BM: What exactly do you see as the relationship between extremism in the Middle East and Islam?
AM: Well, what they are extreme about is Islam. It is a pretty direct relationship. It’s complex because it doesn’t mean that that it is the only way of interpreting Islam, but it is the dynamic Islam of the Middle East, and it’s a shame that when we say extremism, we say it mindlessly, because there is something specific that they are being extreme about.
BM: You’ve written a lot on social welfare and how it pertains to race and the problems associated with it. At heart, what is the bulk of the problem? Is it with the structure of the laws themselves or is it with their implementation?
JR: I think the biggest problem is the incentives that have been put in place in the name of helping. They have been counterproductive and I’m speaking specifically of the government efforts that began in earnest with the Great Society Programs of the 1960’s. If you look at what has happened to the black family since then in terms of illegitimacy rates, in terms of crime rates, in terms of incarceration rates, even in terms of poverty you see that the government’s efforts to help have not done so.