tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN March 30, 2016 2:00pm-4:01pm EDT
look, this is like with russia. i think we need to stand up to russia and we need to stand up mulas.malaise -- the but the conundrum in life is that, unlike you, we are not on another we have to find a way of protecting israel and living with iran. we know where our sympathies lie, but we cannot just up and leave, sadly. so that is the conundrum of making policy in europe. it sometimes leads to uncomfortable moral compromises. but rest assured that there is a great deal of conversation about these issues with america, and i don't think -- my sense is that we are pretty much in line on many of the practicalities. >> thank you very much. [applause]
thank you for taking such a challenging topic and doing it with such depth. i know we will be following your writings in your remarks for a long time. on behalf of all the members on americancouncil jewish committee, i would like to present you with the official world of fellow's counsel -- >> thank you so much. >> wear it proudly. >> the only thing i know about the jewish community in texas is from the literary productions friedman.ky [laughter] which i read when i was going to university at harvard, and which i have to say, i found completely mind blowing and extremely funny, but i'm assuming is not up-to-date so i'm willing to be informed. thank you, thank you. [applause] >> and that me remind everyone,
if you are not yet registered for our program next tuesday cnn nationalrgen, security reporter and analyst, please do so. have a great afternoon. arehis week on c-span we featuring programs on the increase of drug abuse in america as the situation of the current supreme court vacancy. today at 7:00 p.m. eastern, with the abuse of prescription drugs and have her went on the rise, we look at the government's handling of the issue from health experts, former addicts, and the u.s. senate, including comments from president obama and presidential candidate ted cruz. senator cruz: it is certainly not going to be washington, d.c. that steps in to solve these problems. friends andto be ,amily, churches, charities loved ones, treatment centers, to help those who
are struggling overcome their addiction. drug addiction is a disease. i have made as: a priority for i my administration. we are not new to this. in 2010 we released our first drug control strategy. we followed that up in 2011 with the prescription drug abuse prevention plan. we are into many those plans and partnering with communities to , reducedrug use overdose deaths come help people get treatment. at 6:00, with an apparent impasse between democrats, the white house, and report over the next supreme court justice, we look at what today's leaders have said in the the nominating and confirmation process of individuals to the supreme court. biden: in my view, confirmation hearings, no matter how thoreau, can not provide a sufficient basis for determining whether a nominee merits a seat
on our court. >> the ideological benefits are not likely to outweigh the damage and to the quiz institutional standing. friedman goes on -- ideological opposition to a nominee from one end of the political spectrum is likely to help generate similar opposition to later nominations from the opposite end. >> those are some of the programs feature this week on c-span. tonight on c-span2, book tv in primetime with a look at books and authors on military and national security issues. on c-span3 we will show you a recent suppose on the life, and legacy of president abraham lincoln. books and history tonight in primetime, starting at 8:00 eastern on c-span2 and c-span3.
c-span, then supreme court cases that shaped our history come to life with the c-span here is just c-span series "landmark cases." real2 part series looks at life stories involving the most significant decisions in american history. marburymarshall in versus madison said this is different, the constitution is a political document that set up the structures but it is also a line if it is a lot we have the courts to tell what it means and that is binding on the other branches. >> it is the ultimate anti-presidential case. >> who should make the decisions about those debates? the supreme court said it should make the decision about those debates. >> tonight we will look at the limits of privileges and immunities of citizenship
guaranteed by the 14 commitment to only those explicitly spelled out in the constitution that the slaughterhouse cases. next, remarks from a homeland security terrorism adviser on the history and current state of the conflict in syria. she also speaks about her proposal to counter violent extremism in the middle east. this event was held at the university of tennessee in knoxville. this is an hour. >> hello, i am met very. i am pleased to be the person to introduce our speaker this evening. samar is an attorney who specializes in cross-border transactions, international law, and private diplomacy. samar served as the assistant for economic affairs under governor bill haslam.
in 2010, samar was selected for a white house fellowship where she served under janet napolitano, focusing on policies concerning national security in the u.s., latin america, europe, and the middle east. immediately following her fellowship, she worked as an advisor to the department of homeland security in washington, d c and in doha, qatar, from 2007-2010. she was an associate with hogan in the u.s. and worked in the united arab emirates. she is an adjunct professor at vanderbilt university. we nonetheless invited her to give this talk to the university of tennessee campus. she teaches courses in international relations. she received her bachelor's degree in political science with honors from vanderbilt and was notably the first arab-american elected as student body president. she graduated with her jd from vanderbilt law school and serves
on a variety of boards and so on in the nashville area. she lives in nashville with her husband. please help me extend a very warm baker center welcome to samar ali. [applause] samar: wow, thank you so much for that introduction. and thank you for inviting me here, even though i am a black and gold fan. upon saying that, i didn't grow up in waverly, tennessee. how many of you have been to waverly? not too many. waverly is between nashville and memphis. if you know anything about that part of tennessee, you know that you cannot survive if you are not a fan. so i am very happy to be here and very honored to be here. and i have also admired howard baker's leadership throughout my lifetime as well. it is a pleasure and honor to be
in this building and with you all here today. today, we are somehow miraculously going to cover two topics, two of the most important topics of our time. and that is the syrian conflict and also countering violent extremism and how it has evolved over the past 20 years. these two topics are related to each other, and somehow we are going to cover them in 40 minutes. we will start with the syrian conflict. and i will take you through how it has evolved and how it is related to countering violent extremism. by stating that, i would just like to start and say that this is a conflict that is personal for me. my mother's family dates back to damascus hundreds of years. i have lost friends and family members in this conflict. it is a conflict that is very real, and one that i pray will
end with peace and that will create a better future for the syrian people and also create a better platform for global security. starting off with that, we are now five years into this conflict. and if i could just go to slide nine and show you the ramifications of what this conflict has created, you will see that there have been an estimated 300,000 deaths caused by the syrian war so far. and there have been 13.5 estimated syrian refugees, syrians who have been displaced. that is close to 50% of an entire country. and i just ask us now to take a moment of silence actually and think about those 300,000 syrian refugees from the lost their lives in the past few years.
thank you. so, how did we get here? how did this happen? i apologize that i am taking you back to the beginning. but it really is the beginning of where we need to start. how did we get to this point? well, to start, let's talk about the players in syria. there are really four main players in syria. there are the russians, the iranians, hezbollah -- which we will call the government in syria -- and their goal is to break the back of the syrian revolution. and also, they have been making faster progress today than at any point since 2011. we will cover that later in the presentation. the second main group, which we will break down into three categories, are the complex makeup of the armed groups. this next slide will show you
that make-up. as i said, you will see that one of the parties, the government of syria, has russia and iran supporting it, along with hezbollah, the russian air campaign, the iranian revolutionary air command, and the iraqi militia. next you have the different rebel groups. as you will see here, they are supported by us in the united states. also the u.k. and france, turkey, the government of saudi arabia, qatar, and jordan. that is making up one group of the opposition. the next side of the opposition, of which you will have heard most likely many times before, is that called jabhat al-nusra. jabhat al-nusra is sponsored by al qaeda. and lastly, on the side of the opposition movement, that is isis. you will see that i in the corner there. which is the islamic state.
some call it the islamic state of iraq in syria. the funding mechanisms which is jabhat al-nusra in syria, and that, and that of isis, you will see, are private funding. there are accusations that there are government entities that are supporting -- let me come over here so i can point -- that are supporting them specifically and particularly, but we -- i do not have concrete evidence of that. these are just speculations that have been made. we do have concrete evidence here, as you will have heard. and we will go through the timeline, that the u.s. has been sponsoring a majority along these lines here. not so much on this line which is closer to that organization, along this line. and many people will then ask about the kurds and where do the kurds fit in. really, you see the kurds coming on this line right here, mainly they are fighting against isis. primarily.
you are seeing here, too, isis fighting jabhat al-nusra and a lot of the rebel groups. they compete for recruits as well. so, how, again, how did we get here? i was teaching a class, speaking to some of the students earlier today, and one of the questions that someone in the audience raised already was, what is the timeline? how does this start? what happened five years ago? how did we move from peaceful protests to one of the worst civil wars of our time? the refugee crisis is the worst since world war ii. the past five years have created the worst crisis of migrants since world war ii. i just want to repeat that so we
can all understand what that means and how we got here. if you will remember, almost five years ago today, five years and some change, the tunisian arab spring happened. and it spread to egypt and it spread to libya and it spread to yemen and it spread to bahrain. and then it spread to syria. and this at the time was something that surprised many people, because everyone knew that if there was a revolution to happen, if a revolution were to occur in syria, it would be different than the other revolutions. the response by the regime and the capability of the regime and the report would be different. and given the location of syria right next to iraq, and right next to lebanon, it would be different. and that is exactly what we have seen. so let me take you back to march
6, 2011. the graffiti incident in daraa. it is in the southern part of syria, which borders jordan on the southern side. it is called, it is referred to as the cradle of the revolution. there are a bunch of graffiti artists or revolutionaries who spray-painted that the people want to topple the regime. what happened in response to that is that those protesters were killed. on march 15, just a little bit over a week later, there was a facebook page titled syrian revolution calling for a day of rage protests. remember, the day of rage protests were happening across the middle east. next thing we know, syrian forces attacked protesters are killing people. the civil uprising was an early stage of protest, but the protests were met with violence. that violence in the protest combined only escalated. in april, what we saw was assad trying to calm the masses and trying to calm people in syria, saying let's have a national
dialogue process. i have heard you, let's recognize the kurds and give them citizenship in syria. let me build trust with you. it was too late. the protesters did not accept, did not accept assad's attempts, and also they watched that assad, just a few days after making an announcement in his speech he was interested in a national dialogue process, killed syrians that were protesting -- over 100 syrians -- on the great friday protest. april 22. by may 24, two months into the revolution, 1000 syrians had died. you can imagine, 1000 syrians across all of syria, not just in one area, 1000 syrians have died in eight weeks time.
on august 18, fast-forward a few months, we see leaders in the u.s., france, britain, and germany calling for assad to resign. dissidents announced the formation of a council to unite groups. you are already seeing right here this period, why this is important, that i have highlighted it. you are already seeing that the opposition groups, notice the plural, the fragmentation is a key point that you will have seen over the past five years and heard over the past five years repeatedly. whose side are we taking? if we are supporting the opposition, who is the opposition? the opposition has evolved over time, and in different areas it has evolved. on september 14, ambassadors from the u.s., japan, and the u.k. take part in individual to support the protest movement. again, the west is taking a side. it is very clear who is coming down on what line. and then we see october 4, china and russia, watch the lines here. china and russia use veto power
to block sanctions on syria. this creates a global risk that will continue for months. not only will it continue for months, it will continue for years, five years to be exact. november 12, syria is suspended from the arab league. the suspension is a harsh diplomatic punishment, isolating assad's regime from arab neighbors. syria called it a betrayal of arab solidarity. next we see january 6, the free syrian army games strength with one of assad's generals defecting. this is a turning point in the civil war. you think about your memory in january 2012, and what people were talking about. they were saying is only a matter of time before assad goes. the opposition is winning. then, russia and china veto a
un security council resolution backing an arab league peace plan. on february 6, the u.s. embassy suspends operations and closes consular services. this is a major sign. the u.s. pulls diplomats out of syria. the u.k. also recalls ambassadors to the country. again, signs of escalation of conflict. it is moving from internal conflict to really a regional conflict that one could argue is a global conflict. what happens next? well -- sorry about that. what happens next is that on february 16, the un's general assembly passes a nonbinding resolution for the resignation of bashar al-assad. this is the first formal resignation request from the united nations for the removal of assad. the reason i am bringing up this point is what is the key point we are hearing today in february 2016? that sticking point is the removal.
this is what people are fighting over. february 23, general kofi annan -- former un's secretary-general kofi annan is appointed the special envoy to syria. he will become the first of three special envoys deployed to syria. that is also a sign of how complicated the conflict has been. on june 16, the un suspends the monetary mission in syria. this is june 16, 2012. a year and some change into the war. the un says the situation has become too dangerous to continue after observers are directly targeted in an attack. june 30, we have the geneva communiqué which calls for a transitional body with executive power. that was supposed to set the framework for peace talks to follow. unfortunately, it never did. on july 18, an explosion at the national security building in damascus kills top regime officials. this is important because now we
are into the war by a year and a half and it looks like the opposition is winning. august 2, kofi annan quits his role as the special envoy. and he cites a lack of unity among world powers over how to solve the syrian crisis. kofi annan says there is a lack of unity among world powers on how to solve the syrian crisis. august 6, the syrian prime minister defects to join the revolution. another sign of the weakening of the assad regime. august 17, there is the second special envoy from the u.n. to syria. september 16, iran confirms that the revolutionary guards are helping assad. another critical moment. this is september 16, 2012. iran steps in in a very major way. on january 11, u.s.-russian
talks on syria end without a breakthrough. another failed moment to make a breakthrough. march 7, syrian refugees hit the 1 million mark. march 7, 2012. -- march 7, 2013. that is three years ago today, one million refugees already displaced. march 14, iran sets up weapons to assad. march 15, 2013, the eu rejects the franco-british proposal to arm syrian rebels. another major point. may 19, syrian rebels take over oilfields. this is important because many people ask how are rebel groups getting financed? part of the financing mechanism for these rebel groups, including extremist groups, is through the oil fields in northern syria. may 25, a major moment. hezbollah leaders vow victory for assad. hezbollah steps in also very publicly, taking sides with assad and the syrian regime.
on june 4, france and britain confirmed the use of chemical gas by syria. it is known as the summer of chemical gas. this is when there were several chemical gas attacks against the syrian people by the regime. this is when we were discussing in the u.s., if you remember the discussion over whether the red line was crossed. june 25, syrian death toll tops 100,000 syrians, now killed by june 25, 2013. that was almost two years ago. so july 13, the u.s. alleges chemical weapons -- you will see that there is a lot of different discussions as to whether chemical weapons happened. it was confirmed that there were. the western powers came to an agreement that there were. there was a lot of discussion happening. july 16, a militia kills a reconciliation team.
again, intensifying attacks against u.n. officials and people working in private diplomatic circles. july 20, the syrian kurds plan a self-government. i have placed that in a because it is important to recognize that the kurds have been playing the role in the conflict as well. the resolution to the conflict has to involve a resolution that involves the kurds. on july 30, iran grants syria a $3.6 billion credit line. that was, again, another show that the iranians are helping support the syrian regime. in the syrian war where we began to see the balance shift towards the regime winning over the opposition. and what happened there, too, as the opposition was weakened, or the middle opposition, you saw an opportunity for the extremist opposition to come in and begin fighting against the middle opposition.
they were actually attacking more of the middle -- i would say, we call them rebels. the rebels are more moderate, i don't like that term, but the moderate opposition was the target primarily in august 2013 of the extremists. isis also started fighting as you will see in 2014. jabhat al-nusra breaks its ties with isis officially. on august 14, the extremists the push syrian rebels out of raqqa. that is now the headquarters of isis. they claim that hundreds die in a chemical attack. the chemical discussion is happening right around this period. we're not sure if the u.s. is going to go in or not. august 27, the u.s. is ready to launch a syria strike. the u.s., u.k., and france begin a push towards military action. august 29, the u.k. parliament
rejects intervention. on august 31, obama slows the timeline for syrian intervention, delays it, taking it over to congress, saying approval from congress is going to be needed. we never go in. from january 14 to july 14, geneva ii is attempted. it fails. that is in january 2014. the majority of fighting is happening between isis and the hattile nusra -- jab al-nusra. al qaeda breaks off links with isis entirely. in june, the city of mosul falls to isis. this is also a major moment because it shows the strength that isis is beginning to gather, and also their entrance from syria to iraq. on august 2014 to december 2014, obama authorizes a strike in syria. we turn the focus of the war more to a retaliation against isis than a focus against the
syrian regime. this is the first time we begin focusing on the extremist elements of the opposition group than on, if you remember what was being talked about in 2011, 2012, and 2013, the removal of assad. following american airstrikes, the kurdish peshmerga the take back vital crossing and isis suffers due to american air superiority. that is an important point, too. it opens up an opportunity for a lot of different players to step in, and you will see who steps in in just a minute. it becomes less and less likely, according to the u.s. state department official, that the armed opposition will be able to militarily defeat the government in syria. you are beginning to see alternative people looking at alternative reality than they had been looking at in the first two or three years of the conflict. there is the third u.s. special envoy to syria. next, we have the u.s. train and equip program that i mentioned earlier. it launches and is suspended in
the same year. egyptian president sisi expresses support for assad. and finally, russian military intervention drastically changes the military playing field. russians kill cia-trained rebels in their first week of bombing. this is where the conflict completely changes. this is the summer of 2015. and that is where we are today. just a couple of days ago, the u.s. and russia agreed to a joint party cease-fire to begin on february 27. which we have seen. that excludes isis and al qaeda linked groups. and on february 28, just yesterday, accusations are being made that the cease-fire was broken by airstrikes. some people say it was broken, others say it was not. the majority of western powers are saying that it was not broken. but where does this leave us? what does the cease-fire mean for us? let me take a moment so that everybody can digest the timeline that we went through. you can see the different --
remember the different evolutions from 2011 to 2015. and here we are today. the landscape has changed dramatically. as i mentioned before, we have 300,000 syrians dead. we have 13.5 million syrians displaced. what is going to be next? and how should we care about what is going to be next? and on that note, yes, the title of the lecture is countering violent extremism in syria and beyond. but also a part of talking about countering violent extremism, we have to have a discussion about what is the right and best future for the syrian people. because if we only approach this war in the future in what is in our own perceived short-term best interests, if we do not think this from a government perspective or a reconciliation perspective of the syrian people themselves, we are not serving long-term security interests in
countering violent extremism and also helping the syrian people. and i say this because many times, when people are talking about their security interests, they think about it just from their own prism. and they do not see the interconnectedness of this discussion. and it just becomes about, how do we get isis? how do we get the al qaeda groups? it is not, how do we create an ecosystem that is going to be sustainable, that actually creates a better future for people who had been traumatized and who have lost and who have seen the unthinkable, the unimaginable, have seen horror? how do we help them move forward to a reality of where they feel that we are a partnership, we are in a partnership together that is a partnership about peace and stability? not just for ourselves but
everyone. how do we get here. how do we get there? here are the options and scenarios ahead. we have three options in the settlement process that we are currently looking at. option one is what i call finish. finish is the government of syria breaks the back of the rebellion and pursues a fight to the finish. that is why it is called finish. and no real negotiation about implementation of the confidence building proposals are discussed. there are no proposals. it is by brute force. the syrian regime continues to govern. and third, no humanitarian aid or pauses or any other political process really takes place. suffering, displacement, destruction, death, and refugees will be multiplied many times as tens of hundreds of thousands flee wherever they will be able to go. after the finish, the international community will be asked to assist on a limited basis, and surrender processes may need facilitation, but there will not be a place for a real negotiated cease-fire process.
you can imagine what will happen, what the steps of what would happen next for the syrian people in a state like this. and about the 13.5 million people who have been displaced, they are probably not going to feel that safe about returning. i just spoke to someone the other day who was accused -- he is syrian with a u.s. visa -- he is accused of being a partner with the cia. that night, there were people, security forces knocking on his door. he escaped to beirut. he made it out safely. but you can imagine a lot of the people who have escaped and who have made it out are not going to feel comfortable returning in a scenario like this. and a scenario where it has really been more of a surrender than anything else. but this is potentially where things could end up. we have to think about the reality of that and what that does mean for the syrian people and us from a global security standpoint. next is option two, which is the
match option. outside states supporting the armed group will match the russian escalation. remember the slide where i pointed to, the proxies in the funders for the moderate opposition to the right opposition, the right-hand opposition, if you remember? those are the outside states that i am saying might come in and a stalemate might become a reality. going back to that, in a situation if that were the case, you can imagine that the conflict would most likely, because of the players we are talking about, which is saudi arabia, turkey, united arab emirates, qatar, remember how close they are, remember which neighborhood they live in. if that were to occur and that were to happen, the conflict could spread even further beyond the syrian borders. and we would be looking at at a very different war than we are looking at right now.
i think this is the least likely option, but i would not take this option off of the table. and the third option would be an actual settlement. and that would be external supporters on both sides, external supporters being, again, the outside supporters like the u.s. and turkey and iran and russia, supporters on both sides of the conflict agree to the terms of a settlement and press the parties to comply. because it is going to take that external pressure that actually gets them there, that pushes them to the table. and the international syrian support group, the issg, will set the framework for a political process and a sustainable cease-fire. under this option, if the settlement is a pro-government settlement, what we will see is the government of syria and the international community will announce a cease-fire, setting out terms for those who agree to the settlement condition. and the battle will continue against all others.
we are beginning to see this play out right now. armed groups will likely be destroyed and the international community will be asked to support, return, rehabilitate, but otherwise have a very limited role. a balanced settlement process, which is what i think the majority of people would like to see, would be the issg set out a detailed formula for a settlement process and cease-fire building on the previous statements. cease-fire, humanitarian aid, political processes that lead into a sustainable future that then leads into a national dialogue process and constitutional reform where there is coordination between the warring factions which would be critical. you will see cooperation and collaboration among all of the different groups that we covered on the earlier slide. you remember that slide with the y diagram. all of those groups and outside groups collaborating with each other. as you can imagine, and what
kofi annan stated when he resigned in 2012, this is extremely difficult. but if it were to happen, this is probably the scenario that is the best from a global security standpoint. and why is that the case? that is what we are now going to talk about. countering violent extremism. how do we counter violent extremism? what is violent extremism? what is terrorism? on this, i think it is important that we start with the definition of terrorism, at least as it is in the u.s. code. international terrorism means activity with the following three characteristics, so we are all on the same page. it involves violent acts or dangerous acts to human life that violate federal or state law. it intends to intimidate or coerce a civilian population, to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or
coercion, or to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assessment, or kidnapping. and it occurs primarily outside the territorial jurisdiction of the united states. domestic terrorism involves the first two, but it happens on u.s. soil. so how do we define countering terrorism and/or countering violent extremism? counterterrorism, or countering violent extremism, incorporates the practice, military tactics, techniques, and strategies that governments, military law enforcement, business, and intelligence agencies used to combat or prevent terrorism or extremism. for me, how that reads in essence, that is an ecosystem. it is addressing a -- creating a holistic approach. an ecosystem that addresses extremism, or, and/or terrorism.
so i want to next go to how can human rights and good governance help prevent terrorism and extremism? and this goes back to why i was saying option three, with a balanced settlement process, is our best case scenario for combating violent extremism in syria. which, by the way, is also in the interests of the majority of the syrian people. most of these refugees are fleeing syria, yes, because they are fleeing the assad regime, they are also primarily fleeing because of extremism and the barbaric nature that they are facing. with the al qaeda groups and isis. andith jabhat al-nusra isis. they are saying this is not the community that we want our children to grow up in. these are not the values that we want our children and our sisters and our mothers and our brothers and our fathers to witness. this is not us. this is no longer the syria that we once knew. yes, we love syria.
i am saying this because this is what i have heard so many times from syrians who left syria. we cannot take the barbarism that we are witnessing. keeping that in mind, how human rights and good governance help prevent terrorism and extremism, the conditions that make individuals or communities vulnerable to violent extremism recruitment, often called "push factors," are often physical insecurity or the inability to provide for one's family. i think we can all agree that many syrian people feel that these are the conditions they are currently living in, and if we do not have a sustainable peace process that supports them in a realistic way, this is only going to continue. two, even where people's low-level needs are not met, social and political marginalization can impact higher-order human needs such as a valued role or a higher purpose.
again, do you think that a valued role or higher purpose is being served right now for the syrians who are currently living in syria? or for the syrians who have left syria and have no place to go? and/or they do not have access to work permits or jobs or opportunities? and three, as president obama noted, groups like al qaeda and isil exploit the anger that fasters when people feel that injustice and corruption leaves them with no chance to improve their lives. if you leave people with the thought that i have no hope, there is no chance for improvement. there is no gateway for opportunity for me. they are vulnerable.
and that is who isis and al qaeda, those are the conditions on which they thrive on. that is why we need to provide alternatives. how do we counter violent extremism? how do we counter terrorism? we create an ecosystem that naturally, organically creates alternatives for people who are at this point in their lives hopeless and feel there is no chance available for them and nobody cares about them. and fourth, young people take up arms not only because they are poor but also because they are angry. this is important as well, because every extremism, every incident of a shame isn't or every community that is preyed on by extremism is not created the same. yes, sometimes you see communities that are impoverished and preyed upon. sometimes you see communities that are not impoverished but they are angry because they feel politically disenfranchised.
now i am talking not just about syria, i am talking about beyond syria. that is not to say that the reaction, and becoming a extremist or a terrorist is ok. but it is to recognize that nobody is born a terrorist, ok? and it is not good for us to just assume -- it is not a part of the solution for us to assume that everyone who is a terrorist was born that way and there is no hope for them. the only option that we have is just to crush them and fight them militarily. you have your short-term agenda and goals when countering violent extremism, countering terrorism. but you also have your long-term. from the short-term aspect, yes, there are some lines where the only solution is force. but that is a minority.
the majority is actually to identify patterns to radicalization. and to intervene, ok? cut those patterns off. going back to that point of creating an ecosystem of alternative to extremism. it is important to recognize that community radicalization and the types of interventions that are most effective may differ dramatically from geographic location to geographic location. so radicalization efforts in countering efforts in nigeria are different than those in france. we can talk about that in the question-and-answer period, if anyone has a question about that. next, i want to give you a bit of statistics, because i think it is important for us to understand the data we are dealing with. 80% of terrorist attacks between 2002 and 2014 occurred in nigeria and somalia.
60% of terrorist attacks between 2007 and 2014 happened in muslim majority countries. measured in terms of concentration of risk, regions of the highest percentage of high or severe risk countries at the top, here is where we are. south asia, north africa, sub-saharan africa, latin america, western countries, asia-pacific. since 2007, 80% of all terrorist attacks of happened in 10 countries. the quote i give you before is from 2002 to 2014. 78% of happened in iraq, pakistan, afghanistan, india, thailand, russia, somalia, nigeria, yemen, and columbia. the trend is starting to change as russia and colombia have seen a decline.
libya and egypt have seen increases. why is that relevant other than understanding the data accurately? that is because a lot of these countries are in the same neighborhood. that is important for us to recognize for a variety of reasons, which, again, we are running a little bit out of time, but i will take it in the question-and-answer period if people have questions. latin america is the region with the most positive overall results that we are seeing, and in a hyper connected world, far away problems can affect local threat, and political violence can escalate and spread rapidly. that is also why, from a self-interested standpoint, when thinking about extremism, is it is happening in faraway places, and i have heard many people say, let's just keep that over there. it is becoming almost impossible to just have an isolated mentality that says, let me just see if i can build my walls bigger and higher and just keep that stuff happening over there so that it does not touch me. because what happens in the end is somehow, and we have seen
this and history has repeated itself in many occasions, it does come back and affect us. so, if but for our own self-interest, what is happening in the extremism growing in the faraway places is relevant to us. i just wanted to highlight this very quickly with regards to military spending equally 2.3% of global gdp. you will see of the u.s., china, saudi arabia, the u.k., and russia are in the top five. i want to highlight this because many people say that the u.s. defense apparatus is weakening. i will let you be the judge of that. and then i just want to say, as secretary kerry, eliminating the terrorists of today with force will not guarantee protection from the terrorists of tomorrow. this is what i am saying here. the matter how many terrorists we bring to justice, those groups will replenish the ranks. we need to do more to prevent young people from turning to terror in the first place.
the young people that turn to violent extremism do not exist in a vacuum. they are often a part of communities and families today and then lured into barbaric organizations tomorrow. that is a very critical point. we need to prevent them from being lured into barbaric organizations of tomorrow. that is countering violent extremism that will make the world a safer place. and i just want to mention that there are really eight factors here, that i will step out and address. and those eight factors that i think if we focus on will make us safer if we follow these over the next 10 years. not only will make us safer as americans, will make the world safer. that is, number one, develop a policy that aligns government policies with communal
interests. here i am not just talking about a national u.s. cve strategy. i am talking about every nationstate having a national cve strategy that focuses on on aligning policies with local and communal interests. when these policies and interests are not aligned, guess what happens? revolutions, like what we have seen that do not go the right way. number two -- and i must say that i do not believe in revolutions, but it is important to understand how this all begins and how it can be prevented in a more peaceful way. number two is to empower civil society. by civil society, i mean nonprofit organizations, but i also mean the private sector as well. everybody plays a role here. we cannot just contract this out
to the pentagon or to the defense department or to the ministry of defense. this is, again, going back to the ecosystem, this is a responsibility that all of us can play a part in in different ways. number three -- number two connects to number three. expanding political opportunities for at-risk populations. we can be strategic in where we focus our soft power initiatives. for example, we can be strategic about -- as i mentioned, one of the top places his nigeria right now. we can think through -- what type of private sector investments are we making in nigeria? how many jobs are being created in nigeria right now through diplomatic and international efforts? over 40% of youth in the arab world right now are unemployed. you do not think that that is connected to the extremist trend that we are seeing increasing? they absolutely are. we can do something about that. we should do something about
that. again, create an alternative to extremism. number four, promote human rights, which is also linked to number one. number five, counter dangerous narratives that create marginalization. words matter. this goes back to the feeling of being disenfranchised and not just being attracted to extremism because of being in an impoverished environment, but also being angry. and this is something we are seeing. number six, support youth suffering from mental illnesses and trauma. this is a critical point we should focus more time and energy on. think about the number of syria children who have been traumatized from five years of war. number seven, avoid generalizations about entire groups of people that may feel disenfranchised. strengthen community and policing relationships.
large-scale arrests and sweeps can in turn promote radicaliza -- they can actually help people that are trying to radicalize those same exact communities. so i will stop there, because i know that we have 15-20 minutes for questions. and thank you. but, so, happy to take any questions on that. both on the syrian conflict, countering violent extremism, and/or how they relate. >> thank you very much. we do have runners here with microphones. we are recording the event so i will ask to raise your hand. we want short, crisp questions. no monologues or commentaries, please. >> thank you very much for your presentation. i found it very interesting. i did not see a lot of discussion in your conversation about the nature of the sectarian state. i guess a big part of the reconciliation process will be about how to restructure the
state to make it more equitable among christians, alawi, sunni vying for power. i wonder if you could address that? samar: address the sectarian nature of the conflict? >> no, no. i think that is pretty clear. you can describe that, of course. in the future, how will the state need to be restructured to essentially create this ecosystem where any group can profit? samar: right, so that is a very good question, and as you can see, that is where we are starting off. and we have to get to a line, really, of where this, this right here, collapses over here. and you have a state versus the extremist group. that is where we have to get to. if we can. and so what you end up having is everyone working towards a common future. and we probably will not see al qaeda or isis working towards a common future that the rest of the world can get behind.
but we will see -- we can see all of the others. and that is the majority of syrians. on the left side of the line, which would then be replaced with a g, which is one government. how do we get there? well, i think one of the conflicts that i have studied that gives me hope, and i think is a model that we can focus on is that of south africa. and in south africa, what the focus has been on is a common future. what is the common future that we can work towards? and that being, as we talked about earlier today, what are trade initiatives that can be institutionalized that encourage people who are currently divided to begin to work together? and that you have to have a vision for, but you have to have
a vision that is something that is attractive for people across the spectrum, from alawites, to people who are living in huts, diversity-wise across the country. it is something that benefits not only people who are in damascus or other areas but the entire country. i think the other thing you have to do with that regard is tone down the sectarian rhetoric and that happens through leadership mechanisms. that comes from how we here in the west are also talking about this conflict that comes from private diplomatic discussions that are happening not necessarily in open media circles, but that's getting different leadership to commit to a different way of approaching the middle east at the moment. so i think this is not just a syrian problem. this is an entire middle east question that you've asked right now and that is, how do you get the sunni and the shia and the
kurdish factions all aligned and moving in one direction? sort of like how we have in our country right here and right now. how do we get the republicans and democrats to cooperate together for the good of the country? how do we help them focus on what's best for america and not what is necessarily best for part of an interest. -- partisan interests. >> yeah, first, thank you for coming. second, i want to talk about saudi arabia's role in the syrian conflict and the greater middle east. specifically relating to ideological purposes. saudi arabia practices a strict interpretation, wahhabi-style, of their religion while the isis i don't want to suggest that
saudi arabia is propagating the islamic state or what jabhat al qaeda does. i just want to make clear that when there is western promotion of saudi arabia's economic needs, they exasperate their stranglehold on sunni islam and if there's supposed to be a cohesion of democracy within their religion, which should be for allowed all over the world. how can we get to that point for their support for those who practice that type of islam? samar: if you can clarify, what is your definition of wahhabi-style islam? >> from my understanding, it has to do with the strict interpretation of economic, socio-background processes that allow for marginalization of those who might not believe in the evolution of power that started in the ad's between the death of moment that she death
of mohammed -- the death of mohammed and divided sunni and shia. really inherently saudi arabia practices, from my understanding. i am just, i was very confused as to how, if we're all talking about ideology and talking about wanting to stop the the radicalization process, these type of sanctioned understandings where underneath, there could be that spread of extreme strict interpretations, how can we counter that and coalesce the different factions into doing something to progress that underground trend? if that makes sense? samar: yeah, i just start off by saying the strict interpretation on the socioeconomic background side is incorrect. the strict interpretation of islam focuses more on there being a balance and lessening inequality from the socioeconomic standpoint.
so i don't think that that's -- from what i'm understanding, that's what you meant for how wahhabism is defined. i understand you're using the word wahhabism as a philosophy that is extremely conservative and that's not representative of the majority of muslims in the muslim world. >> that is exactly what i meant. samar: ok. [laughter] sure. and so it's a good question. it's a very good question. the answer is that you're never going to get 100% of people that will refuse to follow an ideological extremist narrative, but the majority of people and the majority of people living in saudi arabia are not interested in living the lifestyle of which you just depicted, and the
majority of syrians aren't interested in that as well. so sometimes it could be a means to an end, or sometimes it's a pathway because no other alternative exists. that's why i'm saying you need an alternative pathway that's more in line with how the majority of muslims want to live today, and the majority of muslims want to live the same lifestyle that everybody in this room right here are living right now. it's about connecting and building bridges and offering that opportunity that i'm talking about creating here. opt i'm talking about. if we are a is going to be thinking about the 2% or the 3% of people that will never pull over, quite frankly, and i don't think it is all of saudi arabia. i think it is a small percentage of saudi arabia and a small percentage of the muslim world. but if you only focus on the what if we don't ever convert the 2% to 3%, we will never move forward.
letou can't say -- don't perfect be the enemy of good. you might not ever have an hundred percent. the 98% or 97% is better than what we are currently looking at. >> hi, my name is yasim. i'm from syria. us arabs, we worry about this. where do you see syria in five years? this is a smaller group. four years ago, isis was about 500 people.
five years ago or four years ago. i don't remember the date. now we are talking about 30,000 members. why is this? if nothing changed in syria or what doess anything, it look like in syria five years from now? nobody stopped the war there >> >> would you consider the finished of the war? >> yes. samar: if we don't do that primitive -- the preventative
orsures that i talked about address the injustices that have been committed on all sides, quite frankly, not just from the regime to the opposition, but from all sides really -- and if you don't address that, the a's your will increase. we will see an increase of anger. we will see an increase in poverty. we will see an increase in the lack of trust. we will see an increase in the lack of cooperation across nationstates. i think by just what i just said, we can imagine where that will go and what will happen with that. we shouldn't let that happen. we have tools in our toolbox to change that course. that's what i want to get across today.
throw up their hands and say, well, what do we do about the middle east? but just as senator corker continues to remind us, the u.s. senator from tennessee, we need a broader you -- a broader middle east strategy, one that is long-term and mixed in spirit we can't -- and makes sense. those people are people like anybody else. know i docome as you have experienced yourself, historical realities that have pushed them into a very unfortunate time period. but that doesn't mean we just say, oh well, that's just unfortunate. we look and see how we get come again, the different interests between the different proxies are now -- because this is in many ways a proxy war -- how do we get them to collaborate? how do we bridge the sectarian divide that currently exists? how do we treat jobs? how are we going to rebuild?
how are we going to provide humanitarian aid? these are questions that we cannot simply dismiss to the middle east. that is what i am getting at. this is a global security matter of where we all hold a certain level of responsibility that, if we rise up to the occasion, we will counter violent extremists. and we will provide a better future for the syrian people. and one that has a common future and the common vision. the syrian people to decide. >> given the political rhetoric that is dominating the news breaththis was a great of fresh air. that's all i can say. very insightful. we thank you very much. oakes, give her a nice round of applause. [applause]
i do have a very small token of appreciation for you. you can use these in your law firm office at your home but they are very nice. thank you very much for coming. we are very pleased to have you. thank you, everyone. we look forward to seeing you again here at the baker center for one of our premier events. have a good evening. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] >> it is certainly not going to be washington, d.c. that steps in and solves these problems.
be -- friends and family, churches, charities, loved ones, treatment centers, people working to help those who are struggling overcome their addiction. drug addiction is a disease. president obama: in 2010, we released our first national drug control strategy. withllowed that up in 2011 the prescription drug abuse prevention plan. we are implementing those plans. we are partnering with communities to prevent -- to prevent overdose deaths. announcer: with a new pass between democrats, the white house and republicans over the next supreme court justice, we look at what today's leaders have said in the past concerning the nominating and confirmation process of individuals to the supreme court. my view, confirmation
hearings, no matter how long, how fruitful, how thorough, can alone provide a sufficient basis for determining if a nominee merits a seat on our supreme court. >> the thoughtful senators should realize that any benefits barring an ideological opponent from the court are not likely to outweigh the damage done to the court's institutional standing. freeman goes on. ideological opposition to a nominee from one end of the is likely toctrum help generate similar opposition to later nominations from the opposite end. announcer: those are some of the programs featured this week on c-span. tonight, it is book tv in primetime with a look at books and authors on military and national security issues.
we will show 3, you a recent symposium on the live, career, and legacy of president abraham lincoln. books and history tonight in primetime starting at 8:00 eastern on c-span 2 and c-span 3. c-span,r: tonight on the supreme court cases that shaped our history come to light with "landmark cases: historic decisions."t that explores real-life stories and constitutional dramas behind some of the most significant decisions in american history. >> john marshall said this is different. the constitution is a portal document. it sets up the political structures. but it is also a law to if it is a law, we the courts to tell what it means and that is binding on the other branches. >> the fact that it is the --imate anti-presidential anti-presidential race.
>> the supreme court said it should make the decision about the debates. announcer: tonight, we will look at limited privileges and immunities of citizenship guaranteed by the 14th amendment . the slaughterhouse cases. announcer: duke university's sociology professor christopher bell is the author of a book called "terrified, how anti-muslim organizations became mainstream." he spoke to an audience at duke university. this is almost an hour. [applause] >> hi, thank you for joining us. i am the director of the islamic studies center. it is a privilege for us to have the professor joining us on a topic of interest to so many of us. the professor is an assistant
professor of sociology at duke university. he studies have nonprofit organizations and other political actors create cultural change by analyzing large groups of text from newspapers, television, public opinion surveys, and social media sites such as facebook and twitter. his research has been published by princeton university press, including this wonderful book. his work has awards from the american sociological association -- the society for the synthetic scientific study of religion and the society for study of
social problems. he's been supported by the national science foundation and the robert wood johnson foundation. his research has also been covered by major media outlets, such as nbc news, national public radio, and washington post. as of today, c-span. [laughter] professor bail has a phd from harvard in 2011. in his first monograph, which i put on the screen, is "terrified," a study of how anti-muslim fringe organizations became mainstream. it was published by princeton in 2014. please join me in warmly welcoming professor bail. [applause] mr. bail: thank you for that very generous introduction. thank you for hosting me. i like to begin my talk by looking at recent media headlines. probably most of you have heard
donald trump's comments last month in which he claimed to have observed muslims in new jersey celebrating after the september 11 attack. despite widespread this belief of this statement, he doubled down and later called for a ban on all muslims. his competitors were not too far off the field. ted cruz, several days later made pointed comments that implied that most or even all muslims passively condone terrorism. marco rubio tried to out trump trump. he claimed that we should not only be shutting down certain houses of worship, but any place where muslims congregate. ben carson, before trump, nabbed one of the biggest fundraising
holes in a single hour for the republican party for his disparaging comments about islam. i don't think we will see an end to this anytime soon. my research question is simply -- how did this anti-muslim sentiment becomes a mainstream? how can a leading candidate for the presidency disparage one of the country's largest religious groups, given that her country has foundational principles surrounding religious liberty and freedom? and you may think there are a few easy answers to this question. muslims or people who call themselves muslims are implicated in some very terrifying recent events most recently the san bernadino attacks. when we look at the numbers as my colleague charlie kerzman has
done, we see quite clearly we should be much more afraid of a variety of other threats to our well being than terrorism. with the threat terrorism there is no clear cut evidence it is increasing on an exponential scale. maybe it's isis, this terrifying new organization that has proven that it can take over large slots of territory, has committed horrific acts of terror against u.s. citizens, and european citizens, that's proven its capacity to do massive harm in places like paris, and yet i'm going to show you today that this story really begins years before isis was even around. maybe this is just 911 you might ask. maybe a story about a kind of butterfly effect. most americans pre 9/11 could barely knew any muslims.
the survey data suggests less than one in three americans had ever met a muslim which is somewhat shocking and i think probably more reasonable to say they didn't knowingly meet a muslim because muslims have been in the united states since the beginning of our history as many of you probably know. but nevertheless, an event of the scale of 9/11 surely would provoke some type of back lash. interestingly what we see is actually an uptick in positive sentiment toward muslims and specifically muslim americans after the 9/11 attacks. we don't see a steady growth, kind of wave like growth of antimuslim sentiment from 9/11 on. in fact, if we go back to the immediate aftermath of 9/11, prominent republicans such as george w. bush were, in fact, outwardly going out of their way to say islam is a religion of peace, were criticizing various
evangelical leaders who had said a variety of disparaging things about muslims. this image here is bush meeting with numerous leaders of muslim american organizations among them the current leader on the council of american islamic relations, an organization which now faces pervasive allegations that it tacitly condones terrorism. i'll say more about that in a little bit. so if it is not fear of terrorism, not isis, if it's not 9/11, what is it? i'm going to argue today that a small network of antimuslim organizations in the wake of the september 11 attacks captivated the media and, specifically, through emotional appeals. and though these organizations were once peripheral actors within the broader family of organizations trying to shape public discourse about islam,
they've now raised more than $242 million to mount one of the most significant campaigns to shift american public opinion against islam. i'll show you how they've exerted considerable influence upon our counterterrorism policy, the recent wave of so-called antisharia laws, and, you know, perhaps most disturbingly how they've even been hired to train our counterterrorism officials. all of this occurs in the broader context of the so-called battle for hearts and minds we currently find ourselves in against groups like isis and, surely as i'll show you at the end of my talk these fringe ideas about the antimuslim ideas are avid travelers. they get picked up by international media where i think they may do their most significant harm by tarnishing the reputation of the united states which was once a paragon for religious freedom and making
it seem as though the u.s. is in fact antimuslim, thereby validating the claim of groups like isis that the u.s. is fundamentally at war with islam. now historically, social scientists -- i'm a cultural sociologist -- we looked at small cases of organizations that exerted profound change on public discourse. so we track down an organization that, you know, shapes the way we talk about say nuclear energy or any kind of big, social problem we all deal with. and there are a variety of problems with that approach. we wind up studying groups and wouldn't learn about groups that failed and we'd wind up with a distorted picture that uses circular reasoning to try to understand how groups exert influence on public discourse.
but when i was trained, i was learning alongside other social scientists about the new wave of computational social science methods or so-called big data. these are the increasingly large amounts of data that are available due to the rise of social media, the internet, the mass digitization of archival and historical records and so on and so forth. so in my book i leveraged these new computational methods to try to ask, to answer this question. who gets to speak on behalf of islam before the american public and why? and to do this, i collected a massive sample of press releases produced by any organizations trying to shape public discourse about islam. so these include not only
antimuslim fringe organizations but also groups like the council on american islamic relations, or various other muslim public affairs council and so on, other kind of advocacy groups, religious organizations, think tanks, and so on and so forth, all nonstate and nonprofit groups trying to shape public discourse about islam. i then collected all mentions of these organizations in a large number of, large group of media documents including newspapers to measure the kind of political spectrum of the media from left to right, as well as tv -- fox news, cnn, and cbs news. and the innovation of my work is to use a plagiarism detection device to check the extent to which each press release influences this larger public discourse about islam. what is neat about the new algorithms is we can identify not only verbatim quotes, here we have a press release that says bias and hate is unamerican, this also identifies
near matches or paraphrased quotes of the press releases. and they enable kind of quantitative measure of the amount of the influence of each organization upon public discourse about islam. i also conducted in depth interviews with the leaders of each, all of these organizations or, sorry, sub sample of these organizations. both those that succeeded in influencing public discourse about islam as well as those who had little or no influence on shaping public discourse about islam. and so let me tell you the story -- my book actually begins with a history of muslim american organizations in the united states and the broader struggle to shape the public opinion about islam before the 9/11
attacks. but today i'm going to focus mostly on the post 9/11 period because i think it has the most implications for the current type of main streaming of fringe ideas about islam that we're seeing among conservative leaders. it's difficult to forget this image. it is seared into many of our heads, our subconscious. yet what most of us may forget is that there was an outpouring of sympathy for muslims after the 9/11 attacks. so there have been yearly surveys of american public opinion of islam which i'll soon show you which show as i mentioned earlier an increase in positive sentiment toward muslims after the 9/11 attacks. this on top of dozens and dozens and dozens of statements from all manner of civil society groups arguing that muslims are in fact a peaceful people who are being victimized by a minority among them who are hijacking the religion for political ends.
and this is an example of how the plagiarism detection analysis can show us this. i need to take a few minutes to walk you through this graph. first of all, each of these circles describes an organization -- think tank or religious group, advocacy group, and so on. and the size of each circle describes how much media influence they had. how many times newspapers or television channels regurgitated their message and their press releases. you can see some organizations like the council on american islamic relations have a lot of influence. but most organizations have no influence. these tiny little dots here. now, the position of these circles describes the similarity of their messages. so with a group of research assistants i coded the type of language that each organization uses to describe muslims. these could be things like, you
know, muslims as victims narrative, or islam is an inherently dangerous and violent religion narrative. what we see is that most groups were using a main stream narrative that was simply that main stream muslims organizations or muslim americans are a peaceful group who are being victimized by a group of political radicals who have hijacked their religion for political ends. and yet as we look at who got the most media attention, it's groups like the middle east forum or the center for security policy. two relatively obscure organizations at the time in the wake of 9/11 who are receiving the lion's share of media coverage. now, these groups were advancing a so-called stealth jihad narrative which will be another theme i'll talk about, and their narrative was essentially that muslims and muslim americans in particular are a column secretly
plotting to undermine the u.s. constitution, implement sharia law, and they hide between a thin veil of political correctness in so doing. this is an example of the type of work that -- the type of messages that came out. on the left is daniel pipes from the middle east forum. famously launched a campus watch campaign. his idea was that u.s. universities had been infiltrated by terrorist sympathizers for radical islam and that a concerted campaign was needed to out these folks and to prevent the future generation of u.s. leaders from being duped into the idea that muslims are actually a peaceful group when in fact he was arguing they are kind of a trojan horse. likewise on the right here you'll see frank gaffney from the center for security policy,
one of the people who later became instrumental in the so-called antisharia movement and the various attempts to create laws that would prevent the use of sharia law in the united states. and he famously accused the white house of being infiltrated by extremists, among them grover norquist who had a very weak ties to a hedge fund that funds many of the largest muslim american organizations in the country. and so why didn't main stream muslim organizations get in the media? i argue in my book it is because of the emotional message. these were visceral, fearful, angry, condemnations of muslims and muslim americans in particular that really alerted a public that had very little idea again what islam was, who muslims were, the majority of americans had not met a muslim and the majority of americans could not have -- were unable to identify the koran as the holy book of islam or allah as the
deity associated with islam. so america's imagination about islam was very fertile. it was a real opportunity to define what was going on. and as is so often the case with the media the loudest voice gets most of the attention. now, the story might have ended there had, you know, like the proverbial boy who cries wolf, in the absence of another major terror attack we might have seen these type of emotional appeals disappear. instead we saw something very different. though i showed you that these groups represented a minority of all voices talking about islam, it appeared as if they were a majority. and that because of the media distortion of this family of organizations so the majority of you wasn't getting out the minority view was being misperceived as a majority view.
this had a variety of consequences but one of the most important i argue was for muslim american organizations themselves. and so this rise, this surge of antimuslim sentiment in the media i argue in my book created what i call a rip tide, a reaction among main stream muslim organizations that served to further increase the profile of antimuslim organizations. this chart describes what type of messages main stream muslim groups like council on american islamic relations, muslim public affairs council, were making in their messages. now you may not be able to read this. on the top this large line, this is the number of press releases per day and this is the period from 2001 to 2003. you can see it was very common for organizations to dispatch press releases that condemned antimuslim sentiment. these were things like hate crimes against muslims. controversies about whether for example a muslim should be
allowed to pray at an airport and so on and so forth. and many, many organizations were understandably very critical of these types of issues. this lower line here shows all of these, all of the press releases picked up by the media that condemned antimuslim sentiment. you can see the majority of their voice in the media was condemning antimuslim sentiment. and this tinier line here describes the number of press releases that condemned terrorism. not antimuslim sentiment but terrorism. groups like al qaeda which was then the foremost terrorist organization. and this tiny sliver, this tiny black sliver here describes the number of press releases by main stream muslim organizations that received any media coverage. and so if you can imagine for a
moment that you are an american with very little information about islam, and you're confronted by a media that showed you a variety of very fearful and compelling messages to suggest that this is in fact a dangerous religion, combined with an apparent absence of condemnation on the part of muslim americans themselves, and instead a group of people, muslim americans, who appeared more concerned about dispatching and discarding antimuslim sentiment than they were about condemning terrorism. i'll show you in a moment how this kind of helped the antimuslim narrative coalesce. antimuslim organizations were able to accuse main stream muslim organizations of tacitly condoning terrorism because they never publicly, their message was not getting out that they were unequivocally condemning terrorism by groups like al qaeda. and at the same time it lent credence to the idea these groups were actually hiding behind a veil of political correctness. that is that they were more
concerned about criticizing antimuslim sentiment than they were about criticizing terrorism, itself. at the time muslim american leaders were enmeshed in very vexing debates about whether and how terrorism should be condemned. there was a very real concern that by condemning terrorism you would somehow legitimate the idea that islam has anything to do with terrorism. and so many organizations such as council on american islamic relations spent much more of their time as this graph shows condemning antimuslim sentiment rather than condemning terrorism. i'll come back to that theme a little later. and so here is the analogy again of the rip tide. the more that main stream muslim american groups condemn antimuslim rhetoric, the further they get pulled out to sea. until we actually see a change
of public discourse around islam, that is that attacking fire with fire and that by the way is why so many of the antimuslim -- so many of the condemnations of antimuslim sentiment got media attention, because they were also very emotionally charged. people were extremely angry at people like daniel pipes and that of course feeds the media frenzy. the media sees the back and forth emotions and gravitates toward that. meanwhile condemnations of terrorism were much more intellectual and dispassionate. they like to invoke geopolitics and kind of more intellectual reasoning but lack the tangible emotion that the media gravitates toward. i argue in the book that is one reason they didn't get much media attention. yet again, the condemnations of antimuslim sentiment fed the media fire, increased the profile of antimuslim organizations, and enabled them to achieve even more standing within the mass media.
so you can see this is the first graph i showed you which is after the 9/11 environment. here are organizations that produced antimuslim messages and the vast majority of groups who are producing pro or moderately pro muslim messages. and between 2001 and 2003 and 2004 and 2006 you can see that the number of organizations producing antimuslim messages more than doubled. the color of these circles by the way described the emotional valence -- a little hard to see on this screen. you can see the emotional power down here of antimuslim groups was increasing as they grew in size. okay. at this point they still represent a minority of all groups battling or struggling to shape american public discourse about islam. how did they become main stream? how did we get to the point where they could raise $245 million and compel major
political figures to express such vehemently antimuslim views? well, here's one more year of data, so here's the plagiarism detection analysis for 2001. 2004 to 2006. 2007 to 2008. and as you can see on the right side of the graph here, the number of organizations that are expressing an antimuslim narrative increases threefold. these ties, these kind of arcs between these organizations describe organizations that share a board member. so you can see that not only did they grow in size but they also forged allegiances to powerful organizations outside of the field such as a republican -- other groups who would enable them to solidify their stature within the public sphere and more importantly enable them to make weak ties to financeers,
other political connections that would solidify their stature. so this graph describes several of the largest antimuslim organizations in the country at the time and shows that their donations to contributions in u.s. dollars here over this period from 2001 to 2011 again grew exponentially. even at the height of the financial crisis in 2008. and i argue in the book that the increased media profile of these organizations gave them the standing necessary to become visible, to become an organization that could be essentially donated to. and with this money they began to further consolidate the capacity to find islam in the american public sphere. one of the ways they did this i argue in the book is to invent experts. the very idea of a terrorism expert is a business of an oxymoron. terrorism is by definition arbitrary and indiscriminate. of course collecting data on terrorism it is extremely difficult. so even among academics there is
very little consensus about how and why terrorism happens. but there is an industry, a very well funded industry of people who call themselves terrorism experts. many of whom have very little credentials to call themselves such. many of whom don't even for example speak languages that are spoken in regions that are most afflicted by terrorism. and then there's also a variety of people who have the appearance of being muslim and get an additional level of credibility by for example the color of their skin or their accent but are in fact not muslim. so examples of these are folks from lebanon, palestine, who became really high profile media voices during this period and published several best seller
books on the "new york times" best seller book list. so the one hand these organizations funded and propelled the so-called terrorism experts into a celebrity, which then, you know, now again picture yourself as the american public. you don't know much about muslims. you've been exposed to this very scary message. muslims, themselves, don't seem to be saying anything. and now people who look and sound like muslims are telling you that muslims are actually terrorists. so you can see how there is a kind of confluence of events that begins to cohere around the antimuslim narrative. not only are they funding these types of folks to write books and give talks and so on, but they're creating their own infrastructure for public outreach. this is a scene from the equivalent of "sesame street" in palestine, which the organization translated as i "will shoot the jews."
this is a woman who is talking to these two young children who have said according to this translation " will shoot the jews." and this went on to air at cnn and one of the administrative assistants at cnn quickly realized it had been mistranslated. it did not read "i will shoot the jews." it read the "jews are shooting us." this is an example of the type of manipulation that exists and is possible when you have such power to define the public conversation. they also funded major film. spent about $19 million on a film called "obsession." this film which has a very scare sounding piano music at the beginning and very compelling cinematography was distributed in every major paper in the
runup to the election. it draws analogies between radical islam and not see his him -- and nazism. there is not a bona fide muslim leader that appears. instead there is a contrite of anti-muslim groups alongside some of the so-called experts that i just mentioned, who again, lend credence to the idea that the american public is being duped by mainstream muslims. by 2008, we've reached the position where anti-muslim organizations are no longer part of the french. they are from the part of the mainstream. they have political connections. they have their own media infrastructure. meanwhile, mainstream muslim organizations have little
immediate influence. they are involved in excruciating debates about whether and how to respond. as a result, they are falling out of the public view. this provided an opportunity for antimuslim organization allows them to attack the legitimacy of anti-muslim organizations. you can also say he was mainstream and who is not. groups like the council on american islamic relations are widely accused of tacitly condoning or encouraging terrorism. there's an act of congress which is designed to condemn their organization. the fbi breaks ties with the council on islamic relations, which was the most largest muslim advocacy group. it's at least one of the larger organizations. then we see in the senate, hearings on the threat of domestic radicalization.
joe lieberman, susan collins, and later peter king, in which only one of the mainstream muslim organizations that are analyzed in the book appeared. it when i surprising to note who else appeared, anti-muslim organizations and people that call themselves terrorism experts. the other neat thing about the plagiarism detection approach is that i compare the spread of anti-sharia legislation. one thing that happened around 2008 is some anti-muslim organizations got together with advocacy groups that designed model legislation for policy and sent it to a bunch of legislators. i got my hands him a copy of that model legislation. i used the plagiarism detection
software to compare it to the legislation actually introduced in so many u.s. states. on the left, these are groups that introduced the legislation. the number next to them represents the number of words in a text lifted verbatim from the anti-sharia model education. you can see in some cases,, mississippi, 82% of that language was lifted directly verbatim. minnesota similarly. other groups. kansas was only 2%. some of these legislations actually passed. it's still under review by a higher court. but the irony here is that has many of argued, this is a nonproblem. not only does the u.s. regularly allow religious jurisprudence in matters of arbitration, and nobody was ever trying to issue sharia to challenge the constitution.
nor would there be a legal mechanism for them to do so. really, the idea that this campaign got so much traction was quite telling. what i have not told you about is the regular public. i have speculated that it traded an increase in anti-muslim sentiment. indeed, if we look at public opinion surveys from 2001-2003. at first, a blip. we see an increase, but right around the time the anti-muslim organizations are getting traction, we see a steady increase in the percentage of americans expressing negative views about muslims. i can't draw a perfect causal link, but i think it's very telling that is occurs at the same time. the other neat thing about this moment in competition social science is that we can harvest
data from twitter and facebook. here is the percentage of tweets about civil society organizations with positive sentiment. groups such as act for america, one of the larger grassroots organizations that is lecturing around islam have very strong support among twitter users. not a representative sample of the american public, but an increasingly important group of people who have defined the media cycle. from 2005-2007, to 2010-2012, the number of controversies about the expansion or construction of mosques, or violent attacks upon mosques.
there has been an 800% increase between 2005 and 2012. just marked, troubling increases. again, no causal links can be drawn. but this occurs alongside campaigns like "stop the islamization of america." these are grassroots organizations, one was responsible for the protest about the so-called ground zero mosque. then we saw a surge, the so-called koran burning a fair. the sophomoric film that called a friday of slanders statements about islam. thankfully, some of my work is starting to get out there to right this wrong, to correct the misperception that muslim american groups condone
terrorism. anti-muslim organizations are having an exaggerated stature in this debate. surprisingly, the anti-muslim organizations aren't so happy about that. they are happy that they are winning. negative messages about muslims are increasing in the media, even the left-wing media. it's not about fox news, it's about the new york times, cbs, and many others that rely on the same sources. they also don't like my book very much. [laughter] this is the first review on amazon. so what can we do? the first and most disturbing thing we need to think about is the potential for these ideas to travel abroad. we saw evidence earlier with the koran earning a fair, groups like the taliban condemning americans and obama and using that as fodder for recruitment.
it wasn't until recently that we saw evidence that anti-muslim sentiments was jointly being used for recruitment for terrorism organizations like this. the leader of elsa bob -- using trump's call to ban all muslims as evidence that there is no gray zone. by either need to join isis or leave. and now your can't leave, according to the narrative. this is the nature. we have seen this with the koran burning a fair, with the sophomoric film "the innocence of muslims." the danger that these can do abroad is tangible. they not only upset people, but they contribute to the misperception that there is some kind of conspiracy among u.s. government to be anti-muslim. i think this is the most dangerous threat we face now.
others will speculate that the rise in anti-muslim sentiment also creates the potential for increased radicalization. to the extent that young people feel that they can't belong in a society where the majority of people have negative sentiment towards them. we have not seen evidence of that yet. but i think the potential is plausible. what can we do? we are not going to fix the emotional bias of the mass media tomorrow. despite many well-intentioned attempts by a variety of mainstream muslim leaders. it's no easy thing. but we're not going to convince fox news to stop fighting emotional concerns about terrorism. we're not. we can, however begin to decide how to pick our battles. the one message from my book is that if we put all our attention against people like trump, if we fight fire with fire, we are going to burn everything down. instead, i think we need new messages that refocus the
conversation about something that i know, having talked to so many mainstream muslim organizations, which is that muslim americans unequivocally condemn terrorism in all its forms. and they are furious at groups like isis and are terrified by them. and yet they have not shown, in the public sphere, that genuine anger and fear that we know from sociology and social security bonds groups together. that is corrective and preventative against our group bias. we need to capture some of that emotional energy and channel it towards the media and see if that can right these wrongs. thank you. [applause] >> if anyone in the audience has a question, please come forward.
>> hi chris, thanks for the presentation. i was eagerly awaiting the last parts. which is basically, okay fine, now what? and i candidly would like to hear a more aggressive approach to taking control of the dialogue than we have seen so far. i'm certainly not faulting you as an epidemic for the person that you take that leap. although you are the guy with the data and ideas at the moment, you have more of a pulpit than most. and candidly, since you are not a muslim, you are in a slightly better position of speaking. your response to that? mr. bail: yeah i certainly i agree. all of us, especially those in the academy need to be more vocal about these issues. i have written for the washington post.
i've done various interviews. but i can say all day that muslims unequivocally condemn terrorism as someone who is not muslim. i have very little legitimacy, apart from the data. it's not as compelling as the general emotional fear and anger that i have seen from muslim group leaders, who are concerned that the media motif of an angry muslim. if you go on fox news and become angry, you only further the stereotype about angry muslims. but there is anger that is just anger about attacks on your religion. vendor is anger that is equally genuine, towards groups like isis and daesh. and that needs to come out. there has been a lot of understandable hesitation about whether that is a good idea. given what i've shown you today, the time has gone for that type of corrective discourse.
a majority of americans now have this conspiracy theory in their heads. you can't simply throw facts at the problem. in fact, some recent research in political science and social security shows the more facts your throw in people that believe in a conspiracy theory, they actually double down and it exacerbates the spread of rumor. i will do my part at any opportunity i get. i also think muslim americans themselves could benefit from from more vociferously and emotionally condemning the groups that have slandered and terrorized their religion. >> my observation is that islam, as i see it from a limited exposure on my own part, is not the same thing as radical people who happen to be muslims elsewhere in the world. that is a distinction, which i don't believe i have seen enough of. i have not seen full-page ads in "the times" or wherever else it
might be coming from people that i think would reasonably represent mainstream american islam. saying hey, we agree with you that these guys are nuts. for my opinion, that is frankly a call to arms. to use a miserable analogy, if we did this 50-100 years ago, we would not have been facing a contagion. this needs to be caught earlier rather than later. mr. bail: sure, i agree. i think it's worth pointing out though that muslim americans are an external really diverse group. for us to assume that the group can come together with one single voice when they represent the full spectrum of political ideologies. muslims voted 3 to 1 for president bush in 2000. they speak dozens of linkages, come from different countries. and for a long time enjoyed status as a kind of model minority.
we had the iran hostage crisis, which i wrote about in the book. but by and large, muslim americans were either a model minority or an invisible minority. seemingly overnight all of that changed. for us to assume that muslim american organizations can come together overnight is unreasonable. >> we've had reviled minorities that it managed to seize control of the public discourse successfully. representing french populations that have turned the dialogue around. -- fringe dialogue-- mr. bail: many use groups like the anti-defamation league as models. so you're right. >> thank you.
>> as they social sociologist, i am reading a book called " hunting season," which is about thecapture and killing of .eporter by isis the capture apparently occurred before we had even heard of isis. the killing occurred later. this notion of mainstream as it relates to european folks, i am really stunned -- maybe shouldn't be -- by the number of folks who now see isis as a mainstream organization, and yet are of european heritage. any insights on that? you talked about we need to do something now. i'm wondering if it's not to
late -- not too late, but it's already happening. mr. bail: yes. i've done studies in britain, and i know the population of muslims in britain and france pretty well. one population has been more visible for much longer. the base about islam and accommodation of islam go back to the salman rushdie -- or the public slaughter of animals and public safety. those that migrated to income are much less educated and more segregated. it's a much more politically charged situation. until recently. now we are headed in that direction. historically, britain has been having this debate for a very long time. so i think the idea that you
know, europe's own attempts to failing isuslims and creating radicalization is plausible. once again, what can be done about it and how it can be used to stop isis is another huge million-dollar question. i think him on the one hand, we suffer while that countries like france, which famously unite around the principles a republican is him, and the do not offer so soon ship to anyone , even then france paragon of this model of integration, which is that anybody can be french, is now disappearing. we saw how badly in paris how that has gone awry. we don't know a lot about isis. we are not experts. we don't have data. there are some studies of
political scientist that look at return rates, like who goes to syria, for example. nowre at a different moment than we were 10 years ago. isis is a real threat. i think it is worth reminding ourselves of that. even if these are people who many of us believe are not muslim and are slandering the -- there isey now another question worth asking, which as you know, a thick call themselves muslims, who are we to say that they are not? lots of people unite around that, right? -- and't simply say again, this speaks to the previous question -- who gets to speak on behalf of muslims? no one gets to speak on behalf of all muslims, primarily because of the diversity of the religion. i think it is a dangerous -- it's a dangerous organization, terrifying, no doubt.