Islamic radicalization in America's own backyard is a problem. But our domestic counterterrorism strategies end up alienating or underutilizing our best asset – the Muslim community. Partnerships with moderate Muslims, education, research, and dialogue will build trust and counter extremism.
Mohamed Osman Mohamud, the Oregon “Christmas tree bomber,” and Maryland’s “jihad obsessed” Antonio Martinez are the latest in a string of cases that highlight the limitations of America’s domestic counterterrorism strategy.
The bottom line is that America still lacks a preemptive approach that strikes at the radical ideologies that breed violent extremism. Our recent research with law enforcement agencies, Muslim community leaders, and youth in America confirms this. It also reveals that policymakers and Muslims need to come together at the local and national levels to develop an effective counter-radicalization strategy.
The World Organization for Resource Development and Education (WORDE) recently launched one of the first Muslim-led reports to address this issue. Our findings indicate that a new strategy must address five key elements:
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