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Islam and Violent Jihad: Western Policy Responses

Given the activities of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and the ongoing threat from al-Qa’ida and other groups, the issue of Islamic extremism continues to pose a formidable challenge to the security of both the Middle East and outside powers. However, the response of local and Western powers to date has been militarily limited and strategically vague.

On 22 April, Professor James Piscatori and Dr Vanessa Newby presented at a conference hosted by the Australian National University on “Islam and Violent Jihad: Western Policy Responses”. During the conference they spoke with the AIIA’s Rhea Matthews about the impact of Islamic extremism on the Middle East and on global politics in general, providing their views on contributing factors as well as Western policy responses which have exacerbated the threat.

Professor James Piscatori is a leading scholar of political Islam at the Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies at the Australian National University. He has been a research fellow at the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London and a senior fellow at the Council of Foreign Relations in New York. Currently, he is working on the development of pan-Islamic thought and movements.

Doctor Vanessa Newby is a scholar at the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs at the Australian National University. She obtained her PhD in international relations from Griffith University, and has lived in both Lebanon and Syria. Her current research focuses on the politics of religion and the international relations of the Middle East.

Editor and producer: Leyang Wang

Interviewer: Rhea Matthews

Published April 28, 2016