and online public events to make boarder political connections between the significance of political prisoners and the history of criminalization of dissent.

CAGE brings to the table a quest for justice and for bearing witness to the horrors suffered by the survivors of the War on Terror, and The Polis Project continue their engagement with communities in resistance who speak truth to power and sustain radical critique of the status quo.

Together, the two organizations want to understand, remember and question the individual and collective consequences of twenty years of War on Terror.


29 March 

Twenty years of War on Terror: The human and political costs of an unending war. Moazzam Begg in conversation with Francesca Recchia

Francesca Recchia sits down with Moazzam Begg to discuss the impact of the War of Terror after all these years.

Moazzam Begg is British-born Muslim, he is a former Guantanamo Bay detainee and Outreach Director for CAGE. After his release, he became one of the most prominent public-speakers and Muslim advocates for justice and dialogue.

You can now watch this event on our Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube channels.

26 April

 Twenty years of War on Terror: The human and political costs of an unending war. Mohamadou Salahi in conversation with Asim Rafiqui.

Asim Rafiqui talks to Mahamadou Salahi about his personal journey and his current politics two decades after the initiation of the War on Terror.

Mohamadou Salahi was held in the Guantanamo Bay prison facility for 16 years without charge. While in captivity, Salahi wrote and published his memoir, Guantanamo Diary. After his release, Salahi has lead a vocal campaign for justice and human rights.

You can watch the full conversation on our YouTube channel.

31 May

War on Terror in historical perspective. Conversation with Darryl Li and Arnaud Mafille moderated by Suchitra Vijayan

Arnaud Mafille is the Director of Education and training for CAGE, a UK-based organization that advocates for due process, the rule of law and conflict resolution in the War on Terror. He has interviewed and assisted over 300 survivors of state-abuse. His experience includes submitting complaints alongside U.S military defense attorney for Afghan Guantanamo detainee and filing representations for victims of alleged crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Afghanistan to the International Criminal Court.

Darryl Li is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Lecturer in Law at the University of Chicago. Previously he held postdoctoral research appointments at Yale Law School and Columbia University. Darryl’s research touches on themes of war, empire, migration, and race, working on connections between the Middle East and other regions. He is the author of The Universal Enemy: Jihad, Empire, and the Challenge of Solidarity (Stanford University Press, 2020), an ethnographic study of “jihadist foreign fighters” who participated in the 1990s war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, based on long-term interviews and archival research conducted in a half-dozen countries. Darryl is also an attorney licensed in Illinois and New York. He has litigated or provided expert witness testimony in a number of habeas corpus, criminal, and asylum proceedings arising from the “War on Terror.” He has also worked for human rights organizations in the U.S., India, and Israel/Palestine.

You can watch the full conversation on our YouTube channel.

28 June

The immediate aftermath of 9/11 – Policies, legislations, infrastructures. Conversation with Arun Kundani and Arzu Merali moderated by Asim Qureshi     

Dr Asim Qureshi is the research director at CAGE, a UK-based advocacy organisation working to empower communities impacted by the War on Terror. He has a background in International Law and is author of the book “Rules of the Game” and “A Virtue of Disobedience”.

Arun Kundnani writes about racial capitalism and Islamophobia, surveillance and political violence, and Black radical movements. He is the author of The Muslims are Coming! Islamophobia, extremism, and the domestic War on Terror (Verso, 2014) and The End of Tolerance: racism in 21st century Britain (Pluto, 2007), which was selected as a New Statesman book of the year. He has written for the Nation, the Guardian, the Washington Post, Vice, and The Intercept.

Arzu Merali is a writer and researcher based in London. She is one of the co-founders of Islamic Human Rights Commission and co-authored its recent study Environment of Hate: The New Normal for Muslims in the UK, with Saied Reza Ameli.

You can watch the full conversation on our YouTube channel.

26 July

Twenty years of War on Terror: The human and political costs of an unending war. Mansur Al Dayfi in conversation with Francesca Recchia

Mansoor Adayfi is a writer, an artist and a former Guantánamo detainee, who was held for over 14 years without charges. Adayfi has written several pieces published in the New York Times and a series of graphic stories published in The Nib. Adayfi participated in the creation of the award-winning radio documentary about art from Guantánamo, The Art of Now, for BBC radio and the CBC podcast Love Me, which aired on NPR’s Snap Judgment. Adayfi’s real life experiences are chronicled in his forthcoming book Don’t Forget Us Here, to be published by Hachette on 17 August 2021.

Adayfi tweets at @MansoorAdayfi.’

You can watch the full conversation on our YouTube channel.

31 August

Citizenship, lived experiences and impact of the War on Terror – The CAGE case work. Conversation with Fahad Ansari and Asim Qureshi moderated by Asim Rafiqui

Register for the event here.

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