America and Islam After Bush

Source Organization: Pew Research Center

Speaker: Vali Nasr

Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies, Council on Foreign Relations

Venue: Pew Forum Faith Angle Conference

12/08/2008 - Some of the nation's leading journalists gathered in Key West, Fla., in December, 2008, for the Pew Forum's biannual Faith Angle Conference on religion, politics and public life.

Vali Nasr, author of the 2006 book, The Shia Revival, surveyed the geo-political landscape of today's Middle East, arguing that the 2003 invasion of Iraq has fundamentally shifted the region's balance of power. With Iran gaining influence, Iraq ruled by a Shia-led government and Hezbollah carrying the politically potent anti-Israeli mantle, Shia religious and political forces are displacing Sunni and Arab forces.

While American foreign policy has previously focused on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and its neighbors, Nasr argued the most important conflicts of the Middle East now revolve around the Shia/Sunni sectarian divide.

Jeffrey Goldberg, a long-time Middle East correspondent, related his experiences of interviewing Lebanese and Pakistani extremists, as well as breakfasting with Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmedinejad.

Vali Nasr, Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies, Council on Foreign Relations

Jeffrey Goldberg, National Correspondent, The Atlantic

Michael Cromartie, Vice President, Ethics & Public Policy Center; Senior Advisor, Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life

Read the full transcript America and Islam After Bush on the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life Web site.

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