“What’s religion got to do with it?”

A conversation with

Geneive Abdo
Convener, MEST Working Group on Religion, Identity, and Countering Violent Extremism
Fellow, Middle East Program

Stimson Center

Hayder al-Khoei (via Skype)
Associate Fellow, Middle East and North Africa Program
Chatham House

Alberto Fernandez
Vice President
Middle East Media Research Institute

Imam Mohamed Magid
Executive Director
All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS)

Neha Sahgal
Senior Researcher, Religion & Public Life Project
Pew Research Center

Moderated by

Madeleine K. Albright
Former US Secretary of State
Co-Chair, Middle East Strategy Task Force

Stephen J. Hadley
Former US National Security Advisor
Co-Chair, Middle East Strategy Task Force

Please join the Atlantic Council for “What’s Religion Got to Do with It?” — the second public hearing of the Middle East Strategy Task Force (MEST). The event will examine to what extent religion is a driver behind the rise of violent extremism and sectarianism in regional politics. To answer this question in a way that is both fresh and relevant, the event will feature not only experts on Islam and politics, but also experts on the social media platforms that have become integral to contemporary questions of faith and politics in the Middle East, especially among young people. Through this combination of perspectives, MEST Co-Chairs Madeleine Albright and Stephen Hadley will seek to identify the factors that empower extremist movements and explore how people in the region can harness the uplifting and unifying potential of faith, while containing its capacity to divide.

Middle East Programs

Through our Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East and Scowcroft Middle East Security Initiative, the Atlantic Council works with allies and partners in Europe and the wider Middle East to protect US interests, build peace and security, and unlock the human potential of the region.