tv Politics and Public Policy Today CSPAN August 29, 2016 1:00pm-3:01pm EDT
isil is using this mahujaron grouping as a construct. and they're not the first ones to do it. it was also done by none other than the abbasids in their revolution against the omians. they spoke of their iraqi supporters as the mahujaron and the iranians as the unsar. all of this to show the diversity of their movements, so what we have here is a distinctive -- we'll call it rhetorical construct used in abbas abbasid times and dug up again and now used by isis. so i'll conclude by just briefly talking about the implications of the caliphate for the future of the jihadists, of jihadist ideology, the revival of the caliphate is reflective of a growing trend to this idea of
re-creating an islamic empire. not just a regional bounded state as isis will call it, but isil will call it but an empire. and i believe that we're going to continue to see ever more inclusive strategies in which isil's campaign to attract western youth serve as precedent. and what happens if we take the historical abbasid caliphate as a model for the potential trajectory for the movement of jihadist movements. we're going to see in the future enterprises whose face, whose culture is more globally oriented. that is just as with the abbasid caliphate, they came over, more and more nonarabs began to dominate the culture of islamic civilization. and i think so too with the future of the jihadist movements were going to see a more
internationalization, not just in terms of members, but in terms of the face, the culture of these respective movements. already people in syria who have been occupied by isil will talk about -- will talk about the isil combatants and some of them have complained that, well, these are not syrians, these are people coming from elsewhere. these are foreigners in our midst. so the future of -- the future face of jihadism i argue was truly global and we have to start thinking in terms, not just of associating jihadism with a region or people, but thinking of it in more global terms. thank you very much. [ applause ] thank you, professor, for
this invitation. i'm trying to speak about the territories and generational challenge. i think it is a very good title. because also islamist terrorism is faced with the gap of generation. there is a generation gap within the -- afghanistan, against european fighters. baghdadi is real successor because the priority is to fight shia, and not to prepare spectacular attacks against the west like september. baghdadi want to create a mass movement, and a network as well as al qaeda. it was the -- we see the
strategy of the organization, al qaeda and daesh are close. the islamic state, the west too, we have seen in france and in brussel, but fighter from the islamic state of targeting also the west of course. it is less symbolic than the evidence of september of the attack in nairobi in 1998. it is because this new strategy, less logical preparation, than al qaeda. and we can see that al qaeda through al nusra and other jihadist groups became also a mass movement which the priority
is the local sunni population aspiration and this is what is doing clearly also al baghdadi. because al baghdadi, al zarqawi, in iraq, want to fight the shia, want to fight the qod if you want to be accepted by the arab sunni population of iraq. and we have seen the turning point in the iraqi war in 2006 when al qaeda destroyed the mosque, the mosque of sama ara iraq. that's a movement against the american in iraq, the militia, and then al zarqawi movement and
al qaeda in iraq was enemy. and it was a great program inside al qaeda because zarqawi didn't want any fight between the shia and the sunni. just want a fight against the west. so, no, we see that al qaeda and daesh are closed in their respected strategy. both want to create mass movement and they are recruiting, particularly in two special population, refugees in syria, in lebanon, in jordan, and second generation of immigrant in the west. i'm going to speak about both -- both population. i did an investigation in syria, in jordan, turkey, among refugee population and saw clearly that
there is a process of radicalization among the syrian refugees in the middle east. for instance, one year ago i was in tripoli in north lebanon and made fighter, rebel, in foreign camps, very, very desperate situation. very desperate situation because in 2014, the syrian rebel was supported by islamic ngo from saudi arabia from qatar. because in tripoli, it was the best to the front, but in 2014, when the army succeed to get back, and to expose the rebel, all the islamic ngo, all came
back to saudi. no point to help the syrian rebel in north lebanon because the front was closed. the battle was finished. hundreds of thousands of people feel abandoned by the ngo. food from the united nations, but it is only 20 per month and it is clearly not enough. and if they want to move from the camps from their flat, they have to have the -- because, of course, we are refugee card from the u.n., but for the lebanese police, you need to have a reason card. $260 per year, doesn't mean it is impossible for the refugees to buy the cart f you don't have the resident card, the third checkpoint, the first lebanese
policeman who catch you, 40 day in jail. you can imagine the situation of the people will feel betrayed by the west because when for instance, the american president or the frame of france, if bashar al assad is using -- can make a weapon against the peo e people, we don't provide enough weapon to the syrian refugees, they feel betray eed by the wes. it is not easy to feel betrayed because of the conspiracy theory with -- but they feel also very betrayed by saudi arabia, by qatar, would then provide them enough in the weapon and we
don't support them as we -- the case of the rebel, so when i ask, the people ask me, so we are betrayed by everybody, by the west, by the country what we can do. but which organization we have to follow. i don't know. and we have to follow daesh. because daesh, islamic state, it is the only organization who can give us dignity and dignity was the key word for the refugees. of course, the u.n., the west ngo are focusing about food, providing medicine to the refugees. we forget the dignity. and it is very, very important. as i said, it is difficult to work because don't have a reason, they arrested by the
authorities and put in jail. for the women, it is more easy. you have just a woman and the boys, teenager, they are able to work. many women are forced to work s as -- it is a problem, and their girls are arrested, you have also syrian girl disappear, they want to escape for the policy. some of them are obliged to accept a weeding, but the weeding with the men who could be the father. and arab society, you know women is the most sacred thing. and i feel that for the refugees, they are in a very dead pressed situation, not
because of lack of food, because lack of medicine, the syrian people are very proud. they can eat one time a day. but if you take your -- their dignity, their honor, it will be terrible and daesh, islamist group are walking very well on this issue. i'm very pessimistic about the situation as the refugees in jordan and turkey because in the process of tradition, very high. the target, of course, is -- it is the children, the teenager few of them are ever able to go to school because the school is not -- because we don't have
money, school situation, to buy books, to buy -- just to pay for the transportation from the -- to the school. so you have since four year, lost generation of children, of teenager, will we never succeed to come back to school, and to improve their future. and it is -- for the future, all the children and teenager. and when we think at the west european situation, who is the best target of the radical movement in france for instance. it is also the teenager, the young -- the second generation
of immigrant, second generation will suffer school failure, and they are also looking for dignity in radical islam movement. it is a huge problem in france. this education among the second generation, second immigrant generation because we have -- a generation of young adult who are not adapted to the post industrial economy that we have known in europe. came to europe to work in factories, but no normal jobs in factories. and the new generation is not able to find work, a job, in a
new technology, for instance, and they refuse to work in services with the low income. so they are living with minimum revenue. working in the black market. they are dealing drugs like in the many sectarian neighborhood in syria and paris. and when they are arrested by the police, it is in jail that the process of radicalization start, because in the french jail, we make mistake to put the young dealer with jihadist, with radical imam. and this imam are convinced, this young muslim. but if they are in jail, if they
have done mistake, if they deal drugs, it is not their fault. it is the fault of the french system. it is the fault of the french education, with pushing the muslim to make mistake. with pushing the -- out of the society. so it is giving to them, new dignity. and it is what they are looking for in the -- in the -- the other thing, in the system, in the sectarian system, what we call the capital is less
important for the social capital. that means the network. if you are a teenager, a boy, a boy teenager, you want to succeed quickly. you want to -- quickly. and to study in 25 years, it is useless. it is not give you the social -- what you want quickly. for the girl, it is different. because the girl know that if they want to go to the patriarchal system, the only chance that they have, that they have is to learn. and we see in the -- muslim girl, for instance, succeed much more than the boy. so you can imagine in the party
of society, the boy feel devaluated by the success of their system. that's why they are also looking for dignity in the islamist movement because daesh or all the -- muslim brotherhood are giving importance to the boy and devaluate the girl. that's why you have a huge control as the girl, the girl stays at home and to make children and not to work outside. and for the boy, it is the kind of revenge against the sister that succeed at the university. they cannot reach the high
school. so we, in france, we have for 40 years tried to fight islamists through social measure. your policy, improving, leaving condition in immigrant neighborhood, financing a spot, putting more teacher in school where immigrants are leaving. but it doesn't work because most of the politician don't want to see islamism as a future problem. but only they want to see islamists like social problem. probably the influence of the -- in the university. but people see only the society and not according to the sectarian -- to try to solve the problem, by social measure, try to solve the problem by social measure, only it is not working. of course, if everybody get a
job, we could reduce the problem, but it is not the case and it will not -- in the next few years. but it couldn't be enough. for instance, in switzerland, switzerland, wealthy country, without employment right, there is about 120 people who are making jihad in syria. most of them are second generation of refugees, who are radicalized by imam. so it is the same problem for the refugees who are radicalized. the living condition, push factor, for the refugees, but it is -- in both case, the search of the dignity that push people in the hand of the radical. and the share on ngo wouldn't
have the means to solve as a problem. so for many -- for the generation, jihadism is a way to respond to people who lost his words and also who are feeling -- who feel to be lost in the globalization. 21st century will be spiritual, will not. and i think it is true. if we want to fight with success, daesh, and al qaeda, it is, of course, with military measure, but also with spiritual -- because if the 19th century was a century of the social civil war, 20th century of the ideological world, like
the spanish civil war, the 21 century is a century of the identity civil war, and including reduce war. thank you. [ applause ] >> professor alexander, thank you for inviting me and thank you for the timely conference. i would like to reflect on the generational challenge of islamist terrorism through the case study of turkey. and my take home message will be an equal system approach. islam irk terrorist interactions with other violent or nonviolent groups, movements, national or
transnational institutions do matter as much as their own internal dynamics. that's going to be my main message. now, let's take a look at the turkish ecosystem i'm talking about. what are some of the challenges, what are some of the challenges of the turkish ecosystem, what are some of the changing threats and change iing security challes to the environment. one is the collapse of turkey's own peace process with the pkk. since june 2015, we see an escalation in the fight between turkish security forces and the pkk. and also the offshoot tuck, which is a splinter group that carries out for the most part in the western part of turkey, attacks mostly against civilian
targets. a second evolving security challenge is the increasing number of syrian refugees, almost 3 million. and the radicalization that my colleagues have talked about. the third challenge is how because of the syrian civil war turkey turned into an important pit stop in the jihadi highway. that turkey's porous borders brought with it not only jihadists, islamic state militants, other kinds of jihadists, also with them, weapons, ammunition, illicit finance networks and so on and so forth. a fourth challenge is turkey's own experience with proxy war. you know, in its own region, turkey is not a mastermind of proxy war. we have countries with well established histories of proxy
war. iran, syria, among others. turkey is just learning the hard way, the difficult task of proxy war through its involvement early on with the -- al nusra front. at times the alleged involvement with the islamic state, and certainly involvement in backing of the free syrian army. and some of the turkman fighting forces in the region as well as the -- the sultan brigade and others. and we know that proxy war involvement is never one way, and that's a lesson turkey is learning the hard way. as you try to influence policy elsewhere, through your proxies, those proxies are always a two-way highway and they bring back conflict home. recently evolving security challenge, of course, is what is happening in northern syria, with the kurdish cantons, with
the fighting force, ypg, the syrian defense forces, sdf, and the attempts to establish a contiguous kurdish corridor, what turkey sees as an existential threat to its security and national unity and hence turkey's increased clashes with the ypg and sdf. that's a new security challenge. the evolving kinds of attack, for example, the suicide bombs, that turkey over the last year, to year and a half, has become accustomed to -- in a way, suicide bombs by the pkk, by its offshoot tuck, by the islamic state, both against military and civilian targets, but what is new is large scale attacks, mass casualty attacks, you know.
as turkish citizens are trying to make sense of a new kind of violence. and where terms such as pakistanization, lebanonization are beginning to be used. why, because turkish citizens are trying to make sense of a new kind of violence that they were not that used to, but that they know from other geographies in the middle east and from iraq, from syria, from lebanon, from afghanistan and pakistan. and finally, the evolving tech side of security. what do i mean by tech? sure, turkey's fight with the pkk has been going on at least since the 1984. but the fight reduced to be fought against a peasant army equipped with ak-47s and rpgs and hand grenades and minds is now turning into a fight that is
fought against effective anti-tank weapons against man pads that can bring down turkish helicopters and planes, equipped with the latest media and social media propaganda machine, which is also a challenge to the turkish state's upper hand in framing the events. let's say in 1980s, the fight against the pkk or the turkish hezbollah was mainly a one sided fight in the media. it was basically the turkish state, it is no longer the case. before the turkish state has an opportunity to frame what happened to the turkish tanks in northern syria, what happened to a turkish helicopter, on the turkish syrian border or turkish iraqi bord erk the footage will
be on youtube with commentary in english, turkish, so that's also an additional challenge. now, let's move from the changing security and threat environment to the demographic and generational challenges. so what are some of the challenges that come with this new environment in new ecosystem? one, we begin to see with the collapse of the peace process with the turkish governments embrace of an increasingly nationalist pan islamist language, we see this enfranchised kurdish youth, especially in turkey southeast, but also keep in mind the internal migratory patterns in turkey and the outskirts of many of the metropolitan cities in the west whether it is istanbul, ankara. you see kurdish youth with a difficult time imagining
themselves as part of the turkish nation. imagining themselves as equal citizens. imagining themselves having a future within the turkish policy. this is a fertile equipment ground for organizations such as the pkk and its offshoot tuck. of course, this is not simply an ethnic issue because we also have nonkurdish youth, youth who are ethnically not kurdish, but feel increasingly and in a similar way disenfranchised, marginalized by the fiery rhetoric. we'll see increasing numbers of these nonkurdish youth joining veryio various fors of marxist movements, some of whom tend to also cooperate with the pkk, or act separately.
so we might see these odd attacks, when you see in the media an attack by let's say the daesh -- the dhkp-c, an association you wouldn't be familiar with and wondering where did this come from? that's pretty much the kind of organizations that i'm talking about. these small fringe revolutionary movements who also has -- who also find the equipment grounds among suturkey's noncakurdish a disenfranchised youth. not all end up with pkk or tuck, the kurdish youth and the disenfranchised marginalized kurdish youth happen to be the key equipment ground for isis
itself. turkey's on hezbollah. hizbollah, which is, in fact, almost predominantly a kurdish institution. almost all of the requisites of turkey on hezbollah are kurdish ethnically and sectarianwise, all sunnis. it is not the his polia of lebanon, it is the hezbollah of turkey, mainly sunni, strong anti anti-pkk, strong anti-revolutionary, has a moral ambivalence and challenging relationship with islamic state. but that certainly is one of the
potentials for the next generation of violence in turkey. of course, no need to mention the 3 million syrian refugees, the first and second generation, which turkey have so far failed to incorporate into the turkish party, when we talk about refugees, i'm only using it in the everyday parlance, not the legal technical term because turkey has a geographic restriction to the geneva convention. so syrians on turkish soil are not refugees. they're not recognized as refugees. they do have some sort of a legal status but falls short of the refugee status, but more important than status is whether they have work permits, whether they have gainful employment, secure employment, whether they
have any view, any vision of citizenship, whether they can learn turkish and other things, whether arabic or kurdish in turkish schools. all of these political economic social and cultural exclusion which for obvious reasons is a recipe for disaster. and finally, another demographic and generational challenge following up on some of the earlier speakers is, of course, turkey's diaspora. turkey has just within the european union itself more than 3 million turkish and kurdish citizens of turkey, you know. turkish citizens either with dual citizenship, with eu countries or who have given up their turkish citizenship and picked up eu citizenship, but
who feel a strong affinity to their turkish or kurdish or sunni or shia or brethren back at home. which means the conflicts at home are simultaneously conflicts abroad. so kurdish turkish class in turkey could mean a kurdish turkish class in cologne, in berlin, a sectarian clash in turkey could mean a sectarian clash in paris, in london, in cologne. that's another two-way dynamic, which is -- which means that what i'm talking about, the challenge of the next generation of terrorism is not only an issue about turkey, but it is also an issue wherever turkey -- turkish and kurdish diaspora are present. and one final comment here, concerning the demographic and generational challenges is that
this is not only a challenge about material conditions, about livelihood, about employment, about being incorporated and integrated, but it is also about incitement to violence. and i'm not just talking about the islamic state, al qaeda, hezbollah, all the transnational flows, but turkey's very own homemade incitement of violence. which most of you might not be aware but which is going on a daily basis systematically in turkey's government funded media. either pro government or government owned or government controlled or crony owned and controlled media. a strong anti-western message, a strong anti-semitic message, strong anti-christian message, a strong anti-american -- anti-german, anti-israeli
message, inculcating hate, prejudice. worst forms of prejudice you can imagine. not only among youth, but more importantly, this is the significant part, for example, addressing turkey's 50% support base of the ruling justice and development party. i think in 20 years, there will be other panels here, where we will begin to speak about the outcome of that. and maybe many of the experts will dare say we never saw this coming. we never saw what the effects of the turkish government systematic incull case of hate and prejudice to its 50% grassroots, these kinds of really prejudicial values could then end up with -- result in. i think that's a key challenge we have to keep in mind. now, what is my conclusion?
my conclusion is about changing our frames from a state security approach to a comprehensive security approach. the turkish state's very own approach to the challenges, state security approach. that is you invest in the military, you invest in the police, you invest in the intelligence, you develop your method s of repression, you buy water cannons, tear gas, advanced weaponry, build walls, and so on and so forth. surveillance. and it is one thing is clear, in the turkish case, it is not working. this is the strongest turkish case we have seen. and this is the worst threat environment ever. i know some of it is global.
but also for turkey's own internal dynamics, for turkey's internal dynamics, this is the worst security situation ever. which means you can have the second largest army, you can have europe's largest police force, you can have advanced weaponry, you can have very strict surveillance, a very repressive state and it will only make matters worse. why? what is needed is not just state security, but also needed human security and hence what i call the comprehensive security. a collaborative effort, a joint effort. what do i mean by human security? the necessity to focus on social policy, on language education, for turkey's very own kurdish and arabic speaking citizens as well as for turkey's curedish and arabic speaking refugees.
social inclusion, cultural inclusion, hate crime protection against vulnerable communities, against minority groups and so on and so forth. unless we can begin to tackle this ecosystem, that produces radicalization and violence and terrorism, both at the material and ideological levels at the social, cultural political and economic levels, i think it is going to be a major challenge in the years to come. the approach needs to be holistic. we need to keep our eyes on the system, not on individual reflections, and we have to give up our false dichotomy and what i call zero sum approach between security or counterterrorism and rule of law in democracy because that so far is turkey's zero sum approach, that so far is
turkey's false dichotomy, the turkish government, feels that if you want to be tough on terrorism, if you want to be tough on radicalism, you have to kind of get rid of some of the due process, rule of law, separation of powers, checks and balances, human rights. and enhance turkey's current state of emergency or turkey's current suspension of the european convention on human rights. the government logic is this is a necessary evil and it will deliver results. my argument is it is the false dichotomy, it will make things worse. what is needed again going back to 1648 is strong emphasis on rights and freedoms, religious freedoms, on social economic political inclusion, and realizing that democratic deficit almost always ends up in
security deficits, and that -- this is my conclusion, final word, need for strong leadership in the fight against terrorism does not mean one man rule. and that's one thing turks confuse the most. turkey takes strong leadership to the strong man's rule. instead a strong leadership is really guidance and vision for good governance. and therefore the challenge is to realize that one man rule which is arbitrary rule, is often the exact opposite of strong leadership. the exact opposite of good governance and hence is in fact a recipe for more terror, more violence, more politization, and it is, i think, therefore turkey is, i think, could be a good
case study, not only to understand what is going on in the middle east, but also in what might happen in the near future in central and eastern europe as more and more societies are drifting toward authoritarianism, popularism, anti-semitism and different forms of ideologies and values. thank you. [ applause ] good afternoon. i'm perhaps the only nonexpert
in the panel today. what i have been requested and i'll try and focus is on the perspective of my own country that i represent, bangladesh. and i have divided the deliberation in four sections. first, i will try and focus on the seed and the root of terrorism in bangladesh. then i would go to the incubation and the rides of violent and terrorism. and i will come to the current challenge challenges and finally the way
we evolve it. now, the seed in my opinion is communalism. the fate centric communalism, extremely divisive thought, having a very strong potential to incite violence. and if i look at the history of -- particularly in a society where the radius is pretty low, and poverty is acute, this so-called ideology, the communalism gets its root pretty quickly. if you look at the history of the division of the subcontinent, it was divided on the two nation theory, which in my opinion was very divisive,
and very communal. and that the initial or very first philosophy and psychological seed of terrorism in our part of the world, which is the -- from the seed, if we try and look at the root, what was the root in bangladesh. i'll go back to what happened in 15 august, 1975, when the founding father, the father of the nation, and the sitting president of the country, and most of the members of his family were assassinated by the terrorists. and values and morales on which we fought our war of liberation
in 1971 and the country became independent, those took 180 degree turn. the military dictatorship practically took the country back to the preindependence era. the values on which we fought our historic war of liberation were primarily democracy and secularism. after the carnage of 15th, august '75, the fate, the religion was introdued. inject that into the constitution of the country by the military dictatorship, and that continued for years.
from the root, we saw a plant. and that plant was an organization name d ilami. that organization not only opposed the independence of bangladesh, but also its leaders and workers committed crimes against humanity. collaborationing with pakistan military during our war of liberation in 1971. its leaders, even after three and a half years of independence, were campaigning against bangladesh in different countries around the globe. when bangladesh was a member of
the united nations and bangladesh was a member of all major international organizations, and bangladesh was recognized by the overwhelming majority of the countries in the world. they were campaigning against an independent country. and after the 15th august carnage, these people were allowed to come back to bangladesh and they were rehabilitated and they were allowed to do politics and allowed to operate in the public space. and they started going with the direct patronage by the military dictatorship for years. they have been able to attain a
level where they had to garner a support of maximum 3% to 4%. one maximum 3 to 4%. but one thing we must remember, they were armed, and they were trained to commit acts of violence and death. it may be relevant to just cite an example, that is not what i'm seeing. the student front which is called the islamic charter, it was the third most active nonstate armed group in the world in 2013. and this is according to the james global terrorism and
insurgency attack index 2013. it's not what i'm saying. we can all go to this particular reference and find what jamal student front is and has been described. whenever it was felt an accessory by the leadership that created the options, the quote/unquote expelled some of their leaders and workers to go underground, create the options and operate from there. some of those people were also returnees from the war in afghanistan. all the terrorist organizations in bangladesh, their so-called
leaders were either members of jumant or the student front. we all know what's happening around the world and we're no exception and we know what's happening in bangladesh and particularly the attention of the world was drawn on the deadly terrorist attack in a restaurant, a cafe in dhaka, 1st of july, this year. up the -- the challenges in my opinion are mainly to deradic deradicalize those who have been already radicalized, regardless
of their background. they're not only from the poor families, the latest incidents reveal that some of them are from very wealthy background that went to good schools, good colleges, even studied abroad. the challenges to fight it out on two fronts. one is definitely on the ground, the law and order front and the other one which is perhaps more challenging is the ideological battle and it has to be all encompassing, it cannot be fought in isolation by one particular segment of the society and given the realities, the religious clerics in bangladesh must play a very, very important role in that effort.
some of the initiatives have been taken by the government. i don't have the time to elaborate at all. just to give you an example, a very unified friday prayer sermon, what we always know and see has been circulated by the public institution which is islamic foundation, to the imams of all the mossinques in the country for delivery on friday. in june this year, a social religious victory, i called the fatwas a social religious decree was issued by one of the very enlightened and religious
clerics. it was supported by $100,000 clerics all over the country. by issuing all over the social religious decrees, it's not easy. there are challenges. i'll just share with you what has happened after he has issued the fatwa. it was in june and on the 7th of july, during the youth congregation, the largest youth congregation in bangladesh, in a place that's 70, 80 kilometers -- 15 miles from the capital city, mr. massoud was supposed to lead the prayer. he has been doing it for several years. the moment his chopper arrived
in a nearby helipad, in a school compound, the terrorists tried to -- there was a tussle and a fight with the security personnel. one terrorist was killed immediately on the spot. a security official was also killed and other terrorists was captured. the 300,000 people gathered who gathered there to say their prayers were not the targets. the target was this particular cleric that's my opinion. and the message was very clear, because what he issued in june, the first one was that killing human beings in the name of faith or religion is totally forbidden in islam. all his dictates were based on the holy book. quoting the holy verses and referring to the holy book and
explaining those. these go directly against what the terrorist organizations, whether it is islam or for that matter al qaeda or isis, you just name it, each and every terrorism organization is trying to propagate. and the other message was in my opinion more threatening, that if anybody tries to do or makes an attempt to do similar things, you would be on our list. the way forward is to nurture the values on which bangladesh was founded. primarily democracy and
secularism. how do we do that? that's the challenge. we the people today in bangladesh are trying to eradicate this terrorist organization. socially and legally. we are trying to boycott this terrorism organization and all its affiliates for any goods or services or for that matter human relationships. and eradicating this devil, the terrorism organization which propagates violence is the way forward, to counter terrorism
and violent extremism in bangladesh which is the people's public of bangladesh, that means people are the sociable power and nothing else, nothing otherwise. those values must be nurtured in the families, in the schools, colleges, universities, everywhere in the society and what i see is a strong determination today among the people who have seen all these acts of terror and violence and intimidate for years regardless of the small percentage of support they garner. and they keep in mind to go for the social movement and that is the social way of eradicating this menace, a devil, a terrorist organization and of course there are legal ways as
well. we believe that we need to go and follow both and that would be the way forward. i will conclude here and i will take any questions and interact. thank you. >> thank you very much for your significant message there. of the commonality of those who want to respond to all the challenges on the basis of the rule of law and the human advice and democracy. in the interest of time, what i would like to do is to ask our panelists if they wish to make a
comment or a reaction to some the previous comments and presentations and then we're going to open it up for some discussion for the audience. let's begin with -- right there. >> thank you. i just -- i can't take up all the issues that we have raised and i just wanted to say i'm grateful to hear, you know, a deep historical analysis of where it's coming from, what we have to deal with and i like my -- i like the comments from my french colleague here, describing the social issues that produce and help, you know, terrorists in our midst. and seeing what i see as a european problem too, namely that terrorism now runs through
the middle of our societies because of the complexity and the diversity that we have. and to deal with that successfully, that's exceedingly difficult and hard and i guess i can -- too for turkey, which in my mind has a critical role. i have seen a little bit of ambivalence of turkey in that issue and maybe the steps that turkey is taking now is a step in the right direction. i hope if it's not only turkey's fight against kurdistan and -- i think it has to be broader as a concept and turkey would be so important for the religious dimension of the conflict. and since islam doesn't have a
central -- a turkey like country should take on a special role in dealing with the issues. and that i miss a little bit. i thought erdogan would be a perfect person to do that, but now i think we see the development that deviates from such a course. so maybe i can talk about that a little more. thank you. >> thank you. >> yes, i guess i would just -- i'm sort of pleasantly surprised at how it seems that we're all approaching this issue from many different angles but we're coming to a lot of the same conclusions. so this is certainly something that has surprised me. you know, i'm very interested to hear what people's predictions are for the future and ways that we can deal with these type of challenges. i'm -- you know, i'm very heartened to see that there's very open-minded approach here, you know? i think, you know, talking about
turkey for example, you had mentioned that there's -- there's this desire by -- by the turkish government to stamp down any idea of anything that's different. and the idea of not even opening up the conversation is something i find unfortunately in academia as well, the idea that we're not even attempting to try to have a conversation about what some of these things are. well, what is islam, what is its history? why do certain people feel they do and what is the appeal about these movements? why are the youths so fascinated by these movements? what is its appeal? you know, as i think you were talking about the appeal of movements like isis and syria, you know, the fact is that this is not something we cover. the fact is when we see in
various countries, various types of islamist movements have a history of providing social welfare and providing a dignity that a secular government doesn't. this is something we have to take into consideration, so i think i'm very heartened to hear there is a fore -- if we're going to deal with this, then we have to be open minded about the questions we're going to ask and the conversations we're going to have. thank you. >> what to say more, i think under the islamic terrorism that we're facing is a product of two things. globalization, because globalization is arising and i said many people are looking for a new identity and it's sdifltd. -- and it's difficult. so they are finding a new
identity into this. the globalization is responsible in many, many countries about economic destruction, economic destablization. and it's -- there's a population -- there's a weak population and drawing to terrorism. and we haven't -- we speak about turkey. we haven't speak about the problem of saudi arabia. because if we want all the refugees -- who is promoting the jihadis? it's saudi arabia that are producing global imam. but we are being spread all over
the world from indonesia, and crossing by france and by germany and to making the promotion of this -- of the radical islam. so as far as the geography, we have to take into consideration this different scale of problem from the local to the -- to fight islamic terrorism. >> thank you. >> let me try to just answer in a couple of sentences the professor's challenge and maybe the kind of tradeoffs, the kind of false dichotomies i'm talking within turkey also applies to turkey's relations with the
european union, relations with the u.s. and nato. because i think there we also have a mistaken tradeoff. that is, we believe that the fight against terrorism, fighting against the problems that come out of the syrian civil war necessitate turning a blind eye or being indifferent to our ally, namely turkey's democratic deficit, rule of law deficit. we believe if turkey is to be let's say a transactional partner with the refugee deal, with humanitarian relief of syrians in the fight against the islamic state then you know what if turkey is descending more and more into authoritarianism, we can deal, because we need a strong leader. let me conclude by saying that i
think our main mistake in this tradeoff is the connation of two terms -- strong and authoritarian. strong and one man. because i think history has caught us again and again and again one man rule or authoritarian rule is a -- is actually the exact opposite of good governance. is the exact opposite of strong rule, strong leadership. so i think whether it's turkey or just any other country, could be tunisia, ultimately our transnational fight against radicalism and nationalism need to work hand in hand not only to counter security deficits but also democratic deficit. only if you combine the two,
only if you stop turning a blind eye to the kind of populist extremist authoritarian and one man rule, coming up not only in the middle east but also now increasingly in also central and eastern europe then can we begin to actually make progress in these issues. >> i'll be very brief. one thing that always disturbs me a little bit, bothers me a little bit, the use of word fighters. i said it once again. we must not call these people fighters. they are terrorists. they're isis terrorists. they're al qaeda terrorists.
they're islam terrorists. the moment we call them fighters, i know the legal distinction very well between the two words. the moment we call them fighters we are giving some kind of legitimacy to them. to their organization. to their ideology. let's try and avoid that in the public discourse and also in the private discourse. i'll share one example very personal example. my older son when he was a high school student, when i was in new delhi, he was going to the international school. one day we were just having a chat. he was talking about his friends. hearing the name of one of his friends i asked where he was from. he said, i don't know.
i said, you don't know? i don't need to know. why? why are we interested about where from he is. he's my friend. doesn't even want to know from which country his friend is. forget about other elements of identity. i think that was a great learning experience for me, from my next generation. that's a very strong message. thank you. >> thank you very much. professor wallace, you want to make a comment now as well? >> yeah,'ll be very brief, but i have to say that i also say, we have to be grateful to you and the institute for the extraordinary panels you assemble and somehow you extract from them an awful lot of ideas. one observation. one of you suggested i think
that there was sort a consensus emerges to what has to be done. i think part of it was the requirement for democracy, rule of law, secularism, et cetera, et cetera. i certainly share that. on the other hand, there's another element. for example, talking about terrorists from the muslim world which we mostly are, i think there's something to think about islam itself. i think the professor mentioned it. the islamic world has not undergone a reformation. point one. point two, i'm a roman catholic. one of the strengths of the catholic church is the majes majestyian and that's lacking in sunni islam. one of the things that's required is to think of the refer race of -- reformation of islam. we are having a conference in
seville at the end of september in which we'll talk about the role of intellect in islam. meaning which is one of the sources of reform if it can be combined with communal consen s consensus. i think that's awfully important. one of the things that comes from the panels in one way you can be overwhelmed, you learn so much. on the other hand, if you're a gentle gray you have to fight back and you have to win. i think that's true. of course the win here is much more subtle than the usual win. but again, i think you've extracted the best out of many of the panelists so thank you very much. >> thank you. we have a little bit of time for q&a. right there, just identify yourself right there. >> i very much appreciate the use of history to explain the current attitude of the ambit n ambitions of isis and daesh and
i appreciate a few remarks about the elephant in the room not mentioned which is the iranians and the persians in particular and how is isis going to deal with, and how does it view in the -- what's it going to do and how is it going to deal with the persians and the certain shiia? >> thank you for your question. i'll try not to go into the rabbit hole of answering this question, but i would say in short, isil distinguishes between persian people and what it calls rafida. the shiites. you have that isil recognizes historically speaking some of the greatest scholars in the
islamic world are historically persians. persians wrote the law books. what it argues is that there's this -- i would say this underlying movement of shiiaism. what they call rafida. that means -- again, i have to go into the other rabbit hole to answer that one. this is a derogatory term for shiiaism, so it's not the persians per se that isil targets. it's rather what it considers this heresy of sheism. it is on the other hand i would say against persian civilization at the same time. so that's a different thing. so just as you have this construct of a west based on roman civilization where memory is flattened. the crusaders, rome, colognalisms, they're all the same, so too do you have in isil
propaganda a connation of ancient persian civilization and the idea that rafida want to raise some civilization and there's a mistrust of some persians who are too persian. i would say the brief answer to that question is that it's not a mistrust of persian -- persian people per se. person people have been some of the greatest scholars and muslims. but rather from their perspective it's a distrust of persian civilization, pre-islamic civilization which is kept alive through the rafida. i could speak more about this, but that's the short answer to that question. thank you. >> thank you. we certainly can never -- not
only a special seminar, but we have the courses to deal with this issue. we have one more in the back row. okay. >> i'm from turkey, thank you. i just wanted to briefly touch upon some issues as turkey was mentioned a few times. first of all, i just wanted to underline what fighting terrorism, counterterrorism means to turkey. actually, we are actively taking part in all counterterrorism activities. on the regional umbrella, be it global counterterrorism forum or counterisil, and what we need s is -- while we are fighting this
scourge, we are on the same front. we are in the same ship. and we support -- we should support each other on the same goal. but unfortunately, i am not a -- i'm not seeing that kind of support versus support. it's easy of course to paint a picture and go into government, but i think we should put all the other elements of the picture as well which i think is lacking. say let's take the peace process with pkk. i do not know here -- panelists or the other colleagues here, they're aware of the fact that pkk has expanded the peace process with turkey. in terms of refugees, syrian refugees i do not need to
mention what turkey -- turkey is taking a lot of -- effective helps carrying out in terms of the education, health, all these areas. we are talking about treatment of people. it's not a small number. and at the same time, we cannot see any major incident arising from the syrian refugees. as i said in the beginning it's a collective responsibility of all of us to take care of the refugee problem. it's not a problem of turkey. and there's the porous borders. why don't you talk about the -- talk about the actions the turkish government is taking on the borders. i don't want to go into details.
but how about -- [ inaudible ]. we don't talk about the governments in the highest level of the governments. why don't we talk -- the terrorists who are attending the universities, the state departments, isn't there anything to do more? and we should put the record straight. libya is not taking part in terror activities. how about the state of emergency? i do not want to make a special emphasis because it is obviously -- [ indiscernible ]. for a certain period of time. i just want to take your questions. thank you. >> thank you very much. anyone to respond to that? yeah. yeah.
>> certainly, as to his -- i want to make -- say some words too. because we had a debate at home in germany about turkey's role and you say well, turkey did everything in the fight against terrorism. and i just want to say there's some ambivalence about the german and the intelligence service found out that, you know, turkey is a central platform as they called it for terrorist activities. and the ambivalence in the fight against isis of course i understand, turkey is a big sunni country, sunni is the majority people in the islamic world, and turkey wants to keep its oil, i understand that. but it should play a more active -- proactive role in
toning down the extremism. i miss turkish actions in that respect. i think they're too much focusing on too much -- i understand there are 6,000 informants in germany spying on turks. and in the middle east situation, it is, you know, the main issue for turkey is the kurdish issue. and how to prevent and her may has mentioned it to prevent a turkish area that would be a threat, almost perceived as an existential threat for turkey if kurdistan would somehow get to state like independence. and, you know, the mix -- it is a very difficult, complex mixture of issues, but turkey could play a more positive role in fighting terrorism and i
think they don't do it because of the religious component. not to lose weight as a sunni country and in the overall conflict of course between sunni and shiia, you know, shiia is the minority of if -- of the world population of islam. some people say i don't know if it's right, but shiia is more like catholicism and sunni is more like partisanism because of its inner loose structure. anyway, i leave that apart. but again, turkey is such a pivotal country as a democracy. i hope it will remain a democracy in the middle east as an islamic country. and therefore in the fight against terrorism and the ambivalence in that respect is more -- is what worries me. particularly if we combine it with remarks that president
erdogan made about democracy. i'm worried about that too. >> and now the challenge at hand was to talk about the risks involved. the generational risks involved in turkey's security future. and i could have -- you know, the official from our embassy i think asked more than 20 -- why don't you talk about this, why don't you talk about this. and had i done that, had i pointed out, for example, kurds in turkish governments, kurdish students in one of the few kurdish literature departments, my assessment after 15 minutes would be there are no risks in turkey and i would have misled you. so i think a true assessment of the risks, the current risks as well as the upcoming risks, the
generational risks concerning terrorism require an honest assessment, that's not apologetic. but that also is self-critical of turkey's successes but also its shortcomings. unless we highlight these shortcomings, we will fail to come up with correct policy to tackle those issues. so sure, i do not disagree. i myself have mentioned the work turkey has done for 3 million refugees, more than anyone else. but at the same time i think as an academic, analyst, simply as a human being with integrity, i have to show both sides of the coin. that is we have shortcomings and they will lead to major challenges in the next decades and centuries to come.
>> thank you very much. obviously always related to turkey is so critical to discuss, that's not the end of the discussion today. and in fact earlier this month we focus specifically on turkey and the role of turkey and looking at this -- both historically and contemporary and as far as the future. i think the world really needs turkey, turkey and not existed probably to recreate it. but at any rate that's another issue and again in the interest of time i think one gentleman right there, you have a question of a shortcoming? identify yourself. >> [ indiscernible ].
a big advantage of the fact that we have a cadre of ph.d.s here specializing in the subject to perhaps point out two flaws in our academic -- [ inaudible ] in terrorism. a lot of our effort and resources invariably in the government and others goes to 90% or more islam and the history of the region. medieval history. we throw out the caliphate. we have an approach to the problem that is more akin to analyzing, i don't know, the kling ons in "star trek," but it sounds exotic when it gets people's attention. but we forget the bigger side -- it's our involvement in the region. i mean, no one ever talks about the implications of our
involvement in the region. we're forgetting recent history. i mean, isis is there because we were in iraq. isis is there because bremer decided to fire the military and throw them the streets. who is analyzing that side of the equation to make sure it won't happen in the future? i mean, that's major flaw that i have seen in the discourse -- they're on tv, newspapers, books. everybody is focused on the exotic. perhaps the second one is economics. i mean, most of the people are involved with the subject, dealing with politics, religion, history. the economics of -- i mean of the invariables of the problems are being ignored by our own public and going to the usa economic development of growth in the region because everybody is focused on the history and bringing a couple -- few together or on a trip or something like that. don't you think we should
balance our analysis more so we can find solutions and we can make better recommendations in the future? thank you. >> go ahead. >> yeah. you know, i would first of all take issue with calling the cal fate -- caliphates exotic. >> i grew up in morocco, it's a new concept. fatwa is the new concept. i never heard fatwa growing up there. caliphate is something we learned in history. with respect to medieval time. we are giving too much credence to isis' speech which is self-defeating. and we broadcast it, on tv. >> please let me respond. first, two things. first i think, you know, we're in a different generation now.
i would personally see the caliphate as something reflective of globalization. but let me just make this point. i don't -- i don't think that -- let's say me or anybody else talking about early history is reflective of an issue of -- is reflective of the academic institution ignoring more recent events. far from it. i can tell you if you attend let's say the middle eastern studies association of america, you're going to see somebody like me would be in the anomaly. a lot less focus on let's see the ancient history. you know, i'm talking about this -- this is something that i specialize in. but i could assure you if you go to university today, if you go to colombia, go to nyu, you will see a lot of people focusing on that, focusing on the u.s. involvement and they're focusing. no, i think it's a lot more than you think. i'm the anomaly here, you know? >> at the end of the day, people
watch tv. they believe what they see on tv. but the folks on fox news, it's caliphate this and madrases a that. it's wonderful from an economic point of view, but when the discourse is taken on by the news anchor, by the news outfits, i mean, it projects a completely different -- >> i'm sorry. very interesting dialogue. but you know this is the beginning of the caliphate not the end of the caliphate. i'm sure that our colleagues have something more to say and maybe this will be a subject for another seminar or seminars or courses. and dissertations and publications, et cetera, et cetera. again, in the interest of time, unfortunately the clock is
ticking. i have to really wrap it up. otherwise, i'm going to be in trouble. so let me say two things. obviously i cannot summarize the very rich and profound presentations and comments and all that. let me just say it seems to me when we talk about the generational terrorism we have to look at both continuity and change. in terms of the historical perspective and the current situation. maybe outlook to the future. i think in my view we touched on a number of issues that require much greater attention. in other words, to answer the questions about all. that is to say the actors or if you will the perpetrators. secondly about why. the motivations that was discussed.
then in terms of our -- in terms of the modus operandi of the short war or long war or terror, from the geographic, geopolitical perspective, in other words, national, regional, global, so forth. because we touched upon some at least the human cost, the political cost, psychological cost, the culture of cost and economic cost and maybe the strategic cost and finally, this relates to the responses on the governmental level, the intergovernmental level, the nongovernmental level and clearly the dialogue continues about this and it seems again it's not only the role of government to respond, but the role of the civic society, each and every one of us can and should play some sort of a
modest role because after all, this is a challenge to civilization itself. so again, one last footnote, but it's important. i think from the point of view of those who are going to continue the generational challenges, at least we're very, very pleased that we have the young people, the young students, in fact, we do have interns right there. i see one of them, kyra, right there, who is involved and sharon right there. they're really coordinating our program in terms of becoming the next scholars, the next experts, to deal with the problem. so again, it's not the question
that we're losing the war, the so-called war. or battle. i think we're becoming perhaps more wiser, but we need international cooperation and what is most importantly, i think, is a sense of humanity. if we save one life, it's as if we've saved the entire world. this is the common ground for the religions. thank you very much, and we look forward to seeing you again.
policy. at 9:15, human radiation experiments. then at 10:30 eastern it's a lecture on the origins of the cold war. before taking its summer break, the senate voted for a second time to block funding to combat and prevent the zika virus. >> just last may, when our democratic colleagues asked us to act and act with urgency, but today they turned down the very money that they argued for last may and they decided to gamble with the lives of children like this. instead of protecting them. as i said, they ignored their own calls to get this done quickly. and they refused to pass urgent
measures to protect our country from the public health crisis. as i said, this is a test of whether they care more about babies like this or special interest groups and they failed the test. it's simple as this. >> under the bill we got back in the republic -- and the republicans and the senate approved it, planned parenthood, where hundreds of thousands of women go for their care, now do you think they're going to is have a little rush of business now? because women in america today want to make sure that they have the ability to not get pregnant. why? because the mosquitos ravage pregnant women. under the logic of my friend, the republican leader, we -- they don't need to go to planned parenthood. they can go to their boutique doctor, some place in las vegas or chicago or lexington, kentucky.
they can go to an emergency room and say i'm sorry, i didn't get birth control, can you help me? that's not what emergency rooms are for, but that's what planned parenthood is for. vast majorities of women who need help, that's where they go, planned parenthood. and under the legislation we got back from the house, now there's no money to be provided for that. this thursday, a preview of four major issues congress will debate when they return from recess. zika funding, defense policy, gun violence and the impeachment of john koskinen. we'll have an update with the senior congressional correspondent susan farichio. thursday, 8:00 eastern on c-span. on lectures in history, duke university professor gunther peck teaches a class on
america's immigration policy toward refugees during the cold war. he describes how people fleeing communist countries such as cuba were given easier access to the u.s. he also talks about how race played a role in creating quotas, such as limiting immigrants from asian countries. his class is about an hour and ten minutes. >> so welcome to class, folks. we have some visitors. welcome to duke university. my name is gunther peck, i teach immigration history in the department of history. this is a cross listed course called immigrant dreams, american realities. and we are wrestling with the wonderful complexity of visions of america that immigrants bring to our national story. so you're welcome to participate in discussions if we get there.
just raise your hand and i'll pull you in. i know you have done the readings so no worries. okay. so today's lecture is called linking nation and humanity, u.s. refugee policy, 1945 to 1990 -- 1980. and we're going to focus in on this important subset of immigration law, immigration policy for today. that we have touched on it, but we haven't focused yet squarely in our -- in the class. so i want you to fit it in to where we were at the end of last class which was the lecture on the passage of immigration reform in 1965 and that key idea is that the cold war was shaping domestic policy history and very clearly apparent in the ways in which the immigration reform act was passed as a part of a broader campaign in fighting the cold war. that is especially true for u.s.
refugee policy which is a perfect intersection of u.s. foreign policy and immigration policy. so before we get -- begin though, what we have here are a couple of images of the present. i want to have a brief discussion before we dive into the past about u.s. refugees and their significance to the contemporary moment we live in. and they are frequently invoked and maybe we could just descr e describe -- i'm curious as how you would describe why refugees matter today. what we have here, this is an image of the refugees that are being led into detention of underage minors who were picked up at the u.s./mexican border last summer when the refugee issue was burning quite -- quite vividly in the nation's newspapers. here's another image of a
refugee -- of refugees under age, unaccompanied minors also headed north. this is on not on public transportation, but a specially chartered train that most of the people here had paid traffickers to get across the border and that is what we're looking at here. so maybe we could just begin -- i want to hear from you. instead of telling you why refugees matter, they do. but i'm curious if we could summarize or give a few ideas of why refugees matter in the contemporary. it's a simple question, but it does have a lot of stakes. why do politicians talk about refugees right now? what are the stakes of refugees today? yeah, kate. >> [ indiscernible ]. talking about how -- focusing on the refugees and the issue of whether to allow them in or not.
had changed to the -- to the question -- [ indiscernible ]. so it's really a question of how the u.s. embodies our democracy by thinking and enacting into policy to believe that all people deserve to be freed from violence. >> great comment. so that there's a humanitarian set of stakes that the refugee is someone who deserves by virtue of their suffering acceptance into the nation. you alluded to the stakes though. so why should the united states care about those particular refugees? that's obviously one set of stakes. that's not the only way that refugees are being discussed so what are some other ways? we're going to come to this question, but why do they matter before the nation? yeah? >> [ indiscernible ].
>> yeah, by comparison to germany right now, the united states looks quite unkind. uncharitable. we're debating whether to take zero or 10,000 syrians. there's the debate. >> i don't know about -- [ indiscernible ]. >> right. so it's become a security issue, refugees equal an anxiety about national security clearly. mara? >> also refugee law and policy sits at the intersection between
domestic and foreign policy. so you're saying something to the american people about what it means to be american that we are accepting of people in difficult situations around the world. and you're also saying something at the international stage about what america is willing to do in order to help the people around the world. and which causes they're willing to help from where they're willing to accept people and which issues they view as issues that would constitute refugee status. >> nicely put. you summarized the stakes in the individual refugees, right, exactly. elizabeth? >> i don't necessarily agree with this, but in the rhetoric they're seen as dependents and it's also an economic issue being mentioned on both sides of the spectrum. worrying about, we take "x" amount of refugees, how will that impact our economy and how will we support them?
>> right. an anxiety about the public dependence or security threat. >> to kind of build on mara's point about international relations, in the future, you can go back and say, well, we accepted so many refugees from this region and use it as almost as a political capital for future negotiations. >> great term. political capital. yeah. so -- yeah? >> so the opinion that i personally hold -- i have seen the u.s.'s role in accepting refugees as kind of a form of justice for what's happened in the middle east specifically. so a lot of my -- like iraqis being displaced because of the war, you know, who should be most responsible for accepting the refugees should be the countries that were directly involved in that war and the cause of that war and iraq is obviously not -- cannot take back their citizens because it's almost a failed state. >> so this is an argument.
i love how your comments are actually arguments. that's great because you're highlighting the stakes of why refugees matter. what are the -- one of the arguments you're nations that we have been part of u.s. foreign policy. so iraqis, clearly, if they're suffering after the u.s. invasion, the united states, the belief is, has an obligation to help them out. so there's no consensus about what the stakes are with refugees. i think you've covered most of the key sensitive stakes, but i would frame it -- there's a kind of set of stakes that are the way the debate works today and there's kind of a convergence on the left and the right here, which is that on the one hand, the national stakes in refugees might be humanitarian, but we have interests in human rights that really transcend the stakes. the refugees' interests we, in fact, owe them that if it's an
iraqi refugee, let's say. and then those who are critical of refugee policy view them as being threats to the nation, either economically or political threats, that they are somehow literal security threats as terroris terrorists, potential terrorists or people that will threaten our standard of living, our way of life, what have you. but there is -- the argument has been polarized between humanitarian interests on the one side and national security interests on the other. that is the contemporary framing of the refugee issue and why they matter. so what i think is interesting about that story is that those are not new, but it is also true that the history of u.s. refugee policy is a story in which i would say that framing of national interests on the one hand and humanitarian on the other are merged, or rather, they overlap in really
extraordinary ways. and so, the only way to explain -- i'm going to suggest this as an argument in the lecture -- the only way to explain why is it that the united states after the post -- from 1945 to the near past, is the most generous refugee nation in human history. it accepts over half of the world's refugees. the reason for that is not necessarily because the united states is the most humanitarian of nations, but it's because of the important national stakes in refugees. and that's important to understand why that's the case, why refugees had national significance and why the whole policy debate was around trying to define, understand why they mattered to the nation, not so much to a notion of human rights that are universal but to specific national interests. and we'll come back to the debate that we could have on the basis of your insights at the end of the class, but i wanted to frame that as a point of
departure. so, national interests, in short, have really shamed the whole formation of u.s. refugee policy because it's foreign policy, but also because the nation understood that its particular military, strategic interests were being advanced by individual refugees and the way you described it very nicely between sort of as foreign policy symbols. i should say as an aside that the interests of refugees themselves as historical agents are sort of left -- we left out. they're largely symbolic in the way we've described them. they are actual voices. why those voices matter are really important, and we'll come back to them at the end of the lecture. okay, so, what we're going to do today then is to go through some of the case studies about nation and humanity. and i think in a weird way, it's a nice way of encapsulating a history of u.s. nationalism, changing ideas of what an american is, as well as a very specific policy story.
and we can see here -- yeah, this is the overall -- if it gives us the overview of what we're going to cover today in a slightly more condensed version than the out lines you have in front of you. today's goal is also an explicit one about what i would call is a profound history deficit in the contemporary discussion. you've described the significance as well, but it is as if -- if you read the newspapers, it's as if will there is no history u.s. refugee policy, as if this is the first generation right now to be worried that refugees could be threatening our american security or that they are going to weaken our standard of living, or conversely, that our very best, most idealistic identity is at stake with refugees. that conversation is not new. it is as old as u.s. refugee policy. it's been going on for a long time, and that's reassuring on the one hand, but we haven't really paid attention to that conversation either. so today's lecture is seeking to
kind of redress that. and i'd like to have time to discuss what we can use this history for. if we were to make an intervention in the contemporary discussion, beyond this classroom. okay, who is a refugee? we're going to go through these. i'm not going to go through them right now. the question we're asking is how have national interests shaped the history of u.s. refugee policy. i'm going to begin back in time, a little bit back before '65 to the jewish refugee question and to consider the definitions of rege refugees. the book points out for you, "american at the gate." you have bought that book. i'm just going to give it to you. it's a really good book to read. we have a fascinating story that the category refugee itself changes quite a lot over time. in 1980 law, we don't have a refugee law until 1980, even though the united states has accepted a great number of
refugees before that moment in time. and in fact, the law is catching up to the interesting set of political practices by the state department and other actors. the refugee law in 1980 defines it's as follows. a refugee is fearful of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion. they are existing outside the country of his or her nationality. and they are unable to avail himself or herself of the protection of that country. in effect, refugees are stateless actors who are absent the protection of a government, and they're being persecuted by their home state for the following reasons. it's a very broad definition. in 1980, when the united states adopts this -- we'll come back to this at the end of the lecture -- they are really adopting for the first time in 1980 an international united nations definition of what a
refugee and who a refugee is for the first time. this is -- what's interesting about this story is that in some respects, the story of u.s. refugee generosity is one that occurs without this universalized definition. it occurs largely, i've already said, for national -- for more specific, national reasons. so, before 1980, before the u.s. adopts this international standard, there are several definitions that emerge in the book, and i just want to cover them really quickly, that are very specific and they're very political. they're not universalized. so, in 1926, the league of nations didn't really define a refugee, but they described refugees in the following fashion -- as a person of russian origin or armenian origin who had lost the protection of the government. they were assigned to a specific political calamity in the 1920s in the wake of the armenian genocide and different factors involved in that.
there wasn't a universalized definition of refugee in the league of nations or really before world war ii. in the wake of world war ii, in the wake of the holocaust, we begin to see a more universalized language of human rights emerging that begins to shape a definition that the united nations advocates. but for the united states, it's still not -- they don't sign on to that definition of the kind of universal definition of a refugee. the closest they get in 1948 is to describe displaced persons who were victims of nazi or fascist regimes who had been deported because of forced labor or racial, religious or political reasons. we begin to get some of the human rights language here, but it's a specific narrative and a specific political story that defines who a refugee is. throughout most of the post war period, throughout most of the cold war, the definition of a refugee is actually a very
specific political one in the united states, and it's a story about the cold war. who is a refugee? it is an anti-communist who cannot return to his or her homeland. that's who a refugee is, practicing matically speaking. now, these may seem like inadequate definitions. in many respects they are. they're filled with contradictions. what's interesting right now is they're very specific, historical narratives that are about u.s. foreign policy and also other national interests that were shaping the understanding of what a refugee -- why a person became a refugee. so the history of u.s. refugee policy then takes this into account and is a story that is filled with ironies. i'll go through some of these moving forward. let's back up in time to 1939 when the word refugee begins to percolate quite specifically around the history of the
emerging story that's unfolding about adolf hitler in germany and the persecution that jews are experiencing. and refugees are carefully and closely connected to narratives about jewish people. and so, if you do a keyword search, you'll find that consistently emerging. this is the boat, the "ss st. louis," that carried over 900 jewish refugees that managed to get out of europe in 1939 and were sailing for a safe harbor in the new world. they came initially to new york, were turned away from new york, and then tried to find a harbor in havana, in cuba, and ultimately were denied there. they came back to new york again, hoping once again for a kind of political maneuver to allow them to come in. prior to this, fdr had been seeking to get more jewish refugees to come to the united states by filling up the german quota that was