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Center for American Progress

RELEASE: A Guide to Countering Violent Extremism in the Age of Trump
Press Release

RELEASE: A Guide to Countering Violent Extremism in the Age of Trump

Washington, D.C. — When it comes to countering violent extremism in the Middle East, the Trump administration should abandon its harmful rhetoric and focus instead on thoughtful strategies that uphold American values of pluralism and inclusivity, according to a new report from the Center for American Progress.

The report explains that while the administration has reached out to key leaders in the Middle East, it has not demanded greater responsibility or concrete actions from those leaders that could reduce extremism.

“Battlefield victories will prove short-lived without a more focused strategy to tackle terrorist ideology,” said Alia Awadallah, research associate at CAP and co-author of the report. “The United States should continue to play a role in guiding and developing data-driven strategies that do not rely on repression or counterproductive policies.”

To succeed in defeating violent extremism in the Middle East, the report recommends that the Trump administration take the following actions:

  • Hold countries accountable for repressive policies and encourage leaders to support basic freedoms that respect pluralism and inclusivity.
  • Work closely with regional partners to devise comprehensive strategies to counter extremism and create good governance programs.
  • Invest in and amplify the role of multilateral initiatives such as the Global Counterterrorism Forum and Hedayah.
  • Abandon Islamophobic and inflammatory rhetoric.

The report examines explores current efforts to reduce extremism in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, and Tunisia.

Read “Losing the War of Ideas: Countering Violent Extremism in the Age of Trump” by Alia Awadallah, Hardin Lang, and Kristy Densmore.

For more information or to speak to an expert, contact Sam Hananel at shananel@americanprogress.org or 202.478.6327.