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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  August 10, 2015 10:00am-12:01pm EDT

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now, this is, to me, a chart -- actually, i stole this from jonathan bloom, many of you know, and we were on a panel together, and i loved it. this is hunger in america. this is the evolution of man in america and hunger, because it turns out hunger isn't a shortage of calories, it's a shortage of nutrients. when you know that, the solution to the majority of those one in six are working poor. the majority of those one in six are getting plenty of calories. the problem is they're getting empty calories. they can only afford to eat things that have been stripped of nutrition. so here, again, you've seen these obesity maps, i assume. if not, you can google it on cdc's obesity maps. not now, that'd be rude. [laughter] and it goes by year from 1985. so i didn't want to bore you with the stuff. i'm going to give you the punchline, this is 2010. 1985, by the way, 25 years earlier, not 100 years earlier,
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one generation earlier, not a state in the nation was yellow or light orange or dark orange. not any state, louisiana, mississippi, alabama, texas was more than 14% to bees. now -- obese. now we're looking at obesity rates higher than 30% in one generation. so what's happened is that this one in six that are food insecure for the first time in human history, hunger and obesity coexist in the same community and same person. be so if you're going to solve a problem, you better know what the problem is. and the problem, it turns out, for many of the food insecure, the majority, 61% at least, is affordable nutrition. that's what we're talking about, getting them fruits, vegetables, dairy, protein compared with, you know, empty calories, fast food, junk food, etc. now, i also stole this slide. i was on a panel for partnership for healthier america last year
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in, down in d.c., and the gentleman who runs the largest cooperative of food service groups in the united states, a $25-$30 billion business, he had this slide. he's headquartered in the bay area, and this is salinas, california. this, to me s exhibit a about what we're talking about. this is a field of lettuce. the interesting thing about this, you know the punchline already, this is after the harvest. what's up here is about to get plowed under. and why is it going to be plowed under? exactly as sasha was saying. what happens is they go out and measure when is it that the average head of lettuce is at the exact right size? when is the maximum number of let the discuss at the right size. why? because this lettuce, most romaine lettuce is grown for a bag. you've often gone to the store and got those three-packs of lettuce, earthbound or trader joe's, hopefully, and if you
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notice, the top is intact. it's the whole plant including the roots so it's not chopped off at the bottom, the leaves haven't been trimmed, and as a result, nature doesn't grow things perfectly. some are short, some are tall. the only thing wrong with its food is it's too small or too large. that's it. the only other reason, of course, you may know, and that's this one right here, cold dates. code dates. and emily and her team did magnificent work with the nrdc, put out the report called the dating game that has to deal with the challenges that we face by the confusion over display codes being mistaken as expiration dates. that sell by and best by are completely confused by the customer at home as thinking, oh, my god, i can't use it after that. so this is one of my favorite ones. any of you know what the code life of honey is?
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it's like forever, right? so this product says best by october 2, 2015, if i'm remembering right. [laughter] there are probably 99% of americans if this is on a cabinet, they'd go, ooh, it's october 3rd, i don't want to use expired honey. i can't put my kids at risk. to me, these are examples. another example, we were up at the chelsea farmers' market just introducing ourselves and coming around to see if you have excess food that's not being utilized, and they said did you bring your truck today? no, we're just saying hello. oh, that's too bad. we have 7,000 pounds of mangos. what's wrong with the mangos? they're almost ripe. that's what was wrong with them. can't ship them to a store at this rate, you know, because they're almost ready to eat. yeah, gotta waste those. so this is what we're talking about. so now the table is really designed around tackling a part of the market that i saw the
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food markets weren't tackling. and this came out of, again, harvard research and talking to the ceo of feeding america and discovering that the number one issue or one of the key issues is this one right here. and it's the issue of, well, to me it's dollars, not distance. it's the fact of affordable nutrition, as i mentioned, not food deserts in most of and much of america. you can put a trader joe's at wal-mart, target, whatever you want. every corner in america, and many of these one in six could not afford to buy produce, dairy or protein. so it's not so much accessibility as affordability. the other one is this one right here. so when i talked to vicki, he said 38% -- she said 38% of our clients that are eligible for our services won't use 'em. and why won't they use 'em? dignity.
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large percentage of the pop tolation, particularly that are the working, you know, that are at the economic lower strata, they don't want a handout. they don't want to feel that they're being held up. they want to have that feeling i can provide for my family. and so dignity issue is really a big one. so when i was trying to think of, well, if we're going to come up with a sustainable solution as a society of how are we going to feed 49 million americans on an ongoing basis, and we're going to get them affordable nutrition -- right away we've got a problem because the entire food system from the farm bill on down is designed around cheap calories and expensive nutrients. start with high-fructose corn syrup and everything else, but it's tough to find ways to have a sustainable system that's designed around affordable nutrition. so daily table's designed around the idea that, well, if we can
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help to recover some of this wasted food -- and, by the way, sasha and emily have heard me say before many times, but i actually think we would do ourselves a favor by never using the words food waste again. because food waste is food is a modifier of what type of waste is it. and waste is something sanitation departments are designed to handle, and they do a good job of it. nobody in america wants a second helping of food waste. no one. however, if you take those two words and flip them, nobody in america thinks it's a good idea to waste more food. so we're talking about wasted food, food that's excess, this' healthy. mangos that are almost right, lettuce that's the wrong size. food that's at its sell-by date but has another week or two weeks or more, honey, etc. so we're talking about healthy excess food. so daily table's designed around what can we do to collect this, bring it down to a retail store and offer it for pennies on the
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dollar. so the reason we're selling it is twofold. first and primary is because customers have told us, we want to shop. we want to be able to buy these. we don't want a handout. if you're selling something, i don't care how cheap it is. it can be bundles of kale for ten cents, quarts of soup for 99 credibilities, whatever it is -- cents, it's okay. it's a treasure hunt, we want to do that. so that's one. the second, of course, cornell did a bunch of research that shows if you can get someone to choose something, they'll use it. school cafeterias put an apple on a kid's tray, it goes right in the trash. get the kid somehow to pick the apple, high percentage of usage. so the idea is at retail can we nudge them towards, through demoing, through sampling, through information, can we nudge them to try things and eat a diet that's moving them towards a healthier outcome. the third, of course, is it provides them this issue right here. so there's a question of no
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time. economically challenged is not -- when you're poor, you're not just poor economically, you're short of time. all of america suffers with a shortage of time. i mean, virtually -- that's why more meals are eaten outside of the house now than are eating in. but as you move down the economic pyramid, it's tougher and tougher and tougher. and so in the focus groups i've done down in the inner cities and the many, probably 30 meetings in neighborhood churches, etc., this issue's come up over and over again. we don't have time. yeah, you can have all this wonderful produce and things, but we're getting off a bus at 6, 6:30 at night, we're tired, kids are hungry. i can't go buy a bunch of stuff, take home and cook. i'm expected to to walk through that front door with dinner ready. it's a big awakening for us, changed the whole model from, basically, a grocery store to competing with fast food and grab-and-go meals. most of daily table is actually
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a kitchen commissary. we cook it up and then have it ready to come in and grab and go for meals to take home and eat. can't eat there, and the reason is simple, we want you to eat with your family, we want your to eat at home. a lot of research on that for reduced gang participation and stuff, families that eat together. this one is 75%, that's the percentage of the executive directors' time -- maybe not sasha's -- but spent in fundraising in america. because if you're a nonprofit, fundraising's the air you breathe. and to me, i didn't want to build a model that had to have so much energy and time raising funds for a mission. no matter how pure that mission was. and, you know, i would say in all honesty there's not a food recovery or a hunger relief agency i know of that doesn't have a phenomenal mission. the challenge for each of them then is funding. so the idea of daily table is,
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well, first of all, if i with find some way in which we can get, we can get revenue by delivery of mugs instead of for delivery of mission, then to some degree i'm not competing with the dollars who are out there, and people don't have to look at me as competing and taking money out of the charitable pool that's already out there. just as importantly, it allows me to try and do scaleable work. so daily table did a partnership that opens april 14th, it's down in, actually, four corners right where they meet in that area of dorchester. it will have a teaching kitchen, it will have a retail floor, a lot of kitchen space where we prep and do stuff. and then this is where we have children after school. this is a picture, by the way, this isn't daily table. i wish it were. i hope it will be. but we have already a number of
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schools lined up and signed up for bringing kids after school for programs that are free to learn about nutrition, to learn about education and feed them at the same time. so last photo from me is i think that all of us are gathered here because the really big picture, to me, is that we owe it to the -- food's a precious resource. whether you look at it from the environmental standpoint, you know, and what happens with wasted food and greenhouse gas and the water we're wasting and stuff, or you look at it from the human side that we owe it to ourselves, we owe it to our kids, to our grand kids to make certain that we're utilizing this precious resource in such a way that everyone, everyone -- every kid in america ought to get an opportunity to be their best, to neurologically develop and to have access to affordable nutrition. [applause]
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[inaudible conversations] >> all right. well, i'm really excite ld. i'm always kited to be with such -- excited to be can with such inspirational people who are out there every day, pounding the pavement, getting this amazing, high quality food and making sure it gets to people many need. and the role that we play in this space is really trying to figure out what are the laws and policies that make this hard. i mean, this is important, you know, where we're getting food from farms and farmers' markets to people in need in many different ways, some of it for free, some of it for people who are able to purchase it in a setting that is providing them with dignity in all these great ways, but there's a lot of laws that actually get in the way of that. i'm going to skip this, because ona explained what we do a little bit, but improving options for food recovery is one of our key areas. and i think just to start here because a lot of times people
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think, well, where -- what is the role of law in this space? is actually, there's a lot of impact that our laws and our legal system have on attempts to both reduce food waste and particularly to improve options for food recovery and get food to people in need. and part of this is sort of across all of our food system, i think. it's that we've been doing business as usual for so long, and, you know, treating our food as this, you know, cheap thing as doug talked about. our food today in america costs less than it's ever cost in the any country in any time, and because it's so cheap, we throw it away, we don't treat it well, we don't think about the people that don't have it, we don't make great decisions. so this is just one area of that context where i think our legal system has developed and not, not forcing people to make better choices and, in fact, not allowing people like doug and like sasha and others who have creative ideas to use those creative ideas. as one example, current laws
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really restrict opportunities to innovate, and i'm going to talk about a few examples of these exact policies, but this is something we've been working on; how can we encourage dougs and more sashast to be out there being innovative and make that possible and say, you know, it's great when food makes its way to food banks, but there's still a lot of food that's getting lost around the edges and getting wasted and not being used in ways that are sustainable. our laws fail to incentivize the reduction of food waste. we don't have -- there are some incentives which i'll talk about, but we don't give people -- we don't say to people if you reduce your food waste, if you get it to people in need, if you go that extra mile or spend that extra, you know, little bit of time to make sure that that food gets to the right place or to get someone to your farm to glean it, we're not giving people enough rewards to do that, and so we're not making it possible or easy. our laws fail to penalize people making unhealthy choices. i know it's crazy to think we
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would actually hold people liable for wasting food. in a way it is, in a way it's not. we're throwing away this very valuable resource that we spent a lot of, you know, water and oil and fertilizer and pesticides to create, and then we just throw it away as if it's nothing. and laws also could help to scale up some of these successful experiments. so if we find things that really work, if sasha's method of getting food from these different places really works, we can create a policy system that makes that possible. so these are all the ways that law, i think, is an overlay of all these things. i wanted to talk about a few examples of things we're working on in this space and, hopefully, to give you a sense of how people interested in this topic, you could be advocating for things that would make this more possible. so i'd like to start with this picture, this sort of upside down pyramid which is created by the epa, the environmental protection agency. and it is meant to give us a sense of how best to use our food resources. i think it's really important.
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i mean, everyone knows that landfills are at the bottom, right? that's the worst place for food to go. but i think, actually, as we're thinking about how we can put in place policies or organizations that try to address and reduce food waste, that we stay at these top levels. so i think both people mentioned this, we don't want more food waste. even if it's really great food, the food that sasha's picking up from harvard or the too-short lettuce from the field, we don't want more of this. the first thing we should do is reduce at the very top and realize this is a valuable resource, and we want to be more thoughtful about how much we're ruing and making sure there's not -- producing and making sure there's not extra of that. and if we're not doing that, we want to be feeding hungry people because, you know, there's so many people in need. this really matters, it's really important. and beyond that feeding animals and so on. and i think a lot of the laws we have in place right now aren't thinking about this. they're not sort of remembering that we want to start at the top of this pyramid and work our way
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down. so i want to start with our work on date labels which doug mentioned and, actually, we got started in this work in the first place after i met doug and started to hear about the work he was trying to do at daily table. he said we want to, you know, we want to sometimes be able to use food that's close to or at its date, but the laws won't let us do this. and we said why would the laws not allow that? what's going on with those dates? what do they actually mean? and we embarked on several years of research that brought us to this report, and and i'm going to tell you a little bit about what we found. so basically, every group that had been looking at date labels as a driver of food waste said date labels are causing a lot of waste. someone should really try to understand exactly what they mean and how we can make them better. so this was a challenge that we took on, and it's a great project for our legal clinic because it's looking at laws. and so let me tell you about our findings. so the first one is actually probably the most surprising to
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people which is date labels are really undefined in law, and they're just a suggestion by manufacturers of when a food is at its peak quality. so for those of you who might have thrown food away, i won't make you raise your hands because i imagine most hands would go up, if you've ever thrown food away because you thought that you or someone you were feeding it to was going to get sick after that date, that's absolutely wrong. those dates have nothing to do with food safety. there's no safety tests that are done on the foods. if companies do any testing at all, it is just taste testing. so people eat them after one day, two days, three days, so on, then they'll find the date where most people start to say it didn't taste as good as it tasted yesterday. and then to be overly protective, they'll set the date even a few days before that just to make up for shipping, storage conditions, etc. that's if they do anything. some companies don't really do testing, they just pick a date and put them on there, and there's really no law behind that. no one's enforcing, telling
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companies how to set that date or not. so it's funny to be thinking about this, there's this frame being put onto all of our food that we're all just following like lemmings and throwing that foot away over and over again rather than actually thinking about it and saying that date passed, but it tastes totally fine. particularly for foods like honey which doug mentioned, many of these foods you could eat them forever. vinegar, bottled water, they have dates on them, but nothing happens to them. bottled water will always be water. there's no change going on within that water. as well there's no federal standard for expiration dates, and that sort of ties into that first point about dates not being defined in law. that's what we mean by this, there's no federal law that requires them to be created in a certain way. and, in fact, the food and drug administration has chosen not to regulate dates because they've said these don't have to do with safety. we care about safety, these do not have to do with safety, therefore, they're not within
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our mandate. so this is really important. and the next thing we found which was quite interesting is that the federal government doesn't regular late, so states have stepped in and regulated. and these show two months -- this was a big piece of our research just looking at what states require with regard to date labels. so many states, 41 states require that at least certain foods bear a date label. and, again, this is -- they have nothing to do with safety. it was, you know, as consumers got further and further away from their food supply, further from the farm, consumers said we really want to have dates on our food so we'll know when we should eat it. we wanted this indicator. and states took up that charge, and they put, you know, they put together all these regular rations. what's -- regulations. what's most interesting is that the state regulations are totally different from one another in terms of what they require. and the second map shows then there's 20 states, including massachusetts which actually restrict the sale or donation of those foods after the dates. so let's think about that for a
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moment. we've just said these dates have nothing to do with safety -- >> i think the poster or behind you just fell down. [laughter] >> someone's very angry about this. [laughter] i am also angry. [laughter] okay. so we've just said these dates have nothing to do with safety, but then you have states like massachusetts saying we're going to require dates on all foods that are perishable or semi-perishable, any food that would go bad within 90 days has to have a date, and then we're going to make it difficult for you to sell or donate the food after that date so the bulk of that food is winding up straight in the trash because there's nowhere else for it to go. and i think as well it's helpful to think about what some of these differences are. i'll give the example of milk because it tells you how crazy this system is. so some states require that milk has a date label, a certain number of dates after the date of pasteurization. in pennsylvania that's 17 days and in montana it's 12 days.
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12 days after pasteurization. there's not a different climate between the two of them, there's no reason for that to be, it just points to how absurd this is that these dates, you know, respect really linked to science -- aren't really linked to science or safety. as one example, i've said already massachusetts has some of the strictest requirements for dates. the state of new york which has new york city, which is a very big city, doesn't require dates on any food. and new york city used to require date labels on milk, and they got rid of that in 2010 because they said this doesn't make any sense. this date label isn't linked to safety, it doesn't make anyone safer. they eliminated it. so i think this is really important to keep in the mind, and i know sometimes i get into this place of, you know, obviously, the foods that have expiration dates on them often are packaged foods and processed foods, but they're also the foods that we've put the most energy into creating. we took them from the farm, we transimportanted them somewhere, we -- transported them, we processed them, we cooked them,
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we put them in a package, we spent refrigeration energy to put them in a store, and then we're just going to throw them away because of these dates that are unclear. and this is actually a study from industry that shows no matter what the label is on the date whether it's use by, sell by, best by, expires on, enjoy before -- which is one that doug and i have had laughs over before -- people throw those food away. 90% of consumers have said i throw food away at least sometimes on the date just because i'm afraid of safety. so this is really impacting the way that consumers are using that food. so this really gets to why, where law and policy comes into this. so we've said the federal government does not regulate. states do but not based on science. and even in those states that require dates, they don't require that the label be something specific. they don't require that there be any method behind the setting of those dates. they're just saying we want all food to bear these dates on them. and what you wind up with is
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very confused consumers. not just primary consumers, but food banks and food recovery organizations who don't know what they can do with that food and either are restricted because they don't want to give it away or don't give it away because they want to keep people safe. what we're pushing for is a consumer-facing label that would make sense, that would be standard the eyesed, that would help people understand this so we can avoid the amount of food that we're wasting. and in preliminary focus groups we conducted at johns hopkins, we found the term "freshest before" made the most sense to people. think about it. use by, it sounds like what will happen if i don't use it by that date? so, you know, some of these other dates people get really confused, and freshest before made sense to people that this was about quality. if it were after that date and it still tasted find and smelled fine, that you could eat it, and you wouldn't get sick. it was just your choice. do you want to make a commitment not to waste food, or do you want to use it in some way after that date?
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that's up to you. and you don't have to have fear that you or your family are going to get sick. we also think for this small, like, 1% of the food supply where there actually might be some risk, and these are foods like deli meats that could previously contaminated and because we don't cook them, they actually could include the amount of listeria contamination if they were reevesly contaminated. -- previously contaminated. the system we have isn't really serving anybody. so those could have a separate label, and there's a very small list of those. fda knows what those foods are, let's tell people what those are, and let's allow the sale and donation of food after this date. once we've put a label on it that make sense, once we can educate people, we don't have to worry as much, have all these people getting concerned and throwing that food away. so that's one big one. i want to talk about one other. there's two other areas where the law is really important, but i want to talk about one because it's sort of something, i think, that ties into our discussion
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and is really timely right now. so going back to this hierarchy, i think expiration dates really impact both source reduction because it means we're throwing away less food out of the food supply before it gets to people or in people's homes, but it also impacts feeding hungry people. another way that the law impacts our opportunities to feed hungry people is in terms of the protection for food donors and the incentives for food donors. and this is some new area that we've been working on. so we talk a lot about this, how many people are in need. if we reconsistented just 30% of the food we lose in the u.s. along the food chain, that could feed all of the insecure americans all the food that they needed. as i think doug talked about, they're eating something, they're just not getting enough. we could feed them their entire food supply. yet only 10% of food is
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recovered in the u.s. and this is for a lot of reasons. it's because of liability concerns which i circled there. you know, companies, they want to do their business, they want to do business as usual, and they don't want to give food to someone with a fear that maybe they'll get sued. so this is huge. we have really good protections in place, but we're not getting that message out to people, we're not encouraging them enough, and we're not making those protections -- they actually could be broader. that's one thing we're working on. the other big issue is cost, and this came up a little bit just that let's say there's a farmer that is on that last field of, you know, beans as sasha talked about, and it doesn't make sense for them cost wise to send their laborers out to pick those beans and get them to market. so we need to give them an incentive to help cover those costs. and this is an area that we've worked on around tax incentives. at the federal level, there actually is a tax incentive to, that would pay a food donor for donating that food. the problem is this incentive right now is limited to only the
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biggest corporations. for many years it was expanded, and it was open to anyone. so farmers who are generally not big corporations, you know, small mom and pop stores and restaurants were able to get this incentive. that has expired, and there's actually an attempt right now to get that incentive back out there. and i think it comes up a lot. i think about it a lot in the context of farmers because farmers often, especially small farmers, are would recollecting at such low profit margins that any extra money they could get to support that extra field of beans that got to people in need will help them to continue growing beans and growing things to get those to people. it's fresh food, it's healthy food, often it is getting wasted in the field which we heard are not good reasons. they're not linked to expiration date or having been on a shelf for a while, it's really the economics of getting it to people in need. so that's one issue. only c corporations right now are eligible for this tax
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deduction. the other big issue, and this goes back to the point doug made about making some of these food recovery efforts sustainable, a lot of people have good ideas right now about how they can get a revenue stream, and there are people who want to pay and are willing to pay some amount of money for these foods, or there's some way to process them into something that people would buy. but right now the tax incentive goes away if that food -- if any money changes hands. and i think this is sort of an old-fashioned way of looking at food waste and food recovery thinking that everything has to go through a big food bank to get to someone in need where, in fact, there's a lot of opportunity for innovation, for new models that we could be encouraging and allowing if we said we want to get this food to people in need, and we're going to really incentivize new people coming to the table to do that, new businesses, farmers trying out new models. so this is something we've been working on. several states have state-level tax incentives, we've worked on that, but i think really at the federal level there's a lot we can do.
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so the other area i'm not going to talk much about is around liability protection. i think the biggest issue here is really that we have some great ones in federal and state law and yet every single corporation that is not donating food has said it's because of their liability concerns. so we have an awareness problem, we have an education problem that not only can they donate this food, but that we as consumers don't want to shop at companies that are throwing away all of their food instead of reducing from the source or getting it to people in need. i think there's a lot that we can do there. and so here this is new work for us, we're working to better understand the barriers to increase awareness of laws and protections like those liability protections and then to align the policies so that we can try to figure out how to get to a better future where we're not wasting33-40% of the food that we produce in the u.s. so with that, i'm excited to have a conversation and to hear your questions. [applause] >> thank you, everyone.
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so we're going to open it up to questions. we'll use the mics that they used in the keynote. as people are getting up, i'm going to ask the first question, so you can walk slowly to the microphone. so in a very timely way, molly anderson, our keynote speaker, said something to the effect of -- and i'm paraphrasing -- poor people don't want your food waste. and it was very timely because this is actually my first question anyway, but she really gave us a punchy sound bite for it which is there is this pushback about, you know, if recovering food that wealthy people, quote, waste to distribute to low income commitments, is that insulting to communities? i'd love to hear feedback from our presenters. >> sure. so i'll start. so food for free, it was really fascinating when i joined. i joined just over two and a half years ago, we've been
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around 34 years. and i came to learn that a large part of our staff over time and even currently are recipients of the emergency food system. we have this tremendous volunteer base that rides the trucks and helps our drivers that basically gets another form of dignity, they want to work all day to sort of take that food home. but food for free wasn't -- it's not wealthy people giving anybody their food waste. it is people in the community saying, hey, look at this insane thing that's going on. why is that stuff going in the trash when our community could use it? and they are stepping up and collecting that food and eating that food and sharing that food with others in the community that are helping to make sure those who need it get it. so it was, i think for food for free anyway, and these models have been successful even where there's not the case, there's nothing about outsiders giving
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poor people food waste. you know? it's people in a community making a sensible decision and saying, hey, look at that, i'm going to get it, i'm going to use it if i need it, and i'm going to share it with my neighbors. and the stores similarly. my husband wasn't rich, still isn't. farmers aren't rich. the folks at whole foods that are giving us that food are not rich. i mean, this is a community of people that are working together to solve a problem, and at least in my experience at food for free and what i understand for the last 30-plus years, it's been a real community-building event. and there's been, you know, this issue just hasn't come up, which is great to see. >> so i have a slightly different take. not a, not one contrary, but shall we say just adding a different, perhaps, element which is in my work going down into dorchester and working also
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and talking about early work in the bronx, new york, that, first of all, i absolutely resonate with the statement. and i think it's fair to say if you ask poor people do you want food waste, the answer's, no. it is in the framing. if you ask people, you know, hey, you know what? we're going to go get some stuff out of the trash, would you like it? the answer is, no, of course not. if you're going to say, listen, you know, there's some perfectly healthy, good food here that's, you know, going to go to waste that was mangos almost ripe, you know, it's like would you like a mango that's almost ripe? yeah, i'd like a mango that's almost ripe, etc. it's about the framing of are we second class citizens? is are we getting something less than what other people get? because we feel that, you know, we don't want to get and be treated like second class citizens. it's an issue of dignity, it's an issue of feeling we have a right for something more than
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that. which is why in daily table i happen to be, you know, think -- of course i do can, right? if you're a hammer, all the world's a nail. so i grew up in retail, spent 35 years, basically, in retail. so retail's the solution for everything, right? one of the things about retail that i do like is that when i'm down there and they say, okay, you talk about affordable nutrition. we understand that, you know, we're having a hard time struggling. you get into a real conversation with groups often twice this size down in the community, and they'll start to ask you some really pointed, really tough questions because they're struggling. and it's like, yeah, you talk about this stuff. well, what's affordable to you might not be affordable to me. who defines affordable? here's the nice thing about retail. if i'm selling you something, you define what's affordable. if i'm giving you a box, i'm just handing you stuff, you didn't choose it. you're going to come in, you're going to choose what you want. you're going to choose it if
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it's healthy, tasty, first and foremost, is it convenient, was it easy to use? was it priced right? did it seem safe? is the store first rate, does it look nice? that's the other thing, we don't want a store that looks like an outlet, second rate. we want a first rate-looking store. so we had to spend some money making sure daily table -- as little money as possible -- looks first rate and doesn't look like it's, you know, a salvage operation. that's not what they want. very, very clear. so i think that there is some truth in the fact that, yes, if you just simply frame it up, it's like, you know, you've heard the story how many people are in favor of obamacare? as soon as you call it that, percentage that are in favor -- how many people like the affordable care act? oh, yeah, i'm in favor of that. so i think there's a lot about, you know, do oar people want -- poor people want food waste? no. do they want to have access to affordable nutrition?
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absolutely. do they want, do they think food is a resource that shouldn't be wasted? absolutely. so i think that a lot of it is how we frame it, how we present it. and then it's truly, as sasha said, it's about the community recognizing that it's a story of us, not a story of them. clearly, to the degree that i perceive as someone from the outside coming in to solve a problem, it's not embraced. to the degree that we're hiring and we're creating a community from within the community that's solving the problem together, then it's embraced. >> i wanted to kind of give two answers to that. one is almost zooming out one level from our discussion and just think, you know, talking about this food that's getting wasted. so we talked about, you know, again, 33-40% of the food. so who do you think is impacted by our agricultural system? who's most impacted by the negative externalities, by pesticide runoff, by climate
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change, by all of these sort of negative environmental impacts? people who are poor, people who are in less well-resourced communityings. so to the extent that we're not eating 40% of our food, we're putting all of these onto that community to just throw the food away. i think it starts all the way back there. it's before food even then finds a home at the end. you know, the more we can make that, tightennen that system up and make sure after we spend all these resources to grow that food that someone will get to eat it, that's so important. and i think on the other side of it just looking at some of the things we talked about, yes, we said food in america is very cheap, and there still is cost to all the food that we throw away at the retail level. if stores know a certain amount of food is always going to getawaysed because as saab -- getawaysed because the grocery store still feels like they have to have piles of apples and what
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not. they have to build that into their model and charge more to account for that. so there's all these other ways that if we are able to make sure that food doesn't get wasted, no matter who ends up with that food, we're benefiting everyone by making sure that the system is not having as many externalities, that food costs the right amount that it's supposed to cost. and i think what's been so interesting in having worked with doug is, actually, that so many people actually want to shop at the daily table. it's meant to serve this community, which it's going to serve, but there are so many people who are saying i want to buy that food because i also want a better and more sustainable food system. so i think it's sort of, it's not food that not everyone wants, it's great and it's important to get it to the people who are in need of it. but the fact the food that we're talking about that many people are entered in buying it and eating it -- interested in buying it and eating it, the more we can put in place to show this is good, healthy food everyone wants, i think, is really important. >> doug, this is a question for
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you. daily table sounds like a fantastic idea, and i'm just curious of, actually, a couple things. one is what percent of your costs do you anticipate covering by retail revenue in the first year or the first few years? or how will your revenue model work? and also since it seems like it's a mission-driven organization, are you planning to hold the organization accountable for specific, like, health outcomes or what not of the population that you're serving? just beyond like the numbers of pounds served or people that come through. >> yeah. two great questions, thank you. so, first, those of you who have -- at harvard i learned all about the theory of change and the logic chain and all that stuff. so first and foremost, very few companies and certainly not at the size of sasha's or daily table can afford to do the thorough social impact sort of stuff.
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that's extremely difficult. even outcomes are tough. when you're talking about one factor on an ocean of factors. so at daily table you have to eat some meals there, we say -- if we're able to get customers to regularly just eat dinner, maybe eat lunch somewhere else and have something else for breakfast, so we're nudging them and helping them, but it's extremely difficult. here's the real fundamental thing. in the focus groups that we did, we were told in no uncertain terms two things. one, question was who can shop here? and, you know, so the question was, well, who do you think should shop here? how would you like it? well, if it's only a store for the poor, i'm not coming. because i don't want to be seen walking in there by my neighbors that, oh, you must be poor. everybody should be able to shop here. if everybody can't shop here, you're not going to get your target answer. we're not going to come. second thing was, interestingly enough, that our model was
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really designed around, as i said, trying to be a trojan horse for health outcomes as retail. to meet them where they needed to be met and that they did not want, and they said i don't want this to feel like a programmed store. because i originally was thinking, oh, on saturdays we'll have someone up here to measure your bmi and give cholesterol and maybe even pre-die diabetic kind of like the health clinic store. we're your partner -- and it was like, no way, if you do that, i'm not coming, you know? i don't want to be reminded of my problems when i walk in here. don't talk to me about illness and morbidity issues and obesity and that food's killing me, what i'm eating and that stuff. you do that, i'm not coming. negative, negative, negative. instead, talk to me about how my kids are going to do their best, feel their best. so i've kind of come up with
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these two lame marketing things, we create food to die for, not die from. [laughter] and the other is we're trying to create food that moves you forward, doesn't hold you back back. and it's ways in which they said don't talk to us about nutritious. that's the n-word. honestly, someone said don't use the n-word. it was, like, did someone use the n-word? [laughter] it's like, yeah, not that nutritious thing, you know? because that just turns us off. so it's really interesting. i just say that because it was such a learning for me how sensitive, what the sensitivities were in this particular population. i'm not saying that's everybody, but in this community in dorchester where we're going in, that community had a real sensitivity. ..
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it's kind of backdoor, not what we intended but the idea is this is how we are able to provide service to the community. just give us their zip code you live are working and a a phone number so don't need a membership card. but now we will know how me time tto come, which abide and be abe to come back and follow that up with ways in which they can take that data and come back and say, these outcomes. economically ideally we will
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breakeven. it is a nonprofit. car contingent at her mission is not to make money. our intention or our mission is to deliver affordable nutrition even if we lose money and had to go and fundraise. i hope we don't have to be much fund-raising other than the initial brick and mortar build a store. i hope it gets up and running, able to recover costs that are close to what they are. we want to pay people well, why didn't you have benefits. we are painted at higher in the marketplace. you can get a job at kfc across from us or daily table. we want to pay better and have benefits. you have a nation you can be proud of. it's idealistic, wonderful and would prefer right now. because we haven't opened yet. when we are open, when the rubber hits the road, it will be interesting to see if that wor
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works. >> my question is for emily but i just want to mention very briefly i moved to london a couple years ago and i remember the first time i went to the market i was looking for the eggs and i was looking in the refrigerator section and i couldn't find them. i said where are the eggs? they said that over there with the baking supplies on the show. it just blew my mind. from the eggs are refrigerated and that's required otherwise to go bed. over there they don't refrigerate that takes. my question is when you have these findings about the meetings behind the misunderstandings has been any consumer education campaign? is anyone working to spread the news? is there anything we can do to help? >> that's a great question. thank you. what was so interesting, i'll report when we came out, coming from out of glasgow, very focused on the law and policy.
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we wrote this great report that went all these things and said here's the policy change. it got a lot of press. there was a lot of news coverage. it was really great. all of the news coverage is really about the consumer. it was moms at home. and -- here's a you can waste less food. unclad account appreciate it. i'm glad the message got out. the problem with the one thing -- wendie malick.com it doesn't change things over time. it's not every year we can have more news remind people about that. one of the biggest challenges with our current system, i won't even call it a system because it is not well thought out is it's impossible to do consumer awareness and education because the dates also different things animate i may not mea mean difft things that it may look different in different states. there's no education that we can put out a message on a federal level. that's one of the benefits it would change the policy to one standard label is then
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reconsider everyone hears this label, here's what it means. if you see this other label on the small of the mentioned small class of what might be safety this is what this means, this is what you should do. you can see when usda, i think tuesday is probably the best guidance on date labels and basically they say it could expire on this date, if it's a reversion food indicated refrigerator it still should be good. so that is meant to people but it's been hard to do consumer awareness. we are working on legislation. we were opposed to -- approached by some congressmen saying we welcome you, we want to change this, we are working on fat. and to get, try to refrain this message, please let it is a win-win-win for everyone is to change this, we are working on a small film right now. we're excited to be doing this like opinionated documentary talk about this and trying to
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get that message out. that hopefully will come out this year and will be alongside his campaign to actually get this policy change at the federal level. >> informed, not opinionated. >> informed and opinionated al also. >> but i'm glad you asked because i think when we do this we're going to need as many people come and gone in this room and your friends and family, ever because but this will need a push to say this doesn't make sense. this is just the beginning. we are so far behind other countries i look at food ways. we are doing very little compared community london. the uk is done so much. affect education and campaigns and even tracking data and our saying we have a national mission to avoid this. france as a national mission to put food ways. in the u.s. we don't have a national mission to do much with regard to food but certainly not to avoid food waste and we think we should. >> i have to speak to the eggs
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think of a reason look into that. in this country it's about the eggs are prepped. he we do this watching of eggs which makes them more susceptible which is why they tend to get refrigerated. if you get farm fresh page you can leave them on the counter for because they don't have a processing. i know that's not what this is about. >> for the first 12 years i was at trader joe's they were not refrigerated. what happened was summer and american salmonella usually someone who had issue of eggs with salmonella and suddenly i don't refrigerated your eggs. >> a great panel and a want to thank all of you for the work that you were doing because it's really important. emily, when you were talking about legal barriers sharing food and nutrition, i was thinking about breast-feeding, which isn't a that i do some
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writing on. i call it first food justice, right? one of the problems is when women have trouble breast-feeding. it's not easy to access access address book from other women because there's a huge regulation system in place, or incredibly expensive so it's also the latest as well as an acceptable for almost everybody. i was wondering has anyone approached you about this? >> that's a great question. we actually have, this is not been something present in our work although as a component of our clinic we have a fellow in the mississippi delta. i mentioned earlier in my welcome that was where i got started doing food related work. our father has been working a lot on breast-feeding policy because it's so important, particularly in low income communities is a free food that can get tickets is so important and nutritious. and in the same communities they are going to get the lease resources and knowledge and
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advice about rest speaking on this topic it's not something i know that much about but i think you're right that it's sort of, if we're talking about food all across the food chain at all ages, but it's something that is worth looking at and what the regulations are and how to make sure we are doing it justly. >> thank you all for taking the time to talk to us today. i'm a student at the business school. i'm curious if you can talk about some of the tension between having nonprofit models doing this and competing for fund-raising dollars versus for profit models, if there were other models that you see being able to actually capture more is on the nonprofit or on the for-profit said that you both considered a think there's potential to be doing in the market? >> i'll start and sasha can finish up. so daily table's nonprofit not
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because of the nonprofits are better or more pure or that they are just and for-profit companies are unjust it was because of the section 17 enhanced deduction that if we were not a nonprofit, then those who are going to give us food couldn't take advantage of that tax deduction. there was also some feeling of it in the community for coming to for nonprofit would be easier to be embraced with the idea we're not trying to make money off of them, selling concert at the time i was going to become i was content to push hard on this expired food. turned out over the vast majority is appalled most of it will be within could just we're cooking up and preparing, i'll have 14 days on or so because we're cooking with fresh on the spot. i do think, know the people that
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started -- i think they be corpse and idea, the social contract that a number of states have different ones, i think there's 31 or 35 states now that allow for a corporation, a for-profit corporation of a social benefit charter that says that investors can get a return on their money but the return is then either tied to a certain set percentage or based upon the social benefit, almost like social contract law. i think a start in england but there are some here now. there's different ways we can hybrid to disintegrate an era, for instance, there's been an era. and their carers which is you walk in and pay what you want. it and tears that on the edge of top parts of tempered not an art -- frankly they would work there. he puts them on the edge where
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20% of the shoppers come in and pay more but 60% they would ask and 20% pay nothing. so that model works well to be breakeven. so it's kind of a hybrid not because it into tears as a nonprofit with an united states which is a for-profit. i think there's all kinds of models out there be integrated, hybrid with av corp., for-profit, nonprofit. to me what it is really about is our youth efficient, are you effective, are utilizing, are you meeting customer's needs? all the market-based sort of stuff at the end of the day funders run, they get a d. assess investors be. if you have a for-profit got to keep going back to the wealthy to shut getting traction with the customer getting the service they want. investors also get peeved and go we are done giving money. if it looks like you're not making a significant contribution to the challenges,
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funding tends to be very competitive market. >> i think each of the models can be great but it all depends upon how you approach it, what your purpose is and what the design and intent is. >> i think that if you are serving the people that food for free is asserting for example, and potentially the people that doug our serving, if you're serving up the population that doesn't necessarily have money to make a profit for you, you are taking some risk if you're setting yourself up to have that tension, i need to make a profit to make a business and is that people pay me, folks with that money, it's a challenge. not to say it can't be done. i agree with doug whether or not your for profit or be corp. isn't necessary the portrait that is the corporation of were is the funding coming from. one of the things i think longer-term could potentially happen with the help of loss or
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incentives, if you look at their retail stores, supermarkets we go to, they get a significant tax deduction for giving us the food that they give us. but also stopping significant composting cause. my opinion running and nonprofit that is big on the food is that there's some money right there. all of the benefit financially is going back to the retail store. and not towards covering any of the costs to getting that food back into the community. and i think, i don't blame the retail stores. that's how it is set up and are driven by profit and shareholders want to do think there's plenty of room there to get more creative about how we as a community are as a nation
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address foodways is a national challenge, not as all, these poor people need the. the issues that foodways affects everybody and its environmental everything else and it's the responsibility of the nation to deal with it. i think that's what it could be rimmed to at least deal with the funding. >> i wanted to jump into really to jump into really quick on that point. it's not necessarily about structuring good recovery middleman, and sasha and i do, but on the retailer or private actors themselves, massachusetts has passing interest a lot of into effect this fall which i think is sort of in the background of some of her work but we failed to mention, that they now man and institution from sending more than one ton of food waste of food a week to landfills. this is an interesting regulation. a few other states have ones like this but the idea
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basically, this is the responsibility of everyone and we put some burden back on those private retailers or institutions to see can't just keep sending food to landfills. wants it to landfills it's one of the biggest contribute nothing which is a really bad greenhouse gas for all of the reasons we talked about. it shouldn't be in a landfill anyway. it's been interesting law because they're basically saying we will put, require all these private businesses to change the habits so this doesn't happen, reduce the amount of waste, getting it to people in need. one of the challenges is that a lot of it will end up in compos which is great, better than a landfill but i think all of us are of the mind a more i think of the people a better. this law doesn't have any incentive to nok with the coast of florida is not the landfill but maybe we started with this as a baseline. now there's a real incident not just with these hauling fees to the landfill but also you can find if you this waste this would come in and say that the
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set of all the systems, make a better process public needed it to people that need it. >> i think we have time for one more. >> i am serving as an americorps volunteer they should get my question is mostly, first, thank you. i'm excited all the work you guys are doing. it's mostly for doug and sasha. you guys are doing amazing work, making more efficient the system but you have waste of your own. and what do you directly do with it, like in your business? >> we are already doing something with it i'm sure. timely question. we used to, are building, there's house right behind city hall safely house and that's what we are housed is owned by the opportunity community. we been there's far as i know for 30 just.
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we have the big compost pile in the back, don't have a backyard. they were rat issues among other things so that went away. we tried all these different things. any of my drivers would go to whole foods down the street and put the compost bin. what you're talking about is whole foods pose a bunch of stuff on the shelves, they compost some of the, they did all those. we've been, som some of it isn't good enough to pass on the we passed it onto the pantries. there's another step and probably another step. it is waste all along the way. we were trying to prevent whole foods composter and it was too much. shouldn't matter, right? it was there to begin with but understood the city of cambridge is starting to compost, started the program with are actually covering composting for us because we charitably with the energy which a lot of our food goes to end it is amazing. talking about reducing wasted coming out at the food pantry
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and coming out of food for free is far more compost that never leaves my house. we are at least composting it. i think that's -- actually one of the things we do in a summit when you go to the farmer's market, we do -- so that person can take it back. it is at the end of the day organic waste and it isn't, it's not good at that point. it's good but it's not edible food. >> we thought all about this because what other things want to make sure is were not spending money to collect food than just ourselves tossing it and have to waste a good one of the keys is we have to change customers perceptions of what is to should look like an hour before the close. because in england the first time i went, i want them to have hours before the close, this was in the mid '80s and the place looked like he was going out of
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business. it was gutted. perishable sections, i got there, i thought they were doing a remote i went up to some offensive what's going on? what do you mean? i said, it's like cuban missile crisis? did in his something? no, no. come back tomorrow morning. but right now -- isn't that great? sold out. yes, that's great but you missed the sales. it's that sort of your missing sales, that's the retail basic. customer facing to come as emily said, if you're in their and not stocking the product at 8:30 p.m. and i come back and you don't have let us, i'm going to your competitor. one thing we're going to do is when a commitment that will produce only what we think we can sell and give it up and we'll have dynamic pricing because, because we are designed around affordable nutrition.
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we've done studies, fast food isn't cheap. big breaking news everybody. it turns out what they did at kfc and burger king? forget about the cost per nutrient because there is not a lot of nutrients but calorically what you pay. it's not that cheap. so our whole goal is in our promise, will be less than that. but more important if it's three iin the afternoon and we were nt so, everyone comes in and gets it for free because we need to get rid of this. we want, we also believe that some of comes home and tries this product they will think it's delicious. it's like demo. by this, get one free. we've got too many of them. i think we are committed to trying to make certain that we have as little as possible, whatever we did it will get product, come back and it's, you
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can't cook it, you can do anything with it. nothing we can do. but we discovered -- we have right now stores, we probably have covered about 70,000 pounds of which we can use because they've given us everything, we didn't give it to other agencies and everything from food banks -- so our intent is to try to reach out. if we do something we can use, who else can use it? we know right away that they get more than we can use, instead of saying -- baby to go drug utah resources. let's call somebody else that they can use this product. spirit. [inaudible] >> the more that we as organizations that are in this field, working together in ways that make sense, not being
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pollyannaish, ways that make sense, i think we strengthen each other and i think it's the system itself works better. >> thank you very much. [applause] so right before you guys leave, yes, thank you to our wonderful presenters. >> thank you, ona. [applause] a quick plug for boston area attendees. in two weeks we are screening just ea the tip into document at good ways. it is touring the world right now the produce of the coming monday april 13, 5 to 7 p.m. here in the loss, we are really excited to have the new. thank you. [applause] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] >> why did the wright brothers flight first of what was the process they used? because the they were the first people at the idea of building a flying machine and they were not
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the first people to try. why did they succeed where everyone else failed? the answer is they understood the problem they were trying to solve lots better than anybody else. at the end of the day being created is not about having ideas in the shower our and aha moment or light in both the desperation the it's about solving problems one step at a time. so understanding the problem with the piece of paper which is a problem of balance was a key for the wright brothers started on the course that ultimately to them falling. >> kevin ashton tonight on the commuters on c-span2. >> recent suicide bombings and cameron have been attributed to the group boko haram. today the annenberg center takes a look at what's been done to stop the islamic militants who are active in several african countries and have ties to i
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suspect we take you to that event and about one hour. until then a discussion on the religious basis of islamic terrorism and what it should factor into the a strategy to defeat extremist. this was hosted by the american enterprise institute. >> i feel like there should be a really good play called waiting for mohammed. thank everybody. that was truly a marvelous panel about everybody enjoyed it as much as i did. we are really going to turn now to look at more of, for lack of a better word, a practical conversation about what to do. i think we understand in depth some of the challenges that face us and the fact that this is not a simple issue where we can suddenly embrace the reformist and expect in 10 years reform
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what happened. part of the challenge i think we face and one of the reasons why we wanted to this conversation, i'm glad to be joined by such a distinguished panel, is our national conversation really has been dominated on the one side by political correctness. successive presidents who like to stand up and say this is not islam. as if somehow they are in a position to dictate what islam is. whether they are right or wrong. the islamic state is neither. i think and others have suggested the islamic state is both. it may not be the islam that should be but it is, in fact, certainly a form of islam on the other side bigotry, all muslims are terrorist. this is to become the tenor of the public conversation rather than an intelligent debate about what it is we can do. today i'm joined by three marvelous people, the cofounder of the american islamic congre
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congress, ambassador abbas kadhim who is a former pakistani ambassador to the united states, a scholar at the hudson institute and never really been in of the publication, i'm looking it up. and editor of the current trends in islam is ideology and mohamed younis, an expert on islam and issues we'll be talking about for the gallup organization. and particularly a specialist on questions of youth unemployment in the middle east. so let's start super, super generally. aisn't this at heart of this problem of islamist extremism something that the united states should try, contrived to contend with as a matter of policy is either policy enters? [inaudible] he said we're not in a war with
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islam. that first came through, we all agree, but i don't understand why he did not make the distinction between islam as religion and islam, ideologically driven by an islamist and extremist. i think that is a big difference between the two, and they think we should be clear when we address this issue, especially right now and we see radical extremism, not only in the middle east and the muslim world but also your in the united states. i think we're in a very critical period of time and we need to move forward in addressing these issues, addressing them in a very wide way but also firm and strong. >> i want everybody else to
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answer this question as well but as you enter it consider this a, okay, fine, let's embrace the idea we should have more on islamist extremists of the isis variety, not a war with islam the religion of muslims in general. what does that word look like? of its component parts? >> i'm happy to sort of take over. is always a pleasure. let me just begin by saying i was here for the last panel and i was quite sort of -- spoke of islam foundation mullah. the moment actually continued well into the next three, four century. prophet mohammed was not the kind of the caliphate. his successor. the other debates. 1.2 billion people simply cannot have, they can say that one fate and they can often debunked one community but it's not one faith. it's multiple dimensions.
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look at the christian in united states from quakerism to evangelical christian the. they all are christians and there are mormons and some christian than -- they consider themselves christian. so islam this is the same. it has many, many dimensions. basically what we're getting with is the problem of those who are engaged in war. so you cannot fight a war without recognizing that these people are your enemies. so this attempt to try and escalate muslim feelings, someone who is organizing committee, muslims trying to be apologetic and said don't criticize our religion. nobody is criticizing a religion as long as that religion is connected to your desire for purity and piety. it's about people being beheaded which is unacceptable to modern civilization that people are complaining and commenting about. so all these arguments in
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american universities is not going to help, with all due respect. they can understand islamic history is complex. in the 10th century there was a -- people wanted more reason in religion. the reason why they became weak although the survival into the 15th century, small groups, they became weaker because they decide to use the force of the state on one side and the other. what we have seen this when i was a child, much after many i'm sure, she will attest to it, the rejection, the islam we grew up in was slightly different. i went to a form of music, which is prevalent in south asia as a form of devotion. now i this would be having for listening to it. the fact remains the reason why islamism has become, during the
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cold war a critical error was made i the greatest superpower at that time, the united states, which decided under the influence of its allies in the middle east that islamic fundamentalism could actually be a means of fighting communism. it worked. it worked but most of the muslim world to become communistic now that radicalism is often grown into a menace, global menace, yesterday david cameron made a very good speech. i committed to in this room. i'm not in the business of committing politicians even though i worked for many of them, but david cameron's speech just about what britain plans to do about islamist extremism is a speech of doctor from the united states president. here's a short summary. he basically said that to recognize that if islamist extremist self identify themselves as muslims, then we can get out of this is that same
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this has nothing to do with islam. because it does. it may be at there yet, maybe a distortion, an extreme view but it does have to do with islam and we muslims need to recognize it above all. second at the radical ideology. all of the ideologies when they are fought need an ideological counter narrative or strategy. the united states did very well during the cold war in fighting communism. you had a counter narrative. you cratered institutions globally that denigrated the time is ideology and argued against the. ambiguous the journalist whose name you can't remember, my idea and my friend and eric brown, got together and started it is the only german and english-language that studies tax and i've explained in plain english. ideally this should be a bit similar to the general that was published during the cold war called problems of communism
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which is published in hundreds of languages, not hundred but dozens of language. i'm starting to get into the trump moment of exaggerating too much. thousands is more accurate. and so people actually understand what is being discussed by the ideologues. three or four years ago we read some articles in magazines online and we realized that a new movement was rising because, independent islamic state. so what would be the components? one, a military component you have to put the extremist who are armed and excellent territory. that has to be a military component that has to be an intelligence component to understand what's going on within this movement. there has to be a, there has to be an ideological component and a law-enforcement component for finding and identifying and acting against those are
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actually breaking various laws. at the ideologic about is what is totally missing. you cannot let people who kind of, just give an example, danielle, and do not give, i'll go by for a few minutes of others can speak. there's a tendency in the state department to make sure that when they're having -- there is x number of women in key jobs in x number of men, because that's the stereotype of muslims. if you are having a meeting of american jewish leaders you would invite whoever is important and to choose communities. you will not just invite rabbis. and muslims, there are women and a respected and very much. there are women in my family who cover their head, where the a job. and and/or women who do not wear it. but they are muslim. islam is always diverse as we recognize and the real role of the western power to be to encourage diversity because was happening in the muslim world is
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that voices of diversity are being crushed. for example, that the muslim brotherhood leader in many ways the originator of a kind of modern terrorist ideology but he's not the originator consider other movements and islamic history and 14th centuries that have been extremely extremist. there's also another egyptian scholar, i doubt if anyone except to go through the suffered about energy what about making the argument why this whole notion of an islamic state is flawed because medina was not a state in the modern sense and, therefore, the purpose of islam is fighting and not power. that book, i mean if i were, take for example, running the ideological campaign based on similar, something similar, i would make sure there were millions of copies of his book in arabic and persian and uzbek
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and indonesia. people read the argument for why the notion of the islamic state in the modern era is a flawed notion. i'll stop here, let others speak. speak. >> i'll take a shot at your first question. really get to post it in terms of what we do about it but that the because of a who are we. their survival for us as a nation, as america to play in this fight. instead i want islam i think what we're seeing to great degree and four to this or within islam t put some of it is ideological, so military. some of those military attempts are very much legitimate, objective. lot of them unfortunately in the past couple of years in the middle east have been completely diverted from other political purposes. as the united states we need to be cognizant of the. we need to make sure our position is really one in which
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creates an environment for diversity of opinions that actually see the light of day. kind o of going back to their statistics. philosophically we need to increase, not we america but we people who want to see this problem more effectively addressed need increase the jurisprudential letters to the masses. on a summit he believes, part of this is based on upon which i will share, i don't believe we need more scholars. very highly qualified until his pages of names on a piece of paper, some who've been for active, doing every thing they can quite frankly. the challenge is that having somebody not believe joined the muslim brotherhood was sent in to have been because of iran doesn't say joined the muslim brotherhood will send you to heaven. -- koran. nothing does.
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[inaudible] >> those people have been convinced are merely because of a state of deliver see that this has become required, that what itself has become sharia, therefore -- the first i will talk about come under the trigger a lot of concern from people because this point is often used very disingenuously to avoid the issue of how question. but sharia, will debate this i'm sure many people in the room, from idea is the utopian ideal set in the koran as applied to rally toward. as a goal to a utopian existence. the template human beings to make mistakes were mostly lawyers in trying to interpret out from the utopian ideal how do we do it on planet earth? a very important point was made in the last privileges as i did isis is not a traditionalist movement. it is actually a complete
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walking away from the traditions of jurisprudence within islam to the schools about their work eloquent explained by the last panel, the very premise of what they did was illegal debate. as a look at the windows that any real lawyer knows that the answer no matter what is it depends dot dot dot. this is just a litmus test of people don't want to become experts on islam. i wouldn't, someone but i am familiar enough to kind of touch on this old pic if you're facing a movement whose ideology is essentially if you don't agree with me you lack more credibility as a muslim, you are -- you are not deal with somebody who operates in the traditional approach teachers burdens and islam. because that tradition is foundational to based on the idea that, we can disagree but fundamentally our disagreement doesn't necessitate for one of us to be less of a muslim, or
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our debate our disagreement doesn't necessitate for one of us cannot go to heaven and the other one to go to heaven. the confusion has created an environment where in which people who are claimed to be scholars and maybe some of them are, actually assume the title upholding and i'll talk about this in perspective know the in the sunni tradition of islam the only thing that is holy is god. the prophet himself, these people were not considered to be holy. the koran is not only. god is holy and the word of god is simply to be a very ugly ever actually described it to be the actual spoken word of god. when you begin to see it as sharia and at the confusion you begin to get a space with a religious leader is now assuming a holy role that is completely alien to traditional islam. and face about what this person says is that religiously mandated. if this person stands on a
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square in cairo ss who wants to die a martyr, pressure and. if i'm a good muslim i need to raise my hand. if this person says to be a good muslim you have to give ask what enzi it is automatically it is it that or not. the reason why i focus on this idea of islamic -- x, y or z -- when we poll on all these issues, very thoroughly between 2005-2009, what was initially a study of 35 muslim majority countries in became 40, when we asked people about 9/11, you think it is completely justified or unjustified? most people were not a surprise, all overwhelming majorities said it was completely unjustified. close tonight about the i think that would've been a surprise but all of us have reached a little bit of understan understf what we're dealing with and understand the average moslem on the street is not going to commit to life the committee 9/11. the few that did come when asked
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them what it was justified in an open-ended format, and this is across 40 countries, not one response included a religious justification at all of them included political justifications, basically grievances people have with the west. when we dug deeper to understand what are the sources of those grievances, we found three pockets of attitudes or three general topics that people continuously cited. this is language, culture, level of education bill, you know, the whole nine yards. it was on the agenda in the u.s. and the west generally do not want to see these people are muslims and muslim majority countries, they don't support his government the way we want to they don't support democracy in a country. over in madrid and the most every single country. political hegemony, acute conflicts, i'm upset about palestine, i'm upset about iraq were, et cetera, et cetera get religious and cultural
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disrespect. not seen a series, not taken is equal i people in the with. when you ask people in the muslim majority budget would you admire most about the west, the most common answer will surprise you know bonus technology. number two is liberty. interesting. we asked americans what they think about islam or the positive impression thing about islam is a sickly nothing. so dissenting muslims are not crazy. they actually realize that a major part of the disconnect in the communication across waters is essentially that we as muslims based on the polling have a lot of admiration for the west, south a lot of issues with the west. the west sort sees as a problem. another thing, i think this is perception but in my this is perception drives reality and it drives behavior. >> so my only point is muslim leaders need to lead instead of
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following perception to his perceptions have been created by our leaders. including -- sundeck few books have been translated the arabic language which is the length of 300 million people in the last century. they're not translated into spanish every year. pakistan which is a nation of 200 million published only 2583 books the year before last, compared to 10,00 10,000 per fay which has a population of 5 million your. ..
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>> i'm talking about the jurisprudential literacy of muslim -- >> i think you just made my point. >> if you're a taliban fighter and you're believing your taliban commander -- >> but the policy question that danielle asked, if i may complete my part, the policy question does not have anything to do with the jurisprudential awareness. it should, but it does not. they can be about the manifestations, they cannot be about a deep-rooted psychosis. >> absolutely. i'm not proposing that the department of defense embark on a jurisprudential literacy program. >> separation between politics and religion is a big, big factor. respecting the rule of law, also respecting human rights in these
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countries. and i strongly believe that the majority of our problems in the muslim world comes from the lack of human rights, the lack of respecting the rule of law and justice. we're not free to speak, we're not free to demonstrate, we're not free to practice our religion. you know, you come to america, you come to the west to be able to practice your religion freely without being persecuted by these so-called islamic governments or muslim governments. these governments are the baseç of radicalism and extremism that we are facing and seeing today on the rise, and they are supporting it. they're supporting it financially, they are supporting it also with text and books and education throughout their satellite tvs, throughout their curriculums that they teach in schools and so on and so forth. >> i -- >> well, i actually think we
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have more agreement on the panel than you would otherwise be led to believe from them jumping on each other -- >> oh, we don't jump on eachñr other, debate in the -- >> you took thefá words out of y mouth. >> that's right. in the tradition of tolerance. i actually think you're all saying the same thing, which is fundamentally there is a leadership problem that we perceive that is coming from this part of the world, that the people who others look to whether they're self-designated or they're actually acknowledged by the united states government and the state department are, in fact, pushing people. they are, first of all, leading these perceptions. and i think that's very important. i think that the point you made is exactly right which is that these perceptions don't come from nowhere. the challenge, i think, is how you operationalize these understandings, and this is what i really wanted to press on what you said, husain. it's become popular to
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ideologicallize the battle. the president said you don't win ideological fights with bullets. well, i think, some part of you you do with bullets, in fact. but that being said, the challenge is that this really isn't like communism in so many ways. first of all, this was an all-out battle against an ideology which we sought to defeat. it's going to be very uncomfortable to suggest we want to defeat islamism, at least in the nuanced way that it requires. but in addition, it is much more fraught for a government of the nature of the american or, frankly, our european allies to take on an ideological question that relates to religion, okay? because all of a sudden we're not going to start publishing magazines like "encounter." i hate to say it, but, you know, there isn't a government in the world -- right, left, democrat, republican -- that has the guts to do that kind of stuff. >> too bad. >> well -- >> i would argue that that's actually extremely counterproductive. i mean, the last thing -- look,
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and i say this, i really don't want to sound flippant, but if we're going to substitute operation iraqi freedom with operation iraqi salvation, it's not a good plan. the u.s. government has no business, this is seeking policy. we have no business involving ourselves in things we're not experts on. we're not experts on reforming religion. we didn't do that in this country as a government, we shouldn't be doing that in other places. this idea of we can't reform islam as the u.s. government, but we certainly are experts on addressing the ecosystem in which these kinds of movements can find followers, people to fund, etc., etc. what are those? they're different in every country. a lot of the reality that you describe is really more of a reality of let's be honest, the persian gulf. in north africa governments are not promoting an ideology that supports jihaddism, if you will. they're actually trying to do
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the opposite, but in a very counterproductive way as they've also done the same thing. they have state-funded, state-mandated religion. so whether that is a heavy-minded royal family some day, whether it is a shia regime somewhere, whether it's a military dictatorship somewhere in the middle east, that's a bad idea. it's not sustainable. so as the u.s. government, we shouldn't be a part of that process. that's something those countries need to figure out -- >> i think we as the united states can help. there are millions of dollars that have been spent every single year on programs to nourish the civil society. >> uh-huh. >> which we call for reform. and i remember many years ago in the '90s, '96, '97 to the arab spring a lot of effort has been put into democracy education in the middle east. and i think the arab spring was the result of -- >> okay. but wait a minute. wait, wait, wait, stop.
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but critics will say -- you know how i feel about it. >> [inaudible] >> right. critics will say, how did that turn out? >> that's right. >> and doesn't the movement toward democracy advantage the very islamists who then come to power, and we should talk about egypt -- >> absolutely. >> well, not just that, it also created an environment, i'm sorry, where these people were basically suspect because they are now -- >> [inaudible] [laughter] >> i do too, absolutely. >> we need that. [laughter] >> i don't disagree with you in terms of how it turns out, but i'm talking about the mechanism that's been used, and i think we could use the same exact thing to make that reform or to help the population in these countries to make that kind of reform. and i think dictatorship, oppression, lack of the human rights, it's a major, has a major effect be on what we are seeing these days. and, of course, giving the liberty to all of these religious political leaders to
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interpret or to display islam the way they wish for their own political agenda, that's a big harm not only for the societies and for the muslim community or muslim countries, but also for the worldwide nations. they are suffering from this -- >> yeah. i definitely, we agree more than we disagree. what i'm trying to say is as policy making, let's focus on what we're experts on. from my perspective, this is what we're experts on here in the u.s.: jobs, trade, inclusion of young people outside of the classroom, engaging young people in contexts where they can develop their skills in ways that go beyond what next job are you going to find, believing in developing people as a human resource. those are all things that definitely touch on what you talked about. they have nothing to do with reforming islam. and in our public opinion research are things that, the number one thing that muslim majority countries say this is
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what would improve our condition, it's what would improve our relationship with the west, jobs and commerce. >> well, i have one point to tell you here. i don't disagree on that, but also you can see that a lot of young people who are joining isis these days coming from high class family, well educated and so on. how is that related -- >> that's a great -- i'm sorry, and then i'll -- >> go ahead. >> that is such an important question -- [laughter] you put your finger right on it, because that's a source of confusion. poverty creates terrorism. well, not everywhere. muhammad atta wasn't impoverished. but a lot of people that are joining -- i was watching a video of people being tortured to death, a lot of those people are probably not super wealthy, and they're probably not from elite ivy league schools. the issue is there's an underlying narrative -- i'm coming to you right now -- there's an underlying narrative of those grievances that people tap into. some of those actors are the kid
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down the street that's going to do something crazy in fallujah. that all is part of the problem. our challenge is instead of creating a poster child of this is the problem, we need to be more nuanced in our approach, take a more localized look and see what is causing this group of people to join, what is causing that group of people to join, and i think the solutions are different in different places. >> with all due respect to both my arab colleagues, the non-arab muslim here -- [laughter] now we actually are the greatest part of the muslim world. and -- >> [inaudible] >> yes, exactly. and so we need to be heard as well. you have your set of problems and your issues, we actually have a working democracy in indonesia, we have a working democracy in malaysia, the biggest number of muslims living in a democracy are in india. they're not producing terrorists. why is it? here's the reason. in india a muslim dissident, a muslim scholar who has a new outlook on theology and
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jurisprudence would say i don't believe in buy harry for the following reasons, i have this argument or that. he cannot be eliminated easily, he cannot be shut down. he appears on some television channel or another, his books are published, his voice is heard, he can give a sermon in a mosque. in most of the middle east, it cannot happen for one reason or another, either the state will not let him do it, or the mob will not let him do it. that is the real difference. when i said there is a rule and i cited david cameron, look, in this argument that you know what america really does good is give jobs and provide university education, etc., actually is something if you go back a little in time, the muslim brotherhood took tremendous advantage of. it came here in the '60s and '70s, created muslim students' association in universities, the international islamic federation of students printed thousands of books which were available in
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every mosque on campuses and actually radicalized people more by taking advantage of this openness. and that's why you have all these people here. a lot of, a lot of them. my argument is slightly different. i think that what the western governments can do -- and not only governments, but foundations, individuals, think tanks can do -- is actually to give a voice to the voices in the muslim world that are being shut up. people who can't be heard there. if -- [inaudible] had been able to escape sudan and been in the united states, he could have written, he could have given speeches on television, etc., recorded in modern times, youtube messagings. he wouldn't have been executed. so that's one rule, policy rule, one concrete idea is to protect and provide an opportunity to those voices of muslim pluralism that are being shut up within the muslim world. second, the real radicalization
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comes from three factors. you call them grievances, i call them partly grievances and partly conspiracy theories. and the governments sometimes encourage them. egypt is one example where the government doesn't mind. during mubarak's time, i remember they had that famous television show about the protocols of the learned elders of zion. that actually is -- it makes people feel, oh, god, everything -- for example, if the muslims feel what is good about the west is its technology and its liberty, we should be trying to get ahead in technology and liberty instead of just trying to drag the west down which is what the islamist idea is. all the islamic texts i've read have not said -- and i read, by the way, as a child, i was part of islamic movement in pakistan. all the young books -- all the books that they have that the young people read, they're making an argument that the west actually corrupts morals. that the west is controlled by the jews. it's not about, you know what?
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they are superior in technology. now we need to advance in technology and take over. it's not about, you know, they have more liberty, let's enhance our liberty to get there. so this is like an unconnected argument. i mean, i accept the argument that's how people perceive, but their perception is internally flawed. and so the three things that should be a priority for western governments is to fight the conspiracy theories, to oppose the anti-semitism that is deeply rooted and to also now fight sectarianism. and tell and encourage muslims, say, you know what? you want our kind of lifestyle, it's not that we'll give you jobs if you come here. you can build that prosperity there by having the liberty and by having the diverse the i and by respect -- the diversity, and by respecting, for example, if are a sunni and believe shia are going to hell, let them go to hell on their own, don't make
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the effort to help them get there quicker. [laughter] if you are a shia -- what is the shia/sunni fight? let's be honest. it's a disagreement that goes back into history. what relevance does it have in the 21st century? let the shias be shias, and let the sunnis be sunnis. i have a feeling younis believes finish. we can disagree on that and still sit on the same panel, live in the tame society and acquire -- the same society and acquire the technology and build the institutions of liberty that we need. that argument is not sufficiently being made in the muslim world partly because the entire structure of state, of government, of politics does not allow people to make that argument. and there, i think, the west does have a role to play. >> there's, obviously, a lot to discuss here, and i know that there's actually a lot of disagreement about issue of the
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legitimacy of the kind of grievances that you hear about which tend to -- but let, in the interest of advancing the conversation i'm really thinking about policy options. so if we agree that a lot of the problem centers around assistance of government, rule of law, leadership, then -- and we agree that, in fact, the united states and wen governments actually do -- western governments actually do have a role to play here. it's not, you know, as this administration appears to believe, as sarah palin appears to believe something, a fight that should go on in the region where everybody kills each other and let god sort it out. but, in fact, we have a constructive role to play, and we have an interest. and i think we agree about that. then the question becomes, okay, how? there are two examples here that i think are of interest to everybody. one is, one is the government set. and we do a disservice by not talking about shia extreme
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arism. extremism. ayatollah ca haney didn't come out of mullahs in afghanistan. >> agreed. >> syria, yemen, bahrain and elsewhere. and then we have the wahhabi extremism at the heart of which has come always from riyadh. so we have these two. but then on the other side we have many who are suggesting we need to embrace sisi, not much better. and i'm not sure how that works, and i'd really like to hear your impressions about whether these are the right approaches. >> i will definitely address that, but i just want to make clear i'm proposing all -- i'm not proposing all muslims -- i was actually proposing that we support that kind of environment being created. so i think we're actually saying the same thing. on the issue of whether or not
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we should support a particular leader in sisi or not sisi, i think a lot of the sisi focus now is really about a coincidence. it just happens to be that you have a new president in egypt who has been consolidating power, and he is focused on creating a counter-narrative to -- all hues of islamists. and they're not all the same and definitely, you know, there's a huge distinction between civilians who are trying to pursue a civilian approach and people who are, essentially, terrorists. that's egypt's beef. for the u.s. to go in and sort of give sisi added support is going to do two things. one thing, whether you like what he's doing or not, it completely delegitimizes what he's trying to accomplish. i very highly doubt sisi wants u.s. policymakers to say look at sisi, he's awesome. this is how we're going to fix islam. clearly, you can tell from my previous comments,
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state-sanctioned religion, i don't think that's a sustainable option. actually, the history of islamic jurisprudence and islamic state, etc., have proven that's not a sustainable option because when power has tried to co-op that process, the process loses credibility, and the power makes really bad decisions. that's been consistently the case. so what we should do is focus more on the ecosystem. what creates, what are the things that push people in egypt to reach a conclusion that i want to join the muslim brotherhood to, you know, go to heaven? well, i'll tell you. in their neighborhood for most of their lives if they are, you know, anywhere 50 or younger, the only people that were showing up in their neighborhoods to address their underlying issues whether they're social, economic, political, etc., is that movement. so unless you start addressing those issues and focus on the fact that the average muslim needs to understand that they don't need to join the muslim brotherhood to go to heaven because the quran doesn't teach they need to -- that's not
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islam. that's a complete fabrication. >> you've got two mixed things here. one is we're supposed to be telling them they don't need to address the muslim brotherhood, and the other is -- >> no, no. the jurisprudential literacy question needs to be addressed by muslims in their societies. if we can notice people are speaking out against that, that's great. for us to advocate completely can cuts their knees -- we shouldn't touch that with a 10-foot pole. >> there is no freedom to even discuss that issue among muslims -- >> there will -- my argument is that there will be less freedom as soon as the state department starts ear tagging money to support -- behadi in egypt is a great example. we saw what happened because of it. imagine if it was funded by an ngo here in washington. actually, a lot of the allegations against him, shadi,
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correct me if i'm wrong, was exactly the case. >> which is why it's so important to transform the whole environment in which conspiracy theories thrive. >> okay, how? >> i'll come to that in a second, but let me set something right on the historic explanation. the truth in islamic history the rulers' way of approaching religion has almost always prevailed. it was the inquisition that ended up finishing off -- [inaudible] it was the fact that the ottomans made vast tracts of islam -- of the muslim world -- >> exactly the point i'm making. >> no, you're not. >> yes -- >> the way we're understanding it is state-sanctioned religion ended up prevailing everywhere. for example, saudi arabia and its embrace of wahhabiism -- >> so my argument is -- >> hold on, hold on. first, let's get the history right i you say that in islamic
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history, my argument is that state sanction is what has actually created the domination of a -- >> you're misunderstanding my argument. my argument is not that. my argument is state-sanctioned religion produces unadmirable outcomes. >> okay. >> we should not support state-sanctioned -- >> that's a different thing than saying in islamic history state-sanctioned religion hasn't prevailed. >> no, no, i said it has consistently produced problematic out outcomes. period. >> my argument would be that the real problem in the muslim world comes from a narrative that is rooted in a total misunderstanding of the rise and fall or rise and decline of islam. it's a historic argument. if you read fundamentalist literature, a lot of it is actually a very sort of vast explanation of why we are where we are, oversimplifications such as the, for example, those you
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mind in milestones. and -- you find in milestones. and this oversimplification that a young man feels that islam is under threat or islam is in danger and, therefore, i need to do something to protect it. so that, the space for making the counterargument cannot come in the present environment at least in the middle east. in indonesia you can have multiple voices. in india you can have multiple voices. in bangladesh occasionally a person will be stabbed for his views, but the state will be trying to protect the people who have diverse views. in the middle east, it's not the case. in the middle east it's state-sanctioned which is, can be a sisi version or the saudi version. and then there is all these movements. countermovements to these can flourish only if they have the legitimacy question is a good question. you raise a very good point that in the mr. present environment
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anybody who has support from the outside will not have legitimacy. i have 100% agreement with you on that one. but that said, i think that in terms of allowing the pluralist ideas to cross-pollinate; say, for example, views from indonesia appearing in the middle east and, actually, middle easterners for once taking a deep breath and saying, you know what? we are not the only muslims in the world. just because we were born into the arabic language does not make us superior. and, therefore, there are other voices on islam. there are more modern islamic seminaries that exist in the non-arabic world, and we need to start hearing their voices. and there if facilitation can be provided, and i'm not talking about the state department or any u.s. government branch doing that because the u.s. government generally tends to do things inefficiently and incompetently. we're talking about policy options for the u.s. which means a broad range of options, a broad range of actors.
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i think that delegitimizing and countering the narrative, the narrative of anti-semitism, the narrative of conspiracy theories and the narrative of sectarianism and the distorted explanation of muslim history -- we were great until the colonialists came. not true. the fact is we did not become weak because we were colonized, we were colonized because we were weak. the muslim world's decline has to be understood by muslims, and there, i think, is a role for american academia, there is a role for american nongovernmental organizations, there's a role for foundations, there's a role for think tanks. and if the government can facilitate any of that, there's a role for government. that's what i think. >> i want to turn to the audience, but i want you to have a chance to expand on what you were alluding to. again, you were talking about the fact that while there may be plenty of opposing voices to the
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challenges we face, we're really not capable, okay? so we need to invest in rule of law, we need to invest in education, in human rights -- how do we do that without, without falling into the psalm trap that we've fallen -- the same trap that we've fallen into so many times? >> we need to diversify the voices. and by diversifying, we're not listening to only one group, this group that they claim they're muslims and all muslims. and this is what we are missing. we see the best example here in the u.s., and this is also reflecting overseas in the muslim world. >> what do you mean? be specific. >> something, organization or people who claim that they are speaking on behalf of the muslim community and the whole united states. they don't represent majority of the muslim voices in america. and our government here listen to them asbe they are legitimate, they are representative of the muslims all over the united states, and
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this is not true. also there are many different options that we need to take into consideration, and we need to tackle the -- we need to tackle the issue of extremism and radicalism from many different directions. if it's through grassroots, then it would be one option. the second one if we need to use military option to overcome the radical extremist groups such as isis and al-qaeda and many orr people, then -- many other people, then this is another option that we need to eliminate that because we cannot be always the victims and paint people's lives as token to their ideology. and we are -- this is showing us as a weak country and not being able to take a strong stand against all of these radical groups. and, unfortunately, i think muslim are now realizing that these groups are their first enemies.
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and the u.s. is watching, and the conspiracy theory again -- and i agree with husain here -- it's looming around that because they say, well, america is now supporting all of this radical growth by just watching and not taking any strong action to overcome this problem. >> let's open it up to questions, i'm sorry. there's so much to talk about. please, i'll call on you. you know what the drill is, wait for the mic, identify yourself, put your brilliant statement in the form of a question. young man back here right next to the mic. >> thank you. gerard robinson with aei. been involved with school choice for 20 years, particularly school vouchers. in the 1990s those who were against school vouchers said we shouldn't publicly fund kkk schools. after 9/11 they said we shouldn't use publicly-funded schools' money to fund religiously radical islamic schools. my question is with the public growth to include vouchers, tax
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credits and education savings accounts, what recommendations do you have for us to broaden the discussion about how muslim schools can be a part of the solution of educating american students and expanding opportunities for the least of those who can afford it? >> which one? >> i'll -- i mean, i'm not an expert on education or voucher schools, one thing we haven't mentioned here, definitely alluded to it, is the american muslim community. they are one of, you know, the most effective, i think, voices at least from within the united states that could address some of these issues. the good news is both in the polling that we've done at gallup and many other organizations have done, the good news is that the muslim-american community sociocommissionically speaking and -- economically speaking, they're actually a very successful group of people. the challenge with this successful group of people is another issue that they alluded to. they don't necessarily have the
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structures within their that have been effectively able to sort of bridge from their local experience to the national conversation. .. we're talking about something happening in the u.s., also, on the other hand, which we are seeing and noticing in college campuses these days, and it's been many of

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