March 26, 2007

Acts of terrorism 'justified' by religious beliefs to be examined at conference at Case Western Reserve University March 30

Roe Green Foundation Conference at School of Law features keynote by leading terrorism expert Georgetown Professor Bruce Hoffman

The reasons and causes of acts of terrorism committed in the name of religion and how they might be prevented will be the subject of a daylong conference at Case Western Reserve University School of Law.

"Sacred Violence: Religion and Terrorism," sponsored by the Roe Green Foundation and presented by the law school's Institute for Global Security Law and Policy, will examine acts of terrorism that are justified by religious beliefs and practice, and the potential legal and policy responses to such acts. It will be held on Friday, March 30, from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., in the Moot Courtroom (A59) at the law school, 11075 East Boulevard.

The conference will feature a keynote address by Bruce Hoffman, one of the country's leading experts on terrorism. Hoffman is a member of the faculty of the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and is the former corporate chair in counterterrorism and counterinsurgency at the RAND Corporation, and a talk by Parvez Ahmed, chairman of the board for the Council on American-Islamic Relations. The conference also will include discussions of such topics as: the impact of religious extremism on U.S. counterterrorism policy; the psychology of terror; and developing a practical legal response to terrorism.

Bringing multidisciplinary perspectives to the topic, the conference employs an interactive format which includes a mock White House Task Force hearing geared toward generating recommendations to the President for dealing with terrorism justified by religion. Throughout the morning, academic experts will present papers from the perspective of their field of specialty. In the afternoon, experts in law, religion and policy will apply their experience and expertise, integrating research and ideas presented during the morning to formulate and recommend draft legislation.

"Thanks to the generosity of the Roe Green Foundation, we're able to present a major national conference focused on the most relevant issues in global security," said Amos N. Guiora, professor of law and director of the Institute for Global Security Law and Policy. "We're bringing leading experts together to discuss such topics as bioterrorism, religion and terrorism and reassess America's response to terrorism. This is a great opportunity for our students, faculty and the community at large to learn about how we might address this critical issue affecting everyone around the world."

In the afternoon session, a panel of legal and policy experts, including Professor Robert M. Chesney, Wake Forest University School of Law, Dr. S. Amjad Hussain, Professor Emeritus, University of Toledo College of Medicine, and Gregory S. McNeal, senior fellow in counterterrorism and international law and assistant director of the Institute for Global Security Law and Policy, will respond to the problems detailed during the morning concerning religious extremism. The panel will then develop and examine potential legislative initiatives to address those problems, and finally will present a proposal.

The focus of the Roe Green Foundation Conference series is on the most relevant current issues concerning global security law and policy, and was made possible by the generous support of Roe Green and the Roe Green Foundation. Roe Green is a friend of the Case Western Reserve University School of Law and the daughter of the late Judge Ben C. Green, a graduate of the Western Reserve School of Law Class of 1930 and the first alumnus of the school appointed to the federal bench. As a result of Roe Green's recent gift to the Leading the Way in Legal Education fundraising campaign, the Judge Ben C. Green Library was named in her father's honor. She was inducted into the Society of Benchers in 2004 and remains an active supporter of the law school.

For more information on the conference, including a detailed agenda and online registration, visit the law school's web site, or call (216) 368-6619. The symposium will also be webcast live at Six and ¾ hours of CLE credit is available for a fee to lawyers who attend in person. Space is limited; registration for this symposium will close on March 21, 2007. After March 21, please call to see if there is space.

For more information contact Laura M. Massie, 216.368.4442.

Posted by: Heidi Cool, March 26, 2007 03:30 PM | News Topics: Ethics, Events, HeadlinesMain, Lectures/Speakers, Provost Initiatives, Public Policy/Politics

Case Western Reserve University is committed to the free exchange of ideas, reasoned debate and intellectual dialogue. Speakers and scholars with a diversity of opinions and perspectives are invited to the campus to provide the community with important points of view, some of which may be deemed controversial. The views and opinions of those invited to speak on the campus do not necessarily reflect the views of the university administration or any other segment of the university community.