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The War of Ideas: Jihadism Against Democracy

Recorded on February 27, 2007

Location: The Heritage Foundation's Lehrman Auditorium

From Afghanistan and Iraq to Europe and the United States we are engaged in one of the most heated wars of all time. In his newest book, Walid Phares shows that the most important battle is actually taking place in the hearts and minds of the world's population. This is the war of ideas, where ideology is the most powerful weapon of all. He explores the beliefs of two opposing camps, one standing for democracy and human rights, and the other rejecting the idea of an international community and calling for jihad against the West. He reveals the strategies of both sides, explaining that new technologies and the growing media savvy of the jihadists have raised the stakes in the conflict. And most urgently, he warns that the West is in danger of losing the war, for whereas debate and theorizing rarely translate into action here, ideas and deeds are inextricably linked for the forces of jihad.

Walid Phares, a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and a Visiting Fellow at the European Foundation for Democracy, serves as terrorism analyst and Middle East expert for Fox News. His field of expertise includes comparative politics, conflict analysis, and policy planning. His current research interests focus on the jihadist movements and strategies worldwide, Arab-Israeli conflict, human rights under Islamist regimes, ethnic minorities, women, and democratic processes within the Greater Middle East and the Muslim world, terrorism as well as the international relations of civilizations. He has lived in the United States since 1990, where he has taught at several universities including Florida International University, the University of Miami, and Florida Atlantic University.