Summit on Countering Violent Extremism

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 (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

More than 60 world leaders gathered at a White House summit Wednesday to discuss how to counter violent extremism. In opening remarks, President Obama said we must discredit violent ideologies and find " ways to amplify the voices of peace and tolerance and inclusion." But, some Muslim leaders who were invited declined to attend, calling the government's focus on Islam discriminatory. We'll get the latest in the summit and other efforts to curb violent extremism.

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"One thing that is ignored when we kind of talk about all these themes that are going on in the conference, a lot of the problem is that a lot of this is motivated by the west and its role in the Middle East. It is greatly protested. U.S. foreign policy and western foreign policy and a lot of the interventions that we've done. And so unfortunately, the issues that President Obama is mentioning only deal with part of the root causes."

- David Schanzer


"There's a number of concerns [with the conference]: the singular focus on Muslims when statistically speaking there is not any more likelihood of violence among Muslim youth than other youth is one problem. The other problem is the top-down government approach. Unfortunately, the Muslim community's relationship with law enforcement is stressed after 15 years of informants, of surveillance, and then of very problematic foreign policies. And I would say the third concern is that civil liberties organizations have attempted to engage the White House and the administration on these very problematic approaches and efforts and have not gotten any response back." -


David Schanzer, director of Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security in the Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University

Kori Schake, research fellow, Hoover Institution; author of "State of Disrepair: Fixing the Culture and Practices of the State Department"

Zahra Billoo, executive director, The Council on American-Islamic Relations, San Francisco Bay Area chapter


Zahra Billoo


"The dilemma of governing Iraq is partly the set of problems about how authoritarian societies transition to representative government. And that went very badly in Iraq. In part because we allowed a transition to Iraqi governance very quickly after the United States overthrew Saddam Hussein, and that allowed the Shia majority to monopolize power. ... But I also think there are things that the Bush administration did right, and the proof that they did them right is that the Obama administration is actually now returning to them, which is to deal with this as a global problem, not simply a problem unique to the Muslim world, or unique to the Middle East."

- Kori Schake