Phares: West can't ignore ideology of radicalization

The brutal murder of American journalist James Foley has turned the spotlight on the role radical imams play in recruiting young men from industrialized nations to join militant fighters in Syria and Iraq.

One such imam is Anjem Choudary, a radical London preacher who has called for the establishment of an Islamic caliphate and the adoption of Sharia Law in the United Kingdom.

Appearing on Fox News' "Happening Now," terrorism analyst Walid Phares explained that existing laws can do little to curb Choudary's inflammatory rhetoric.

"The problem in Western liberal societies... is that we don't act against ideology, we don't have legislation against ideology as the Germans or French have against Nazism, for example," Phares said. "And because we haven't had this possibility, we are waiting -- law enforcement are waiting for [Choudary] to make a mistake, to make a mistake with the law.

"Basically, he could do anything," Phares warned. "He could call for caliphate... he could even say, 'I support Al Qaeda'... and nothing could happen. The only thing that could happen under that law, under these laws is if he is materially, physically supporting the terrorists and he is very careful. He's doing 95 percent of the work and the last 5 percent the jihadists are doing."