Walking on Eggshells: 
Discussing Extremism in the West

Faisal Saeed Al Mutar

I am approaching my sixth year since I landed in the United States as a refugee from Iraq.

Since then, there have been so many changes—gaining eighty pounds is the most obvious of them—but I can say now that I can speak with some authority when I engage in discussions about extremism, and in particular Islamist extremism, in North America. Since my arrival in the United States, I have been consulting, attending, and speaking at institutions in more than thirty states and provinces and  at events reflecting pretty much all sides of the political spectrum (except the far Right and the far Left, of course).

I never thought I would say this, but discussions about Islamist extremism where I came from (the Middle East in general and Iraq in particular) tended to be far more honest and nuanced than the ones in which I’ve taken part in North America.

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