Videos

Westminster Institute events are taped and made available here and on our YouTube channel. You can subscribe to our channel for regular updates as we add new content or register with our mailing list to hear about upcoming presentations, news, and our ongoing work.



Former Congressman Frank Wolf and David Eubank, Free Burma Rangers: End of Christianity in the Cradle of Christendom?: A Report from Northern Iraq after ISIS



David Des Roches: Push and Pull of Religious Extremism: Who Are the Terrorists, How Are they Recruited, What Can We Do?



Ilan Berman: The Drivers of Russian Strategy in the Middle East



Mark Helprin: Unorthodox Thoughts In Regard to the Middle East Military Dimension



Bill Gertz: iWar: War and Peace in the Information Age



Mehdi Khalaji: How the Iranian Revolution Changed the Role of the Shia Clergy


Clifford May: Islamism and Jihadism: The Challenge and the Threat for Trump


Ali Jalali: Afghanistan: From the Great Game to the Global War on Terror


Chen Guangcheng: Civil Rights in China


James Carafano: Immigration and National Security: The Global Response


Robert McFarlane: The Sunni Response to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action


Yigal Carmon: How the Internet Developed the Global Jihadi Movement


Michael Eisenstadt: Winning Battles, Losing Wars: Rethinking U.S. Strategy in the Middle East


Michael Doran: Ike’s Gamble: America’s Rise to Dominance in the Middle East


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S. Frederick Starr: What was Islamic Culture and What Happened to It?


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Sister Diana Momeka: Eyewitness to ISIS in Iraq


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Celina Realuyo: Defunding ISIS and Other Terrorists


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Sam Tadros: The Future of Islamism in Egypt

Samuel Tadros is a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom, where he researches the rise of Islamist movements in the Middle East and its implications for religious freedom and regional politics. Tadros retraces the history of Islamism in Egypt and the Middle East, illuminating a perilous balancing act between the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Sisi’s government, and the Ulema clergy.


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Ahmet S. Yayla: Turkey, the Coup, and ISIS

Ahmet S. Yayla, Ph.D. is co-author of the just released book, ISIS Defectors: Inside Stories of the Terrorist Caliphate. He is Deputy Director of the International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism (ICSVE) and is also Adjunct Professor of Criminology, Law and Society at George Mason University. He formerly served as Professor and the Chair of the Sociology Department at Harran University in Turkey. He is the former Chief of Counterterrorism and Operations Division for the Turkish National Police with a 20-year career interviewing terrorists.


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Suzanne Scholte: The Battle for Human Rights in North Korea: Is There Any Hope?

Suzanne K. Scholte is considered one of the world’s leading activists in the North Korea human rights movement having worked for over 18 years to promote the freedom, human rights and dignity of the North Korean people. Scholte began a program in 1996 to host the first North Korean defectors in the United States to speak out about the atrocities being committed against the people of North Korea including the political prison camps and the horrific treatment of refugees. She has led international efforts to pressure China to end their horrific repatriation policy and has been involved in the rescue of hundreds of North Koreans escaping from North Korea. Currently, she serves as President of the Defense Forum Foundation; Chairman, North Korea Freedom Coalition; Vice-Chairman, Committee for Human Rights in North Korea; and Honorary Chairman, Free North Korea Radio.


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Gamal Arabi: Terrorism: A Political, Military Danger or a Cultural, Ideological Challenge?

ISIS is not merely a terrorist organization, it is a malicious idea. ISIS and Al Qaeda have the same ideological underpinning. We need to confront this pernicious thinking with an enlightened, open-minded thought – one that accepts The Other and co-exists with him, enlightened ideas emanating from within Islam.


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Zuhdi Jasser: Fighting for Victory Against Islamism: A Muslim Blueprint for the West

Reform-minded Muslims who champion liberty and eschew Islamism, living in this unparalleled laboratory of freedom, have a unique moral obligation to lead the way in an anti-Islamist strategy. For too long we have allowed the grievance narratives of Islamist groups to dominate, deflect responsibility, and radicalize.


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Congressman Frank Wolf: Nigeria & International Religious Freedom

Former Congressman Frank Wolf has recently returned from a trip to Nigeria. Nigeria is on the verge of fracturing along religious fault lines. Ethnic and religious minorities in northern Nigeria face systemic and systematic discrimination. Muslims and Christians in northeastern Nigeria are profoundly and negatively impacted by the terrorist violence pursued by Boko Haram. Christians risk extinction in Nigeria’s northeast.


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Michael Ledeen: Field of Fight: How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Islam

Ten years ago we found evidence that al-Qaeda was far more organized and adept than we had realized. It took us nearly that long to locate and execute their leader, Osama bin Laden, and we are far from finished. Al-Qaeda has morphed into a much more dangerous, menacing threat: ISIS. Defeating these radical Islamists will require decisive action.


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Jack Rusenko: How to Define ISIS and How Morocco is Fighting It

The media and the current U.S. administration have struggled since 2014 to define ISIS. Some have said it is not Islamic at all, which, while well-meaning, seems to fail on its face as ISIS draws upon Islamic texts to justify its actions. ISIS is an apocalyptic, genocidal, Islamic cult. We must address and combat ISIS as a cult to defeat it.

Jack Rusenko has lived and worked the majority of his adult life in the Arab world, 18 years of which were in Morocco where he focused on educational projects.

In 1993, he initiated a committee to bring the Internet to Morocco, and in 1998 he founded the largest American school in the region: George Washington Academy. During his years in Morocco he did extensive work on interfaith dialogue as a lay leader of the Anglican church, working with religious and governmental leaders. He is personally acquainted with the Moroccan Muslim intellectuals who have taken the lead in fighting Islamist ideology. He is intimately familiar with the Moroccan government’s counter-radicalization efforts. Jack currently resides in Northern Virginia where he leads the George Washington Amity Series, working with Muslim and Evangelical Christian Communities.

Jack brings a wealth of experience to the subject through the many years he lived and worked with business, government and religious leaders in a Muslim-majority context. He holds degrees in Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University; French Language and Civilization from the Sorbonne in Paris, and Arabic from the University of Tunis.


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Andrew C. McCarthyWhat Keeps America from Protecting Itself from Radical Islam

Our legal architecture for fighting the infiltration of radical Islam is stuck in a pre-1993 Cold War framework. That framework prohibits the exclusion of aliens on the grounds of ideological animus against the U.S. as opposed to terrorist activities. We face an ideology that promotes acts of mass terror and thrives on resistance to assimilation.

The State Department’s strategy for countering violent extremism issued a week ago is, as usual, absent any mention of Islam. What’s more, the U.S. continues to suffer from the lack of any institution within the government from which to actually execute such a strategy, were we to have a sensible one, in terms of the war of ideas.

Andrew C. McCarthy III is a former assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York. He led the 1995 terrorism prosecution against Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman and eleven others. The defendants were convicted of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and of planning a series of attacks against New York City landmarks. He also contributed to the prosecutions of terrorists who bombed U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. He resigned from the Justice Department in 2003. He is a contributing editor of National Review and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

McCarthy is the author of “The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America,” “How Obama Embraces Islam’s Sharia Agenda,” “Willful Blindness: A Memoir of the Jihad,” “Spring Fever: The Illusion of Islamic Democracy,” and “How the Obama Administration Has Politicized Justice.”


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Nibras Kazimi: How Jihadists Weaponize Islamic History and How to De-Weaponize It

Religious extremists in the Middle East, both Sunni and Shia, have succeeded in weaponizing memory. They wield historical precedence to inform and legitimize their actions and strategies. Nibras Kazimi, an Iraqi citizen, will discuss how they do this and how to undermine their legitimacy by de-weaponizing precedence.

Nibras Kazimi’s blog Talisman Gate was one of the most riveting Iraqi blogs written from Baghdad in the midst of its drarma and turmoil and was renowned for its acute political insight. His research focuses on the growing threat of jihadism in the Middle East, as well as prospects for democracy in the region. His primary interest is the national security of Iraq and how threats there are enabled and coordinated by regional Middle Eastern actors and factors.

Kazimi directed the Research Bureau of the Iraqi National Congress in Washington, DC and Baghdad, and was a pro-bono adviser for the Higher National Commission for De-Ba’athification, which he helped establish and staff. He was a Visiting Fellow at the Hudson Institute and wrote a weekly column for The New York Sun and a monthly column for Prospect magazine (UK). He has published several papers on jihadism as well as articles in publications such as Newsweek and the New Republic. He is the author of the monograph Syria Through Jihadist Eyes: A Perfect Enemy (Hoover Institution Press, 2010). He is a member of The Atlantic Council’s 2016 Iraq Task Force.


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Richard Miniter: The Consequences to National Security of Obama’s Leading from Behind

Richard Miniter is the CEO of American Media Institute, a New York Times bestselling author, and a national security columnist for Forbes.

His seventh book, Leading From Behind, examines the consequences of Obama’s foreign policies. Miniter sheds new light on key decisions of the past eight years and the damage inflicted by America’s departure from leadership on the world stage. He is also the author of Mastermind: The Many Faces of the 9/11 Architect, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed.

He was editorial page writer for The Wall Street Journal Europe and was a member of the famed investigative team of The Sunday Times of London. As vice president of The Washington Times, Miniter turned around an ailing division and managed a team of 17 journalists. He appears regularly on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC and hundreds of radio programs. He is the author of several New York Times bestselling books: Losing bin Laden, Shadow War, Mastermind and Leading From Behind. Miniter has been published in The New York Times, Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Atlantic Monthly, Newsweek, Forbes, New Republic, National Review and others.


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Clare Lopez: Gulen and the Gulenist Movement

Clare M. Lopez, Vice President for Research and Analysis at the Center for Security Policy, is the co-author of the recently published book “Gülen and the Gülenist Movement: Turkey’s Islamic Supremacist Cult and its Contributions to the Civilization Jihad.” Fethullah Gülen is the head of a vast political network in Turkey that promotes theocracy and has infiltrated the Turkish state. Gülen lives in the U.S. where he has established a significant number of charter schools. Her remarks included commentary on Gülen’s erstwhile ally, now opponent, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Lopez is a Senior Fellow at the London Center for Policy Research and a member of the Board of Advisors for the Canadian Mackenzie Institute. In 2016, she was named to Senator Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign national security advisory team. Since 2013, she has served as a member of the Citizens Commission on Benghazi. Formerly Vice President of the Intelligence Summit, she was a career operations officer with the Central Intelligence Agency, a professor at the Centre for Counterintelligence and Security Studies, Executive Director of the Iran Policy Committee from 2005-2006, and has served as a consultant, intelligence analyst, and researcher for a variety of defense firms. She was named a 2011 Lincoln Fellow at the Claremont Institute.
Already an advisor to EMP Act America, in February 2012 Ms. Lopez was named a member of the Congressional Task Force on National and Homeland Security, which focuses on the Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP) threat to the nation. She serves as a member of the Boards of Advisors/Directors for the Center for Democracy and Human Rights in Saudi Arabia, the United West, and the Voice of the Copts. She has been a Visiting Researcher and guest lecturer on counterterrorism, national defense, and international relations at Georgetown University.


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Andrew Doran: Christian Genocide: Evidence for Its Designation and Saving Christianity in Iraq

Andrew Doran is co-founder of In Defense of Christians (IDC), a nonprofit organization that advocates for the protection and preservation of Christians in the Middle East.

He presented IDC’s new, nearly-300 page report on the ongoing genocide in the Middle East, which was presented to Secretary of State John Kerry (read the full report here), and the next steps necessary to preserve at-risk Christian communities in Iraq.

The Syrian conflict has cost as many as 470,000 lives with Christian and Yazidi communities nearly wiped out in ISIS-controlled territory. The Christians who remain in Iraq and Syria are in a desperate plight. The State Department has recognized the genocidal intent of the Islamic State but the UK government and the United Nations continue to deny recognition.

Doran has published dozens of articles about U.S. foreign policy and human rights, with a focus on the Middle East. He previously served at the U.S. Department of State in the Bureau of International Organizations (IO) on the executive secretariat of the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO. He is an attorney, armed forces veteran, and lives in the Washington, DC area.


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Kanan Makiya: What Went Wrong in 2003, An Iraqi Story for the Future

Kanan Makiya, born in Baghdad, is the author of the best-selling Republic of Fear: The Politics of Modern Iraq, the book that put Saddam Hussein’s Ba’thist regime in the crosshairs. His new book, The Rope, (which will be available for signing) is an unflinching novel about Iraqi failure in the wake of the 2003 American invasion. In 2003, Makiya founded the Iraq Memory Foundation, an NGO based in Baghdad and the US dedicated to documenting and overcoming the legacy of evil from Saddam’s regime. He has collaborated on several films, including “Saddam’s Killing Fields,” which exposed for the first time the campaign of mass murder in northern Iraq known as the Anfal. The Memory Foundation has collected and digitized nearly 10 million pages of Ba’th-era documents. He is the Sylvia K. Hassenfeld Professor of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at Brandeis University. Makiya has also written The Monument (1991), Cruelty and Silence: War, Tyranny, Uprising and the Arab World (1993), and The Rock: A Seventh-Century Tale of Jerusalem.


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Michael Pregent: How Iran Fuels ISIS

Michael Pregent is a former U.S. Army intelligence officer with more than 28 years of experience working security, terrorism, counter-insurgency, and policy issues in the Middle East, North Africa, and Southwest Asia. He served in Desert Shield and Desert Storm, served as a liaison officer in Egypt during the 2000 Intifada, as a counter-insurgency intelligence officer at CENTCOM in 2001, and as a company commander in Afghanistan in 2002.


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Ilan Berman: Iran’s Global Ambition

Dr. Ilan Berman spoke at the Westminster Institute on March 2. Berman is Vice President of the American Foreign Policy Council in Washington, DC. His new book is Iran’s Deadly Ambition: The Islamic Republic’s Quest for Global Power, published by Encounter Books. An expert on regional security in the Middle East, Central Asia, and the Russian Federation, he has consulted for both the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and the U.S. Department of Defense, and provided assistance on foreign policy and national security issues to a range of governmental agencies and congressional offices. He has been called one of America’s “leading experts on the Middle East and Iran” by CNN.


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Robert Reilly: Deciphering the Middle East: Why the United States Usually Gets it Wrong

Robert Reilly spoke to the Military History Legion at The University Club on February 9. Reilly is the Executive Director of the Westminster Institute. In his 25 years of government service, he has taught at National Defense University (2007), and served in the Office of The Secretary of Defense, where he was Senior Advisor for Information Strategy (2002-2006). He participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 as Senior Advisor to the Iraqi Ministry of information. Before that, he was director of the Voice of America, where he had worked the prior decade. Mr. Reilly served in the White House as a Special Assistant to the President (1983-1985), and in the U.S. Information Agency both in D.C. and abroad. In the private sector, he spent more than seven years with the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, as both national director and then president. He was on active duty as an armored cavalry officer for two years, and attended Georgetown University and the Claremont Graduate University. He has published widely on foreign policy, the “war of ideas”, and classical music.


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Tawfik Hamid: “Inside Jihad: How Radical Islam Works, and How to Defeat It”

Dr. Tawfik Hamid, an expert in cognitive psychology, is an Islamic thinker and reformer, and one time Islamic extremist from Egypt. He was a member of a radical Islamic organization Jamaa Islameia JI (of Egypt) with Dr. Ayman Al-Zawahri, who later became the leader of Al-Qaeda. After being radicalized in the JI (approximately thirty-five years ago), he had an awakening of his human conscience, recognized the threat of Radical Islam, and started to teach modern peaceful interpretations of classical Islamic core texts. Dr. Hamid is the author of Inside Jihad: How Radical Islam Works; Why It Should Terrify Us: How To Defeat It.


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Mike Pompeo: Dealing with Iran in a Post-Deal World

Congressman Mike Pompeo is a third-term congressman from the 4th District, Kansas. He graduated first in his class from West Point in 1986 and then served as a cavalry officer patrolling the Iron Curtain before the fall of the Berlin Wall. He also served with the 2nd Squadron, 7th Cavalry in the Fourth Infantry Division.

After leaving active duty, Congressman Pompeo graduated from Harvard Law School, having been an editor of the Harvard Law Review. He later returned to Kansas and founded Thayer Aerospace, where he served as CEO for more than a decade, providing components for commercial and military aircraft. He then became President of Sentry International, an oilfield equipment manufacturing, distribution, and service company.

Congressman Pompeo serves on two major committees: Energy and Commerce, which oversees energy, health care, manufacturing, and telecommunications, and the House Intelligence Committee, which oversees America’s intelligence-gathering efforts. He has also served on the House Select Benghazi Committee to investigate the tragic events in Benghazi, Libya.


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CIA Director James Woolsey: When Iran Goes Nuclear: Technology and Ideology

R. James Woolsey is a Venture Partner with Lux Capital Management. He also Chairs the Board of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Mr. Woolsey previously served in the U.S. Government on five different occasions, where he held Presidential appointments in two Republican and two Democratic administrations, most recently (1993-95) as Director of Central Intelligence.

During his 12 years of government service, in addition to heading the CIA and the Intelligence Community, Mr. Woolsey was Ambassador to the Negotiation on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE), Vienna, 1989-1991.


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Dr. John M. Poindexter: National Security and the Islamic State: Foreign and Domestic

Dr. John Poindexter spoke at the Westminster Institute on 3 February 2016. He most recently served as Director of the Information Awareness Office (IAO) at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Dr. Poindexter served as National Security Advisor and Deputy National Security Advisor for President Ronald Reagan from 1983 to 1986, and as Military Assistant in the White House prior to that.


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Westminster Institute Delegation to Egypt

Press Conference on October 1, 2013, of delegation members who traveled to Egypt Sept. 27-30 for meetings with civic, religious, business and military leaders. Dr. Sebastian Gorka, Maj Gen Paul E. Vallely (ret.), Col. Ken Allard (ret.), Lt. Col, Rick Francona, introduced by Westminster Institute Executive Director Katharine C. Gorka.


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Dr. Patrick Sookhdeo: The Role of Religion in the Battle Space since 9/11


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Dr. Tawfik Hamid: The Psychology and Ideology of Islam Extremism


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Dr. J. Michael Waller: The Muslim Brotherhood and the Mobilization of Power Ideology


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Stephen Ulph: The Importance of Muslim Reformers


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Robert R. Reilly: Information Operations-Successes and Failures


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Dr. Walid Phares: A New U.S. Response to Upheaval in the Middle East


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Diana West: Countering Subversion-Lessons from History


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Katharine C. Gorka: The OIC’s Political Warfare


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Sebastian Gorka: A New American Strategy


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Diana West: American Betrayal the Secret Assault on Our Nation’s Character 


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Deborah Weiss: Combating Free Speech Infringement

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