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Islam Is Dominated By Radicals

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In the aftermath of the 2001 terrorist attacks, the nature of Islam has consumed American political conversation. While some argue that zealous leaders have drowned out moderate voices and transformed the faith into a radical ideology, others claim the vast majority of the Muslim population — more than 1 billion people — is peaceful. Is Islam dominated by radicals? 

The Debaters

For the motion

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Vice President of Research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, and the Author of My Year Inside Radical Islam

Daveed consults for a number of clients who need to be at the forefront of understanding terrorism, including the Manhattan Institute's Center for... Read More

Paul Marshall

Senior Fellow in the Center for Religious Freedom at the Hudson Institute from Freedom House

Paul has held many professorships, is author and editor of twenty-five books on religion and politics, and his writings have been translated into... Read More

Asra Q. Nomani

Author, Standing Alone: An American Woman's Struggle for the Soul of Islam

A former reporter for the Wall Street Journal for 15 years, is the author of Standing Alone: An American Woman's Struggle for the Soul of Islam. She... Read More

Against the motion

Reza Aslan

Internationally Acclaimed Writer and Scholar of Religions

Reza is a fellow at the University of Southern California’s Center on Public Diplomacy, Middle East Analyst for CBS News. He is author of the bestselling... Read More

Richard Bulliet

Professor of History at Columbia University who specializes in the history of Islamic society and institutions and the history of technology

Richard is the author and editor of numerous books, including, The Case for Islamo-Christian Civilization, Islam: The View from the Edge and The Columbia... Read More

Edina Lekovic

Director of Communications for the Muslim Public Affairs Council

The Muslim Public Affairs Council is a national public policy organization that works to create inroads for Muslim American political and social engagement... Read More

Where Do You Stand?

For The Motion
  • The spread of Islamic extremism by the Saudis has led to the institutionalized radicalization of Muslim populations around the world.
  • The voices of moderate individuals within the Muslim community are drowned out by the dominant radical ideology.
  • Western Muslims have begun, in some instances, to express radical ideologies, demonstrating its spread across varied cultures and customs. 
Against The Motion
  • The majority of the Muslim population, more than 1 billion people around the world, is moderate and rejects violence and extremism.
  • Most Muslims that advocate violence do so for secular reasons that are often politically and economically motivated.
  • The majority of Muslims are harshly critical of al Qaeda and other Islamic groups, whose violence often targets Muslim communities.  


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