Dr. Aland Mizell Discusses Threat of ISIS to International Community

Students and members of the community gathered on Saturday, January 23, 2016, at MCI's weekly study forum to hear the differences between the religion of Islam and the actions of ISIS in a talk organized by the Minority Care international Students Association (MCISA) to educate the community. In the month of January, ISIS attacked crowds in Istanbul and in Jakarta, killing ten German tourists in Turkey and several people in Jakarta as well as injuring many more. MCISA wanted to inform the people about ISIS and discuss what Islam actually is. The forum began with a definition of who and what ISIS is and moved to the social and political implications, the method by which ISIS recruits its members, and finally the way ISIS propagandizes its ideology.  In addition, the discussion asked relevant questions: What is the reaction within the Islamic world?  Who speaks for Muslims? Who represents Islam? The evening concluded with a call to action and an outlining of what needs to be done to defeat ISIS.

Dr. Mizell emphasized that the Muslim community faces one of the worst public relations crises in its history, and that there is a war within Islam. There is an anti-Muslim sentiment around the globe as well. According to Dr. Mizell, It is important for Muslims and Christians to respect each other and to demonstrate a mutual understanding. With ISIS becoming a more tangible threat to the world, this kind of educational event is important and necessary for youth to be informed. Students asked questions, and for some these distinctions and implications were eye opening making them happy they attended the forum. According to Dr. Mizell, for the international community to defeat the ISIS terror organization, first the international community needs to define terrorism. If we know who the enemy is, then we will be able to fight more effectively. Second, powerful countries use terrorism to accomplish their national interests, and if states did not support terrorism, then we would not have any terror problem. These powerful countries should stop supporting terrorist groups. Third, the international community should understand what led to ISIS’s formation. Understanding the origins of ISIS leads to understanding its strengths and weaknesses. We need to be addressing the sources of terrorism and having this conversation often.

A question and answer session followed the discussion, giving attendees an opportunity express their doubts and concerns and receive answers to their questions in an educated fashion. Students of the MCISA learned a great deal, reducing some of the innocent ignorance on the topic. As a result, our students will be moving forward with some positive actions.

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