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Islam and Terror: After London, Lessons for the United States

Recorded on September 20, 2005

Location: The Heritage Foundation's Lehrman Auditorium

The attacks in London this past July have been described as a "wake up" call to many. These attacks were different from the 9/11 attacks in that the terrorists were "home-grown." Most of the people who participated in them were raised in British society and educated in British schools. And yet, they radicalized to the extent that they could plan to kill large numbers of their own neighbors and countrymen. These attacks have prompted a number of Western Muslim scholars to issue "fatwas" against terrorism and to re-double their efforts to understand their own communities and the young people who grow up in those communities. The London attacks have also spurred Western governments to seriously re-examine their relationships with these communities. For example, Prime Minister Blair has established seven committees of British Muslim leaders to develop specific proposals for the government on issues such as preventing radicalization, reforming the educational system, and regulating foreign imams and mosques.

Questions to be addressed by our panel will include: In the wake of the London attacks, what are the lessons for the American Muslim and Arab populations? What are the lessons for the U.S. Government? What are the ways that the American experience is similar to or different from the British and European experiences?