Noor Cultural Centre

Lecture by Dr Nader Hashemi: The ISIS Crisis After Paris

Dec 11th 2015

The ISIS Crisis After the Paris Massacre: How Should the World Respond?
Lecture by Dr Nader Hashemi

Vienna conference large

The November 13, 2015 Paris massacre is widely viewed as a turning point in the war against ISIS. Global attention has refocused on this extremist group and further attacks in major Western cities are expected.

Before a coherent strategy against ISIS can be formulated, however, a clear understanding of the roots of this organization is required. What is the best framework of analysis to explain the rise and expansion of ISIS? Is the problem with ISIS fundamentally due to something inherent in Islam or Arab Culture? Richard Haass, the President of Council on Foreign Relations, has argued this point by affirming that this “is a deeply flawed part of the world that never came to terms with modernity.” Similarly, President Obama has spoken about “ancient sectarian differences” between Sunni and Shia, suggesting that perhaps today we are witnessing a Muslim version of Christian wars of religion in 16th century. His implication was there was little the international community could do to ameliorate the turmoil in the Arab-Islamic world; it had to simply burn itself out.

Or is the problem with ISIS fundamentally about the legacy of US intervention in Iraq in 2003? Did a failed US policy toward the Middle East inadvertently create ISIS as some have argued?  What is the best entry point to understand this vexed problem and what strategy should the international community adopt to effectively deal with the menace of the “Islamic State”? This lecture will answer these questions.

Also featuring Dr Mohammad Fadel (University of Toronto, Faculty of Law) as discussant.

Date: Thursday December 17, 2015
Time: 7:00 pm
Location: Auditorium, Noor Cultural Centre
Admission: $5

Nader Hashemi is the Director of the Center for Middle East Studies and an Associate Professor of Middle East and Islamic Politics at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. He obtained his doctorate from the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto and previously was an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at Northwestern University and a Visiting Assistant Professor at the UCLA Global Institute. He is the author of Islam, Secularism and Liberal Democracy: Toward a Democratic Theory for Muslim Societies and co-editor of The People Reloaded: The Green Movement and the Struggle for Iran’s Future and The Syria Dilemma. He is frequently interviewed by PBS, NPR, CNN, Al Jazeera, Pacifica Radio and the BBC and his writings have appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street JournalThe Globe and Mail, among other media outlets.