Date of Conferral





Public Policy and Administration


Lori Demeter


Islamic terrorism has become a global problem which has resulted in human, social, political, and economic costs. Many Islamic terrorist organizations have focused their attacks on the West and its interests. They justify these acts by making reference to policies of the West, which they believe are inimical to Islam. France, a Western country, recently introduced a law which bans the Islamic face veil (the burqa) in public places in the country. This study examined the implications of this law. The research question focused on the perceived relationship between this law and increased acts of Islamic terrorism. The theoretical construct of this study was based off Huntington's clash of civilizations theory. Data were collected through in-depth, open ended interviews with 23 Muslim participants who were identified through a snowball sampling technique. These participants represented a variety of nations, including France. Data were inductively coded and then organized around key themes and ideas. Findings indicate that participants did not perceive a relationship between increased acts of Islamic terrorism and the burqa ban specifically, but they did feel the burqa ban undermines Islam. These findings were consistent with the study's theoretical construct as they revealed an underlying conflict between some Western countries and Islam. These findings contribute to positive social change as they highlight areas where policy makers have opportunities to build more culturally sensitive relations between the West and Islam, perhaps eventually serving to reduce future radicalization and religious extremism.