‘Al-Qaida and Islam: What’s the Real Connection?’ Topic of Crader Lecture


2013_ED_GeneralCAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Sept. 12, 2013 – Dr. Mary Habeck, associate professor in the Strategic Studies Program at Johns Hopkins University, will deliver this year’s Crader Lecture at 7 p.m. Sept. 26 in Rose Theatre in Grauel Building at Southeast Missouri State University.

The topic of her lecture will be ‘al-Qaida and Islam: What’s the Real Connection?’ The lecture will discuss the struggle of Americans to understand the connection between Islam and the terrorists who killed 3,000 innocent people in New York City and Washington, D.C., and the many thousands since. Habeck will discuss that the violence carried out by al-Qaida is not about Americans, but about the future of Islam.

“Dr. Habeck is an internationally known expert on political violence, both state-sponsored and more recent acts of terrorism. With her record of publications, work with think tanks and government agencies, and experience in the classroom, she struck us as an ideal lecturer to bring to campus,” said Dr. Wayne Bowen, chair of the Department of History at Southeast Missouri State University.

The lecture is free and open to the public.

“We hope students, faculty, staff and community members will emerge with a sense of the broader history involved in recent acts of terrorism against the West, and the United States in particular,” Bowen said. “Even though al-Qaida’s targets on 9/11 were Americans, their main audience, according to Dr. Habeck, was Muslims worldwide. The U.S. response to al-Qaida was officially known as the “Global War on Terrorism,” and for most Americans this struggle meant primarily overseas operations against terrorists and the regimes that supported them, such as Taliban-controlled Afghanistan and Iraq under Saddam Hussein.

“With this lecture, and other events we have scheduled with Dr. Habeck, our community will have an opportunity to understand the longer, wider, and deeper heritage and aims of these relatively small groups of terrorists and those who enable their actions,” Bowen said. “Given that al-Qaida and its affiliates continue to operate worldwide, we hope as many people as possible will be able to listen to Dr. Habeck’s perspective on this ongoing war, which shows no signs of ending.”

The Crader Family Endowment for American Values, within the Southeast Missouri University Foundation, is dedicated to education, research and public engagement in the historical traditions of the United States of America and Western civilization.

The endowment’s objectives are to increase knowledge and appreciation of the political, religious and economic heritage of this nation and the West, and the values of individual liberty, constitutional principles and civic virtue that are at the foundation of this society. The endowment is named in honor of the Crader family: Don and Saundra Crader of Marble Hill, Mo., and Stan and Debbie Crader of Jackson, Mo.

Habeck earned her Bachelor of Arts in international studies in 1986 from Ohio State University. She earned a Master of Arts in international relations in 1989 and a doctorate in history in 1996, both from Yale University. She worked in various positions at Yale University from 1993 to 2005.

She has lectured and taught courses on American wars from the Civil War to World War II, revolutions, warrior cultures, military theory and historical periods. She also has presented conferences and briefings on topics related to al-Qaida, national security issues and jihad.

In 2008, she accepted a position as special advisor for strategic planning and institutional reform on the National Security Council staff. She worked on a series of national security projects that dealt with a wide range of issues, including the war in Afghanistan, al-Qaida and affiliated groups, conflicts in the Middle East, and the war between Russia and Georgia. She also spent time that year working on the transition to the Obama administration.

In addition to her teaching duties at Johns Hopkins University, Habeck is currently serving as an associate on the National Intelligence Council.

She has written three books, and co-edited two others. She is currently working on three other books. She has submitted 14 articles to be published as part of books and academic journals about 20th-century wars and national American policy. She also has reviewed books and academic journals and maintains a blog at www.shadow.foreignpolicy.com.

Habeck is a member of the editorial boards for Orbis: A Journal of World Affairs, and Studies in Conflict and Terrorism. She is also a member of the Council on the Humanities, National Endowment for the Humanities. She has served on multiple committees.

In addition, she has conducted research on subjects related to history, jihad, Spain, Korea, Russia and the bombing of the World Trade Center in 2001. She is fluent in Russian, German and Spanish, and she has reading knowledge of Latin, Attic Greek and Modern Standard Arabic.