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Conflict with the West: Religious Drivers and Strategies of Jihad

Recorded on August 17, 2006

Location: The Heritage Foundation's Lehrman Auditorium

Dr. Shmuel Bar, Director of Studies at the Institute for Policy and Strategy, joins us from Israel to discuss the close relationship between religion and politics in Islam - and the predilection of radical Islamic organizations towards religious motivation - which makes it difficult to draw a picture of the political and military strategies which drive them as distinct from religious convictions. The use of religious authority through fatwas (Islamic rulings) of Islamic scholars to justify the very act of jihad and to regulate its scope and constraints is a pivotal force for motivation of the foot soldiers of the jihad, but also a serious consideration for the leaders. The use of apocalyptic rhetoric for motivation of followers is not easily distinguished from the real expectations and practical plans of radical leaders. Join us as Dr. Bar explains the strategic concepts of Islamic terrorists and the resulting ramifications for U.S. policy toward the Middle East and for coalition forces currently on the ground.