Radical Islam’s Cognitive Warfare

Prof. Richard Landes

Prof. Richard Landes (Boston University) talks with Thierry Chervel about the Dysfunctions of Western News Media from Muhammad al Durah to the “Arab Spring”

Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011, 7.00 pm

Robert-Koch-Saal, Dorotheenstr. 96, 10117 Berlin.

In the late 20th century, apocalyptic Jihadi currents in Islam declared war on the West. Given the absurdly asymmetrical nature of the conflict, Jihadis chose to fight a cognitive war designed to get the West to unwittingly side with its enemy and renounce fighting a war it does not even recognize. In this war, they chose terror attacks as their secondary weapons and the western public sphere and news media as their battlefield. Although one might think victory in such a campaign was as unlikely as that on a military battlefield, in the course of the last decade (2000-2010), Jihadi cognitive warfare has made immense, almost unimaginable strides largely by exploiting a Western aversion to war and conflict. In this successful campaign, no single force has proved more useful to the Jihadis than Western news journalism. This talk will explore how a Western “free press” has repeatedly and unwittingly served to advance Jihadi strategic goals, and what must change in order to defeat Radical Islam.

Richard Landes is a professor of History at Boston University, a fellow this year at the Alexander Universität Erlangen. His latest book is Paranoid Apocalypse: A Hundred Year Perspective on the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. He blogs about the News Media at

Moderator: Thierry Chervel, publicist and founder of the culture magazine

Event in English!

Contribution: 3-5 €.

Reception with wine & cheese after the debate.

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A Berlin Middle East Talk (B'EMET) by Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME) and the Mideast Freedom Forum Berlin (MFFB) in cooperation with the Jüdische Volkshochschule (

SAVE THE DATE: On Nov. 18, 2011,  Dr. Dan Schueftan (Israel) talks with Prof. Lars Rensmann about Israel and the current developments in the Middle East. More information here.