Islamic extremism is a growing threat that becomes more salient by the day. Extremism itself, and the violence that results from it, must be understood to be addressed. Moving beyond the rhetoric of the topic to examine it in a serious way requires us to understand the societal, theological, and cultural causes of extremism, which in turn sheds light on appropriate policy responses. It is very important to note that Islam and extremism are not the same. The vast majority of muslims are not extremists, and not all extremists are muslim. However, in light of recent events across the globe in Paris, Mali, Nigeria, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Egypt, and right here in Canada we will focus on Islamic extremism and the effect it has had on the lives of citizens, and how it can be addressed.
Dr. Amir Hussain is a Professor of Theological Studies at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles where he teaches world religions. His specialty is in the study of Islam, focusing on contemporary muslim societies in North America. He is the editor of the Journal of the American Academy of Religion. He has published over 50 book chapters and scholarly articles about religion. On top of all of that, he is a University of Toronto alumni, completing his bachelors, masters and PhD right here in Toronto.
Phil Gurski is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting. He worked as a strategic analyst in the Canadian Intelligence Community for 30 years, including 15 at CSIS. He specialised in radicalization and homegrown Al Qaeda inspired extremism. He is also the author of “The Threat from Within: Recognizing Al Qaeda-Inspired Radicalisation and Terrorism in the West”. You can follow him at his blog, Terrorism in Canada and the West (pkgursk.wordpress.com) and on Twitter (@borealissaves).
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