Despite President Obama’s commitment to open communication with the Muslim world (and Muslim-American communities), made at his speech last June 4th at the University of Cairo, the past year has wrought several high-profile examples of home-grown, radicalized young Muslims—several of them American citizens—plotting acts of terror against their nominal American countrymen. It has also been about year since Mr. Obama nominated the first-ever Special Representative to Muslim Communities, Farah Anwar Pandith. A Muslim immigrant appointed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Representative Pandith works as an envoy between the American government and Muslims who may feel discriminated against to build an international dialogue from a grassroots level. Now that she’s been in the job for just about a year, she joins Alex Cohen for a conversation about what she’s seen and ways she’s identified to counter instances of violent extremism and foster respect within America’s Muslim communities and abroad.
Farah Anwar Pandith, Special Representative to Muslim Communities for the U.S. Department of State