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Lecture Explains Emergence of ISIS

 

Approaches to the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, also known as ISIS, were laid in an April 17, 2016 lecture by Political Science professor Saleh Abdel Jawad.

Speaking at the behest of the Political Science and Public Administration Department, Abdel Jawad explained that the existence of ISIS is related to the lack of democracy and freedom of expression in the Middle East. “Some analysts have offered explanations as to why ISIS has been able to gain control over large parts of the region by picking political actors to blame for the current mess in the Middle East—such as the Iraqi government’s discriminatory dictatorship and Bashar Al-Assad’s suppression of secular protestors.”

But the political science professor thought some explanations went too far. “The most dangerous justifications for the rise of ISIS are the ones that relate them to Islam. The Western mainstream media has succumbed to the Islamophobic propaganda of affixing the epithet ‘Sunni’ to the militia of ISIS.” Abdel Jawad said that Arabs should not be swayed by the wrongly-promoted relationship between ISIS and Islam.

Other explanations for the phenomenon were discussed during the lecture. Abdel Jawad said that the American-led war, by destroying the Iraqi state, contributed to the rise of ISIS by leaving the country in chaos. This was a fertile environment for extremists to grow, exploiting a group of men who were unemployed and desperate.

Abdel Jawad also gave a nod to theories that present ISIS as a made-in-the-USA phenomena to divide and conquer the Middle East.