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The Obama Administration has had a longstanding policy of trying to remove all reference to Islam and Islamic ideology from discussions about terrorism. Widespread changes have been instituted in counterterrorism training with the result that many U.S. experts on radical Islam have now been sidelined and are restricted in what they may or may not teach about Islamic ideology.
For some time the British government pursued a similar policy. However, seeing its shortcomings, they recently changed course. Recognizing the centrality of Islamist ideology to domestic radicalization, the United Kingdom re-launched the “Prevent” strategy. This strategy not only examines Islamist ideology but also directly confronts it. As the UK government’s June 2011 framework document states, “The Prevent program we inherited from the last Government was flawed… It failed to confront the extremist ideology at the heart of the threat we face.” So as the British government is moving deeper into the study and confrontation of Islamist ideology, the United States is moving in the very opposite direction.
Dr. Patrick Sookhdeo has worked closely with the United Kingdom’s police force as well as with U.S. law enforcement and military authorities. Join us as he discusses this critical component of U.S. counter-terrorism strategy and shares his insights into these two different strategies.
More About the Speakers
Dr. Patrick Sookhdeo
Chairman, The Westminster Institute, and Adjunct Professor, George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies
Becky Norton Dunlop
Ronald Reagan Distinguished Fellow