Breifing with Dr. Patrick Sookhdeo
Chairman of the Board, The Westminster Institute
Thursday, September 5th, 6:30 – 7:45 p.m.
6731 Curran Street, McLean, VA 22101
At The Westminster Institute
Syrian Christians have long feared a repeat of what happened to their counterparts in Iraq
following the US-led invasion of 2003; they were scapegoated by Islamist militants who
perceived them as allies of the West because of their Christian faith. That nightmare is fast
becoming a reality in Syria. The last haven for Christians in Syria is no longer safe. A massacre
last week in the Wadi al-Nasara (“Valley of the Christians”) was the first attack on Christians
there; it was previously a relatively peaceful area. More than 90,000 Christians have fled to the
Wadi to escape danger in other parts of the country.
In Egypt, Christians are also being scapegoated, by the Muslim Brotherhood for the ousting of
Islamist president Mohammed Morsi at the beginning of July. Attacks against them and their
property began immediately after his removal but ratcheted up severely following the dispersal
of the Brotherhood’s sit-in protests by the authorities on 14 August; more than 60 churches were
torched as well as countless other Christian institutions, homes and businesses.
Patrick Sookhdeo is a leading expert on jihadist ideology and radical Islam, advising
governments around the globe. He has spoken at many military and security events and is the
author of numerous books, including Global Jihad: The Future in the Face of Militant Islam,
Understanding Shari’a Finance: The Muslim Challenge to Western Economics, and Faith,
Power, and Territory: A Handbook of British Islam. He received his Ph.D. from the School of
Oriental and African Studies of the University of London, and he is currently Visiting Professor
at the Defence Academy of the UK, and Adjunct Professor at the George C. Marshall European
Center for Security Studies. He has served as advisor to Permanent Joint Headquarters UK and
as Cultural Advisor to RC South, Afghanistan (2010), to ISAF, in Kabul, Afghanistan (2007) and
to GOC, Basra, Iraq (2007).
Katharine Cornell Gorka, Executive Director