Building Moderate Muslim Networks

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Rand Corporation, Apr 3, 2007 - Study Aids - 216 pages
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Radical and dogmatic interpretations of Islam have gained ground in recent years in many Muslim societies via extensive Islamist networks spanning the Muslim world and the Muslim diaspora communities of North America and Europe. Although a majority throughout the Muslim world, moderates have not developed similar networks to amplify their message and to provide protection from violence and intimidation. With considerable experience fostering networks of people committed to free and democratic ideas during the Cold War, the United States has a critical role to play in leveling the playing field for Muslim moderates. The authors derive lessons from the U.S. and allied Cold War network-building experience, determine their applicability to the current situation in the Muslim world, assess the effectiveness of U.S. government programs of engagement with the Muslim world, and develop a ?road map? to foster the construction of moderate Muslim networks.

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Chapter One Introduction
Chapter Two The Cold War Experience
Chapter Three Parallels Between the Cold War and the Challenges in the Muslim World Today
Chapter Four US Government Efforts to Stem the Radical Tide
Chapter Five Road Map for Moderate Network Building in the Muslim World
Chapter Six The European Pillar of the Network
Chapter Seven The Southeast Asian Pillar of the Network
Chapter Eight The Middle East Component
A Forgotten Dimension in the War of Ideas
Chapter Ten Conclusions and Recommendations
Appendix A US Foreign Assistance Framework
Appendix B Documents

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About the author (2007)

Angel Rabasa is a senior political scientist at RAND whose research and analyses address problems of international security, extremism, and terrorism. His 2003 publication, The Muslim World after 9/11, received wide acclaim for its comprehensive synthesis of the trends across the different regions of the Muslim world. Rabasa is the lead author of the 2006 publication Beyond al-Qaeda, a two-volume collection of analyses that tracked jihadists' movements globally and highlighted the role of ideology in sustaining Islamist terrorism, and the author of Building Moderate Muslim Networks (2007) with Cheryl Benard. He is also the author of books on Islamism in Southeast Asia, Turkey and East Africa, and on the de-radicalization of Islamist extremists.

Cheryl Benard is the president of Metis Analytics, a Washington, DC based research company. From 2003 to 2012, she was a senior analyst with the RAND Corporation, where she worked primarily on methods for understanding and countering radical extremism. This included projects with Iraqi youth in Baghdad, education programs in Afghanistan, outreach to media activists, and workshops with female peace activists. Prior to that, she was research director with a European foundation that focused on domestic social problems in Germany and Austria, especially those related to immigration, migrant workers, and refugees. Benard's career has spanned two continents. Her focus has been on published results with a high degree of accessibility for policy makers, media, and the interested public. She has been the recipient of several awards in recognition of her work, including the Theodor Kery Prize for Socially Relevant Research and the Donauland Prize for Nonfiction Writing. Her books, including Civil Democratic Islam, have been translated into several languages.

Lowell H. Schwartz (M.A. Johns Hopkins University, Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies) is a research programmer at RAND.

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