Foreign Policy Research Institute A Nation Must Think Before it Acts How We Misunderstand Islam

How We Misunderstand Islam

  • February 2, 2016

Sam Helfont, an FPRI Robert A. Fox Fellow, has written a series of essays that explore the differences betweenIslam and Islamism, between Sunni and Shi’a Islam, and between the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood and the theology of Wahhabism. Together these essays go far to correct widespread misperceptions about Islam.  In this session, Ron Granieri will explore with Sam Helfont what Americans think they know about Islam and what they should know.

In May 2015, Helfont completed a PhD in Princeton University’s Near Eastern Studies Department, where he wrote his dissertation on Saddam Hussein’s use of religion to entrench his authoritarian regime, based on captured Ba’th Party and Iraqi state records. Helfont is the author of Yusuf Al-Qaradawi: Islam and Modernity  (The Moshe Dayan Center/Tel Aviv University Press, 2009) and the FPRI monograph, The Sunni Divide: Understanding Politics and Terrorism in the Arab Middle East. He has written widely in publications such as Foreign AffairsThe Middle East JournalOrbisThe New Republic, and The American Interest.

Related Program(s)

Middle East Program