Countering Islamic Extremism Project

 Today, nearly a decade-and-a-half after the attacks of September 11, 2001, the phenomenon of radical Islam remains poorly understood by the U.S. government and the American public. During the Bush era, U.S. counterterrorism policy was progressively subsumed by the conflict in Iraq, much to the detriment of early momentum against radical forces in the greater Middle East. Thereafter, over President Obama’s two terms in office, the importance of combatting radical Islamic movements and ideas has progressively waned. Yet, in the greater Middle East and beyond, the forces of religious radicalism remain in the ascent. Greater popular awareness of these trends and actors, as well as their implications for American security, are necessary for informed bipartisan U.S. policy toward the Muslim world. The objective of forging such a consensus lies at the core of the American Foreign Policy Council’s Countering Islamic Extremism Project.

World Almanac of Islamism – In 2010, AFPC began publication of the World Almanac of Islamism, a groundbreaking Internet and print database designed to track Islamism as a political phenomenon in various countries and regions around the world. Two editions of the Almanac have been produced to date, and a third is now underway, encompassing nine global movement chapters and sixty-two separate country studies in what represents the first ever comprehensive global overview of radical Islamic trends.

Global Islamism Monitor AFPC’s newest e-bulletin, the Global Islamism Monitor, is designed to track and explain a number of key trends taking place in the Muslim World, from the growing power of groups like the Islamic State.

Congressional briefings and conferences – In order to expand understanding of the phenomenon among Congressional staff and the media, AFPC carries out regular briefings on topics relating to radical Islam on Capitol Hill. These “brown bag” lunches feature lectures by leading experts on a range of topics dealing with contemporary Islamism and Islamist movements. Additionally, AFPC periodically holds larger conference events designed to delve in-depth into complex counterterrorism subjects (such as the threat posed by the Islamic State terrorist group).

Fact-finding Missions The greatest knowledge about the phenomenon of radical Islamism can be gleaned from those countries directly affected by it, and from those actively engaging in an intellectual struggle against Islamist forces. To that end, AFPC carries out frequent fact-finding missions on the subject of radical Islam to a variety of countries in the Middle East, Europe, and Asia. Over the past five years, these destinations have included Morocco, Israel, China, Russia, and Turkey. Upon their return, AFPC scholars and professionals share their insights with policymakers through fact-finding reports disseminated broadly in Congress and the Executive Branch. Additional products — including OpEds, journal articles and Congressional testimony — are also generated as a result of such AFPC missions.

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