At the Launch of his new book The Confrontation at the European Parliament
Brussels, European Parliament, EFD-FDD, March 12, 2008
At the invitation of European MP Jana Hybaskova, a launching event was organized at the European Parliament for Dr Walid Phares’s new book, The Confrontation: Winning the War against Future Jihad. The breakfast lecture was attended by a number of legislators, including MEP Paulo Casaca, experts at the European institutions, US and Arab diplomats, NGOs representatives and the staff of the European Foundation for Democracy (EFD). Phares, is the Director of the Future Terrorism Project at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies in Washington and a visiting scholar with EFD.
Phares at the launching
The Confrontation, his latest book of a trilogy beginning with Future Jihad (2005-paperback 2006) and the War of Ideas (2007-paperback 2008), is an analysis of the global Jihadi threat and policy recommendations to Governments and international alliances in order to meet and defeat the Terror challenges. Based on 25 years of continuous research, teaching and publishing on Islamist movements and ideologies, The Confrontation, as Phares announced at the European launching “is first of all a confrontation with ourselves liberal democracies and with our view of the world and of the mounting menace. It is about the ability of the free world to come together in defining the conflict in which it is involved, a conflict which was waged by radical ideological forces since decades against all what the international society has reached in terms of consensus on democracy, human rights, pluralism, gender issues and all matters related to basic human freedom.” Phares said while al Qaeda attacked the US on 9/11 and drew an American campaign into “Middle Earth” (a term used in his book to depict the Middle East battlefields), the same movement attacked in Madrid and London and the ideology inspiring it produced violence across Europe, Russia and India, in addition to the Arab Muslim world.
Phares, who is educated in three cultures, argued that “the West needs to isolate the specific ideology which has been producing the waves of Terrorist groups and individuals for decades. This global web of totalitarian doctrines is the center of a world factory producing radicalism and violence, more so than just foreign policies and socio economic disenfranchisement. Social injustices are part of national dramas but radical ideologies seize the political agendas and transform it into irreversible violence.”
Phares, MEP Hybaskova and EFD Director Roberta Bonazzi
Phares added: “But in order to isolate this totalitarian ideology and free the next generations from its impact, one has to define it. The West cannot dodge the threat doctrine if it wishes to win the war of ideas. It needs to clearly define its threatening dimensions and condemn them such as discrimination between cultures, genders, and religions and mistreatment of minorities. The real confrontation of the threat begins by educating the public as to what in the Jihadi ideology is in contradiction of international law, pluralism, human rights and Peace. Only then the West, and in general terms the free world, can begin to seriously confront the movements and regimes which have adopted it, should they be Salafist or Khumeist.” Phares concluded that Europe’s intellectual elites –in general- have failed to educate their public about the real menace of combat Jihadism. “A new generation of analysts and researchers can help European societies to catch up and ready themselves to meet the advancing challenges of Jihadi forces on the continent.”
Phares: "Define Jihadism to isolate it"