18th Annual Conference

CSID 18th Annual Conference:

The Trump Administration
and the Islamic World:

From Fighting Extremism to
Building Peace and Prosperity

May 18, 2017
Renaissance Hotel
Washington DC

In perhaps the most consequential year for the United States domestically and around the world, the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID) put together a full-day program of policy experts, researchers and academics in its 18th Annual Conference on “The Trump Administration and the Islamic World: from Fighting Extremism to Building Peace and Prosperity.” With Islam and Muslims as a matter of public debate and in the public spotlight due to both domestic U.S. politics as well as global current events, this conference was intended to serve as both a reflective and analytic space to assess the factors that have led to the current state of affairs, but also as an opportunity to look ahead and to make projections and recommendations for U.S. politics, particularly at the start of President Trump’s time in office.

Over two hundred of the most distinguished policy makers and academicians were in attendance at this event which has become a fixture of the Washington D.C. think-tank world, and aims, across its four panel sessions and keynote luncheon event, to help shape the direction of U.S. relations with Islam and Muslims in the months and years to come.

Panel 1: The Resurgence of Islamophobia: Examining the Roots of Current Anti-Muslim Bigotry

The first panel of the day was moderated by Ahmed Bedier, Communications and Public Affairs Coordinator with United Voices for America, who opened up the day’s discussions by noting that while Islamophobia and hate crimes towards Muslims have increased sharply in the past year, to the highest levels since September 11, 2001, these are not problems that began with the Trump presidency.

John Esposito

John Esposito, University Professor at Georgetown University, opened up the conference by making the general observation that negative media depictions of Muslims have hit an all-time high, according to a recent study by Media Tenor. “Domestic and international terrorist acts, mass and social media, and the American presidential election have been major catalysts in this growth and have brought us to where are now,” began Esposito, adding that the Public Religion Research Institute concluded that no religious, social, racial, or ethnic group has seen comparable levels of discrimination as Muslims; this serves as part of a vicious cycle which, continued Esposito, impacts and informs both domestic and foreign policy initiatives, a fact clearly illustrated by the ways in which the Trump administration interacts with all these influencing factors in just its first few months. Specifically, Esposito touched upon the policy goal of this administration to have the Muslim Brotherhood designated a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO), a move which began in 2015 and has only gained steam as this administration tightens its grip on power.

Continuing in the same vein, Esposito argued that “the kind of impact this move can have on moderate Muslim communities in terms of being monitored, questioned, and the implication of guilt by association” is one that not only undermines confidence in the administration in the American Muslim community but also underscores the fear that the Trump administration is abdicating its leadership in the world in the service of foreign dictators and autocrats.

In his concluding remarks, Esposito touched upon the extraordinary diversity of the American public that can be perceived as either a strength or a weakness, and in order to add greater weight to the approach that celebrates diversity, he argued that an emphasis on “tolerance” ought to be retired and replaced; tolerance, equated to coexistence, “does not get into the equality of citizens, of the freedoms that are owed to them” and must therefore cede its place to a more aggressive and comprehensive campaign that connects diversity with respect for human and citizenship rights.



Mobashra Tazamal

Mobashra Tazamal, Senior Research Fellow at the Bridge Initiative at Georgetown University, was the second speaker on the panel and began by pointing out that anti-Muslim sentiments are deeply connected to anti-Black racism, she argued, saying that “understanding the U.S. history of racism, xenophobia, and violence can better help us understand [the] roots of anti-Muslim bigotry.” Tazamal noted how closely targeted surveillance of the Muslim community, epitomized by the notorious NYPD campaign which sent informants into mosques, schools, and neighborhoods, in fact mirrored surveillance of the African American community historically, and the African American Muslim community in particular since September 11, 2001.

Hate groups and hate crimes, sponsored or at the very least ignored by the state, against Muslims have become part and parcel of American Muslim life since 2015, she noted, where Islamophobia has been stoked in order to feed the interests of a political movement seeking to “reaffirm White identity and uphold White supremacy” in the face of the Trump presidency.

Concluding, Tazamal argued that “Islamophobia today is just part of the recurring system of America’s deep-seated racism.”



Dalia Mogahed

Dalia Mogahed, Director of Research at ISPU, continued her remarks from where Dr. Esposito left off, discussing the drivers of Islamophobia and the implications of the largely negative media depictions of Muslims. To start, Mogahed cited a recent study by the University of Pennsylvania which tracked the types of messaging that linked to support for anti-Muslim actions, whether support for the Trump administration’s so-called Muslim ban or for violence against Muslims.

This study showed that believing in the collective guilt of Muslims for terrorism, to dehumanize Muslims by believing them to be less evolved human beings, and to believe that, collectively, Muslims harbor hatred towards Americans are altogether linked with support for policies that target, track, and ban Muslims.

Mogahed argued that while this has all become more evident under the current administration, these messages are not new and have been used by previous administrations and through media depictions. And while Muslims certainly take the greatest and most immediate fall for these negative beliefs and messages, she insisted that these are threats to all, that they are “tools for public manipulation, [they] erode our freedom and our democracy” and in that way are relevant to all Americans. In the hopes of breaking this cycle of messaging, Mogahed says that new messaging can try to replace putting onus of guilt for a negative or violent action on a race or religion to the perpetrator’s environment as a means of eliminating biases and prejudices.



Tamara Sonn

Tamara Sonn, Professor of the History of Islam at Georgetown University, began by calling attention to the securitization of Muslims, continuing from where Mobashra Tazamal left off, and invoking the international relations theory of constructivism which holds that it is more than states that affect international relations, but ideologies and transnational networks.

According to this theory, Sonn explained that “if the body politic comes to be convinced that an ideology or network, X, poses a threat to the security of that body politic, then X will become securitized,” or viewed through the lens of security; this is what has happened to Islam and Muslims in the current administration. Whereas previous administrations have at least publicly distinguished between Islam and terrorism, Sonn illustrated that the current administration clearly and repeatedly equates Islam with terrorism and blames the former for the latter almost exclusively, fulfilling the components of this theory of IR. Specifically, defining Islam as an ideology rather than as a religion is part of the strategy to securitize Islam and Muslims, because “it is illegal to ban a religion but not illegal to ban an ideology.”

These troubling trends represent a misunderstanding of the roots of terrorism, concluded Sonn, and run the risk of exacerbating the problem and making things worse, not better, for all of us.



Panel 2: Trump and the War against “Radical Islamic Terrorism”: Implications for the Region and the West

Moderating the second panel of the conference was Asma Afsaruddin, Professor of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at Indiana University, opened up the panel with a focus on the implication of Islam as a religion in terrorism with the administration’s use of “radical Islamic terrorism” in lieu of “violent extremism” or some other iteration, and hinted at the real-world repercussions of this word choice.

William McCants

William McCants, Director of the U.S. Relations with the Islamic World at The Brookings Institution, continued where Afsaruddin left off and noted that the previous two administrations under Obama and Bush Jr. were both “scrupulous in avoiding saying things that would play into the propaganda of America’s enemies.”

According to McCants, the current National Security Advisor General H.R. McMaster, in contrast with other administration officials, has been careful in using speech that would neither alienate Muslim allies nor feed into terrorist propaganda and has been an important counterweight in this terminology debate within the administration.

While the ideologues have become more vocal in the current administration, he noted, they remain outnumbered by the more level-headed civil servants in the executive branch, as Trump has thus far been unsuccessful in installing ideologues in key executive positions. Nevertheless, the ideologues have been more or less successful in promoting notorious countering violent extremism (CVE) programs as exclusively focused on Muslims, and have in this way brought Islamophobia “through the backdoor,” he argued.

The good news, McCants concluded, is that there appear to be some administration officials who are wary of CVE programs and government outreach into Muslim communities in the name of counterterrorism, and believes that this may be one avenue for cooperation with the administration.



Sahar Aziz

Sahar Aziz, Professor of Law at Texas A&M University, began by describing the “radical Islamic terrorism” terminology debate as a red herring, which masks, in her opinion, a deep-seated belief by some top-level administration officials that a modern-day crusade is under way against the uncivilized and barbaric Muslim world.

“Whatever good-will existed between U.S. administrations and the American Muslim community, which is very diverse, is not there anymore,” argued Aziz, as the Trump administration has alienated and demonized that population to the detriment, among other groups, of local and state law enforcement who often rely on cooperation with Muslim communities. Aziz focused her talk on her theory of the “authoritarianization” of the American government, which has subjected citizens en masse to surveillance, detentions, information gathering, etc, a trend which more closely resembles the tactics of authoritarian regimes than democratic ones.

If the administration is serious about confronting the threat of terrorism, Aziz said, it ought to focus on “diplomacy, dialogue, and development” rather than escalating tensions and growing suspicions domestically and around the world.



Robert McKenzie

Robert L. McKenzie, Senior Fellow at New America, began by providing a slightly different angle on the issues of Islamophobia and state tactics in the United States, and noted that it is not just President Trump himself or his administration that is using problematic terminologies and enacting problematic policies, but that the presidential campaign was essentially “an ugly race to the bottom” with no pushback from either side of the aisle.

The fact that President Obama visited a mosque only one in his eight years in office is an indication, McKenzie stated, of a generally troubling trend and a wider context that has metastasized in the present day. McKenzie then brought in the example of Peoria, Illinois, a small town of roughly 100,000 inhabitants that has historically been used by Republicans as a sample population to test messaging and policies, which – to his surprise – turned out to be a place of great intercommunal dialogue and cooperation between religious communities and the mayor’s office to address racism, bigotry, and Islamophobia.

In his experience, local engagement is key, and can serve as one of the greatest safeguards against the rise of extremism in all its colors.



Keynote Luncheon

Foreign Policy in the Trump Administration

Keynote Speaker:

Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT)

Senate Foreign Relations Committee
Senate Appropriations Committee

Senator Chris Murphy (CT), member of the Foreign Relations and Appropriations committees of the Senate, began his address during the luncheon portion of the conference by offering a different sort of engagement strategy for the United States in the world. Senator Murphy reiterated his criticism of the Trump administration’s implicit and sometimes explicit positioning of Islam and Muslims as threats to the United States, illustrated most especially through Trump’s executive order which sought to halt immigration of Muslims from seven Muslim-majority countries.

Senator Murphy also remarked upon a second, slower creeping but equally disturbing trend in this administration to militarize its foreign policy, naming military personnel to advise the President on all national security issues and leaving the Department of State virtually unstaffed. As he “came of political age during the Iraq War,” Senator Murphy’s political career has been focused on keeping America safe in part by identifying real threats and rejecting tendencies to make generalized and hasty conclusions when it comes to foreign policy. Recently, Senator Murphy released a lengthy paper called “Rethinking the Battlefield” in which he presents his assessment that “every U.S. President is destined to fail internationally with the current foreign policy toolkit that we give them,” a paper which seeks to explain how Presidents Bush and Obama, a Republican and Democrat respectively, ended up with largely identical foreign policies.

In that paper, Senator Murphy explained that the current threats to the safety of the United States are “not ones that can be confronted with conventional military hardware,” a point encapsulated by the gross imbalance between defense and diplomacy spending“.

Finally, Senator Murphy spoke to Trump’s then-upcoming visit to Saudi Arabia, and concluded on the hope that the president would speak frankly with Saudi leaders about their own contribution to the growing instability of the region and the world, and would deliver an address to the broader Muslim world which aimed to heal some of the wounds of the presidential campaign.



Panel 3: Can Tunisia Provide Hope for Democracy and Prosperity in the Arab World?

The third panel was moderated by CSID’s Senior Program Officer for Tunisia Mongi Dhaouadi.

Naoufel Jammali

Naoufel Jammali, Member of Tunisian Parliament and member of Ennahdha Party’s Political Bureau, opened up the panel with an address that was a very frank and comprehensive discussion of the challenges facing Tunisia’s ongoing democratic transition. “I am not here to say that [Tunisia] is in a perfect situation because perfection is boring and is not human,” said MP Jammali as he acknowledged the difficulties that remain but also the immense hope that continues to guide the process.

Before the end of 2017, with the municipal elections that will bring decentralization and greater local engagement across Tunisia, Tunisia will have met yet another important milestone on its democratization process, and MP Jammali noted that these elections will continue in spite of the economic challenges. On the security side, MP Jammali argued that Tunisia is neither less nor more secure than any other country, but that its security forces have thus far been able to secure the borders and prevent a largescale terrorist attack since 2015, a fact that deserves great recognition in light of the precarious domestic political situation and the broader unstable geopolitical context. MP Jammali also shed light on two important pieces of legislation passed by the Tunisian Parliament in the past few months which guarantee the freedom of information and protect whistleblowers, particularly in cases of corruption in the public administration.

Finally, MP Jammali spoke to the model that Tunisia can be in the region, saying “I think to emphasize the importance of dialogue and discussion, this participative approach [of Tunisia] is the best way to avoid confrontation between different stakeholders.. but nothing is free; if you want peace between different stakeholders, the price is time.” As a representative of Ennahdha, MP Jammali concluded by saying that he is happy to be part of a party that is at the forefront of the fight for freedom, socioeconomic justice, and against corruption, and remains hopeful and optimistic in the future of the country so long as it remains committed to genuine democratic reforms.



Andrew March

Andrew March, Associate Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale University, began his talk by distinguishing Tunisia from other Arab countries that experienced revolutions in that the nature of the country is such that any disagreements or disputes must be solved politically and through the democratic process, given that there is no higher political or religious authority, such as an undisputed figurehead or a strong military, that threatens to take power; this has been to Tunisia’s credit, and allowed its processes of dialogue and consensus-building to flourish.

Additionally, he argued, the Islamist party in Tunisia, and specifically the figure of Rached Ghannouchi himself, has not only “been among the most successful and prominent Islamist parties but also at the forefront of Islamic thought,” giving Tunisia yet another edge in the broader question of Islam and democracy. When Ennahdha officially declared itself to no longer be a part of “political Islam” at the 10th Party Conference in May 2016, it unleashed a series of interesting debates and questions into the future of the party and how the trajectory of conservative political parties with respect to democracies, constitutions, and law-making might unfold.

These questions are critical given the history of Islamic political thought, in which debates about Shari’a figure prominently and which forms a nexus at which the needs of the modern nation and the Ennahdha “Muslim democrat” meet. In conclusion, March begged the question of whether religion is necessary for public morality and held that perhaps Tunisia today is helping us to understand that question and find answers to it.



Monica Marks

Monica Marks, Visiting Fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations and PhD Candidate at Oxford University, opened her address by noting the at-times dismissive approach that some politicians in Europe and the United States can have towards Tunisia. Because international leaders have been viewing the Middle East and North Africa through a single lens, Tunisia is often seen as in need of the least help and is therefore ignored, she finds; “it’s almost like Tunisia is a gifted student in a special needs class, and it is allowed to fall into mediocrity and not given the help that it needs because of this effect.”

Given the alarming developments in some older democracies around the world, including the United States, Marks stressed that democracy “is never fixed, is infinitely reversible, and is contingent,” and thus requires constant attention in order to stay on the right path; this, she insisted, is all the more true for a post-revolutionary country like Tunisia, which is still in the beginning of its democratic consolidation process and has not yet implanted the institutions and processes necessary to sustain a democratic state.

Marks also noted several examples from Tunisia’s recent history that complicate the narrative that Islam and democracy are incompatible, and that Muslims are illiberal and against progressive, secular values, including an example from 2012 where the Vice President of the National Constituent Assembly, Mehrezia Laabidi of Ennahdha, convened with a group of protesting prostitutes in downtown Tunis to hear their demands and seek a compromise with them.

In her concluding remarks, Marks emphasized that Ennahdha appears to be learning and adapting as it goes on, as does the political society in general in Tunisia, and this should be a relief for politicians and analysts alike.



Radwan Masmoudi

The final speaker on this third panel was CSID Founder and President Radwan Masmoudi, who set out to offer a few takeaway points gleaned from the CSID experience in Tunisia both before and after the revolution and also to discuss the highlights of a paper titled “The Failure of the International Community to Support Tunisia,” to be published in a book by Columbia University Press very soon.

First, Masmoudi insisted that democratic transitions take time and are inherently slow-paced, taking between 15 and 20 years to transition from authoritarian regimes to democratic ones, particularly when focusing on reforming the dominant culture of a society to ensure the continuity of the democratic experiment. Moreover, he said, the challenges remain, particularly in the economic sphere, and are posing real and existential threats to Tunisia’s young democracy, seconding Monica Mark’s argument that democracies are inherently fragile and contingent upon numerous factors. In this vein, Masmoudi argued that the support of the international community has not been entirely absent but has been largely insufficient to meet the urgent demands of the Tunisian people and to protect this unique and historic democratic moment.

The fear is that young Tunisians will lose hope in the ability of the nascent democracy to provide development and economic opportunity and will begin to pose a threat to the continuation of the democratic transition, said Masmoudi; investors have not been flocking to start new projects and expend employment opportunities in the country because of political uncertainty, and this does not appear to be changing in the near future, which means that international aid to the government is crucial to fill the gap until the country can stand on its own feet.



Panel 4: Trump’s Embrace of Political Authoritarianism: Whither the Future of the Arab-Islamic World?

The moderator of the fourth and final panel of the conference was John Voll, Professor Emeritus of Islamic History at Georgetown University, who remarked that his senior undergraduate thesis he wrote nearly sixty years ago about the tendency of U.S. administrations to tolerate and even support authoritarian regimes in the Middle East remains applicable, almost word for word, today. Voll gave a bleak but also quite telling assessment of Middle East politics and U.S. foreign policy, setting the stage for this final panel that would go into greater depth in making predictions for the future of U.S.-Islamic world relations.

Nader Hashemi

Nader Hashemi, Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Denver, began by noting President Trump’s then-upcoming visit to Saudi Arabia where over 50 authoritarian leaders of Muslim-majority countries, including Sudanese general Omar Bashir who is wanted by ICC for war crimes, would be in attendance, and asked if there could be any clearer an indication of Trump’s attitude towards political authoritarianism than this.

Hashemi then moved to highlight key observations relevant to understanding and assessing where American relations with the Muslim world might go. He pointed to the reactions from Middle Eastern regime leaders, including Israelis, of Trump’s electoral victory and assent to the presidency. By and large, “these regimes were broadly euphoric and civil society organizations were in mourning,” including, most interestingly perhaps, Iranian leaders, who expressed a ‘cautious optimism’ at the defeat of Hillary Clinton. With Trump as president and the Democrats out of the way, “these inconvenient and embarrassing things that [authoritarian regimes] have to at least rhetorically respond to, such as human rights, democracy, and a free press, would not be on the agenda,” he argued.

Finally, Hashemi expressed a hope that as the American public and political establishment undergoes a reflection and reconsideration of the current political climate, it will also reflect upon and reconsider its approach to the Middle East and the Islamic world at large, both deeply interconnected to one another.



Hussein Ibish

Hussein Ibish, Senior Resident Scholar at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington D.C., began his remarks where Nader Hashemi left off by noting that it is not just the embrace of political authoritarianism that is troubling, but the shift towards removing human rights and democracy promotion from the foreign policy agenda.

Ibish argued that it is not so much a policy shift between the Obama and the Trump administrations but more of an optics shift; Trump is openly embracing authoritarian rulers like General el-Sisi whereas Obama attempted to keep el-Sisi and others at arms length. Citing his paper titled “In Search of a Trump Middle East Policy” published the same day, Ibish explained that while he could identify trends that might help in making projections about the ways in which the Trump administration will operate in the Middle East, he could not discern a coherent foreign policy other than being consistently unpredictable.

Within the Arab world, there are two major developments that will shape the future of that region, according to Ibish: the first is that regimes are attempting to adapt to uprisings by enacting gradual and controlled change, and the second two-part trend is that the major political opposition forces, most notably Islamist parties across the region, are either moderating and modernizing into post-Islamist groups or they are falling into extremist and sometimes violent cycles. Concluding,

Ibish held that a return, however rhetorical, of American politics to American values would go a long way to curbing extremism and supporting moderate and modernizing voices of all colors in the Middle East and the Islamic world more generally.



Radwan Ziadeh

Radwan Ziadeh, Senior Analyst at the Arab Center in Washington D.C., began by discussing the transformations of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East from the Bush to the Trump administration. With the so-called “Freedom Agenda” of the Bush administration, which largely backfired as it found no support from even the democratic and progressive activists on the ground in places like Iraq, there was renewed hope in a new relationship with the United States following Obama’s famous Cairo Speech of 2008. Following the Arab Spring revolutions, the Obama administration appeared to take the position of leading from behind, a position that turned into a complete retreat from the region after the intervention in Libya was deemed a mistake by President Obama himself.

Ziadeh remarked that “had the Arab Spring revolutions taken place during the Bush years, with the Freedom Agenda, we may have a different outcome today,” and lamented the unfortunate trend in American foreign policy for enthusiasm and support for democracy and human rights to come from either the United States or democratic forces on the ground in the Arab world, but never from both at the same time.

In the case of the only remaining success story in the post-Arab Spring countries, in Tunisia, the United States would not even assume the role of a diplomatic arbiter, allowing the European Union to step in and fill that role, noting once again the misguided and unfortunate policy decisions that have spanned both Democratic and Republican administrations.



Abdul Mawgoud Dardery

Abdul Mawgoud Dardery, former Member of Parliament in Egypt, drew in the audience as he was the only speaker on the panel to have stood, and he did so to commemorate the tens of thousands of political prisoners currently imprisoned in Egypt. Dardary explained that while American politicians, including President Bush and Condoleeza Rice in the early 2000s and Senator Lindsay Graham today, have paid lip service to the fact that financial support to the Egyptian regime and other authoritarian regimes to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars was not producing the kinds of positive returns on investment that they would like, the general policy trend has been to maintain, and at times expand, that aid.

He continued that while the Arab Spring revolutions have largely yielded dark and disconcerting results, “there is still hope in the future so long as the sparks for democracy, freedom, social justice, and human dignity are there,” and he believed they were indeed. This is not to say that success or failure was simply a matter of domestic political will in any of these countries; certainly, he assessed, there was a naiveté among the political establishment post-revolutions that all solutions to domestic politics could be made internally, ignoring regional and international interests. “In the past, we used to believe in a myth that Arabs are not ready for democracy; after the Arab Spring, the truth is we have come to the realization that neither Europe nor the United States are ready yet for Arab or Muslim democracy,” he stated.

The good news is that the Arab people now have a faith in themselves and their abilities that had not existed previously, and the hope is that with enough space and time, they will be able to rise up again. Dardery gave specific examples from the Egyptian context that illustrate the dire political, security, and economic situations that are fueling violence and extremism, and concluded by arguing that tyranny needs terrorism, and vice versa, in order to justify its continuity. The hope is that, somewhere along the way and in the not-so-distant future, this vicious cycle can be broken.



Panel 1

John Esposito


Mobashra Tazamal


Dalia Mogahed


Tamara Sonn



Panel 2

William McCants


Sahar Aziz


Robert L. McKenzie


Panel 2 QA Session



Keynote Luncheon

Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT)



Panel 3

Naoufel Jammali


Andrew March


Monica Marks


Radwan Masmoudi


Panel 3 QA Session



Panel 4

Nader Hashemi


Hussein Ibish


Radwan Ziadeh


Abdul-Mawgood Dardery


Panel 4 QA Session


More photos


8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.    Registration
9:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.   Opening Remarks
9:15 am – 10:30 am        Panel 1
Panel 1: The Resurgence of Islamophobia: Examining the Roots of Current Anti-Muslim Bigotry

Moderator: Ahmed Bedier, Communications and Public Affairs, United Voices for America

John Esposito, University Professor, of Religion and International Affairs, Georgetown University


Mobashra Tazamal, Senior Research Fellow, The Bridge Initiative


Dalia Mogahed, Director of Research, Institute for Social Policy and Understanding


Tamara Sonn, Professor in the History of Islam, Georgetown University



10:30 am- 11:00 am         Coffee and Tea Break

11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.        Panel 2
Panel 2: Trump and the War against “Radical Islamic Terrorism”: Implications for the Region and the West

Moderator: Asma Afsaruddin, Professor of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at Indiana University

Qamarul Huda, Senior Advisor, Office of Religion & Global Affairs, U.S. Department of State

William McCants, Director – U.S. Relations with the Islamic World, Brookings Institution


Sahar Aziz, Professor of Law at Texas A&M University


Robert L. McKenzie, Visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution


Panel 2 QA Session



12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.    Keynote Luncheon
Foreign Policy in the Trump Administration
Keynote Speaker
Senate Foreign Relations Committee,
Senate Appropriations Committee



2:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.        Panel 3
Panel 3: PANEL ON TUNISIA: Can Tunisia Provide Hope for Democracy and Prosperity in the Arab World?

Moderator: Mongi Dhaouadi, Senior Program Officer for Tunisia, CSID

Naoufel Jammali, Member of Parliament and Member of Political Bureau of Ennahdha Party


Andrew March, Associate Professor of Law and Political Science, Yale University


Monica Marks, PhD candidate, Oxford University, and Visiting Fellow, European Council on Foreign Relations


Radwan Masmoudi, PhD Founder and President of CSID


Panel 3 QA Session


3:15-3:45 p.m.        Coffee and Tea Break

3:45-5:15 p.m.        Panel 4

Trump’s Embrace of Political Authoritarianism: Whither the Future of the Arab-Islamic World?

Moderator: John Voll, Emeritus of Islamic History, Georgetown University

Nader Hashemi, Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Middle East Studies, University of Denver


Hussein Ibish, Senior Resident Scholar, Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington (AGSIW)


Radwan Ziadeh, Senior Analyst at the Arab Center – Washington D.C.


Abdul-Mawgood Dardery, Former Member of the Egyptian Parliament, and President of the Center for Egyptian-American Dialogue (CEAD)


Panel 4 QA Session


5:15-5:30 pm  Closing Remarks

Co-Sponsors of the Annual Conference

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The Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy cordially invites you to attend the 18th Annual Conference on May 18, 2017:

The Trump Administration and the Islamic World

From Fighting Extremism to Building Peace and Prosperity

at the Renaissance Washington DC Hotel
999 9th St. NW, Washington, DC 20001

Register Now