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Ideology and Public Diplomacy

Don’t Know Much About Islam…And That’s a Problem

With news of ISIS running 24/7, there has been a lot of loose talk about what Islam does and does not teach. However, much of this banter comes from people who have no idea what they’re talking about. Let’s sort this out.

Trump’s Muslim Insults – A Clear Disservice to American Security

Donald Trump’s latest policy bombshell – a proposal to bar all Muslims from entering the United States – is going to be interpreted by many Muslims as an insult, which is exactly what those responsible for America’s security do not want or need at this stage.

The Intense Personalization of Caring

Everywhere I turn, I get the sense that people are thinking, “If I cannot control it, I don’t worry about it.” When I read the latest Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey, I wondered if DHS employees are expressing the same “why-should-I-care” messages that I have been hearing across the country.

In Conflict Resolution, Give De-escalation a Chance

By Dr. Doron Pely
Several kinds of conflicts seem to be escalating in the United States in recent months, notably ongoing clashes between law enforcement and various communities. It seems that we, as a culture, are becoming quite adept at conflict escalation. Maybe it’s time to dedicate the same serious resources to mastering the other side of the conflict coin – de-escalation.

Confederate Flag is No Better Than Nazi and ISIS Banners

After last week’s horrific terrorist attack on the Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, there is widespread discussion about whether to take down the Confederate flag that flies outside the South Carolina Capitol Building. Today, terrorists have claimed the rebel banner as their own, and for that and other reasons, it should never fly again, particularly on public land.

The “T” Word – America’s Terrorist Dilemma After Charleston

Last week, there was yet another ideologically motivated attack in America, complete with a manifesto and racist, symbol-laden photos posted to the Internet. The shooting at the Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston is a textbook example of homegrown violent extremism (HVE).

Understanding ISIS Through the Lens of Early Islam

By Dr. Doron Pely
Those following the evolution and expansion of ISIS over the past few years find themselves often bewildered by the pace and rate of success demonstrated by a supposedly young, inexperienced band of ideologues. Yet, the similarity is uncanny between what is happening now with ISIS and what happened 1,400 years ago, as Mohammad founded Islam and set about consolidating and expanding the power and reach of the new religion.

Growing Threat from Homegrown Violent Extremism in US

The United States faces a range of terrorist threats. Foreign terrorist organizations pose a grave threat to U.S. security, but even as we are looking outside American borders, we must not forget the persistent threat from homegrown violent extremism. Security Debrief contributor Dr. Erroll Southers recently gave a TedX Talk on this ongoing threat from domestic terrorism.

AFDI’s Mohammed Cartoons are a Threat to U.S. Security

On Sunday, the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) hosted a “Muhammad Art Exhibit and Cartoon Contest,” and two gunmen opened fire on the event. Violence is never OK, and this kind of inflammatory activity actually perpetuates the threat from violent extremism. AFDI is not blameless in their rhetoric.

Countering the ISIS Narrative with Returning Foreign Fighters

By Dr. Doron Pely
Foreign fighters leaving their home countries to join ISIS are foremost on the minds of those in charge of homeland security. How to deal with these departing and returning jihadists has been a source of intensive debate. Now, with growing numbers of ISIS deserters, there is an opportunity to “inoculate” Muslim communities against ISIS propaganda and indoctrination.