Brussels, March 6, 2008
Addressing a Breakfast at the invitation of the European Ideas Network at the European Parliament, FDD's Senior Fellow Walid Phares underlined the necessity for legislators, intellectuals and researchers on both sides of the Atlantic to develop a common strategy on confronting the threat of Jihadi terrorism, which "is growing global, lethal and showing all signs of a long term planning." Dr Phares, the director of FDD's Future Terrorism Project and a visiting scholar at the European Foundation for Democracy was the guest speaker of EIN for its monthly breakfast event. The meeting, which took place at the European Parliament, was attended by a number of experts and members in addition to MEPs Mihael Brejc, James Elles, Maria Martenes, Angelika Niebler, Jan Olbrycht, John Purvis and Peter Stastny.
EIN European Meeting
Phares, who was introduced by EIN diretor Guillermo Martinez Casan, referred to his latest two books Future Jihad and The War of Ideas and announced his forthcoming newest book The Confrontation. "The long term Jihadist strategies aim at numbing Western reaction to the surging of the combat and urban Jihadists," said Phares. "The immense sums of money inserted in the West in general, in the United States and European institutions in particular by Oil backed regimes and circles penetrated the educational systems and created a defense line for the rise of Salafism and Khomeinism. The reason for why Westerners are not able to unify their positions and clarify their statements regarding the ideology and tactics of the Terror forces is fundamentally grounded in the penetration by these long term Jihadi influences inside the educational and academic systems."
Phares told the EIN forum that during his several briefings and meetings with European officials he felt that "intense intellectual and academic lobbying has been in effect on the continent for a long time now. The arguments used by many officials are not so different in nature from those advanced by Islamist spokespersons on al Jazeera and other similar media." Phares said Europe has "entered the fray of its most difficult war of ideas, that is to see clearer as most of its classical expertise has been impacted by years of impact." In conclusion, the FDD expert admitted that "despite the historical decline in European intellectual resistance to the rise of Salafism and Khomeinism as ideologies, one can see the counter rise of a younger and vivid generation of researchers who have captured the real meaning of Jihadism and developed a better understanding of the strategies used in the War of ideas."
Phares briefings in Europe -until mid March- are part of the European Foundation for Democracy to educate public officials on the threats of Terrorism and its ideologies. He is the author of the newly released The Confrontation: Winning the War against Future Jihad