The latest Taliban school attack in Pakistan, the “lone wolf” café siege in Australia, and the beheading of Christian children by Islamic State members have once again demonstrated the brutalization of terrorism in “the name of God.” Despite the upsurge of contemporary theological-based threats, is religion still relevant in combating radicalization and extremism on national, regional, and global levels? Also, what are the “best-practice” strategies in minimizing religious confrontations and maximizing ecumenical inter-faith relations? A panel of academics, clergy, and former policy makers discuss these and related questions. The event was moderated by Professor Yonah Alexander (Director, Inter-University Center for Terrorism Studies, and Senior Fellow, Potomac Institute for Policy Studies). Panelists were Professor Robert Eisen (Professor of Religion and Judaic Studies and Chair of the Department of Religion at the George Washington University), Issam Michael Saliba (Senior Foreign Law Specialist for the Middle East and North Africa, Law Library of Congress), Dr. Sayyid M. Syeed (National Director of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) heading up its Office for Interfaith and Community Alliances in Washington, DC. He is one of the founders of the American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences (AJISS) and served as Editor and then Editor-in-Chief (1984-1994)), Rabbi Stuart Weinblatt (President of the Rabbinic Cabinet of the Jewish Federations of North America. He served as Director of Israel Policy and Advocacy for the Rabbinical Assembly (2009-2014). He is the rabbi of Congregation B’nai Tzedek in Potomac, Maryland), Tina Ramirez (President, Hardwired Inc. Former policy researcher at the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom and a foreign policy advisor for various members of the U.S. Congress where she helped found and direct the bi-partisan Congressional International Religious Freedom Caucus) and Dr. Maryann Cusimano Love (Associate Professor of International Relations in the Politics Department of the Catholic University of America. She is on the Core Group for the Department of State's working group on Religion and Foreign Policy and served as a Fellow at the Commission on International Religious Freedom). Professor Don Wallace, Jr. (Chairman, International Law Institute) made the closing remarks.


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The Potomac Institute for Policy Studies is an independent, 501(c)(3), not-for-profit public policy research institute. The Institute identifies and aggressively shepherds discussion on key science and technology issues facing our society. From these discussions and forums, we develop meaningful science and technology policy options and ensure their implementation at the intersection of business and government.


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