ISIS Panel Discussion Answers Your Questions About Terrorists and Religion

FILE - In this photo released on Sunday, June 28, 2015, by a website of Islamic State militants, an Islamic State militant waves his group's flag as he and another celebrate in Fallujah, Iraq, west of Baghdad. (Militant website via AP, File)


ISIS is what everyone’s talking about, following the attacks in Paris. But not all of us are really that informed about what this group is. Monday night at 8pm anyone has the chance to learn from the experts.

Converse College is hosting a free panel discussion at 8pm called ISIS: War With The West.

The idea came from Converse College sophmore Olivia Haas, who says she was hungry for knowledge after the Paris attacks.

“I was emotionally distraught and was just very frustrated. I was talking on the phone with my parents, I was talking with my friends and just like how is this happening, what can we do, what the heck is happening, and everybody’s like, I’m there with you, I don’t know.”

So, the honor student came up with the idea of the panel discussion with experts in religion, politics and history.

Dr. Joe P. Dunn, Dana Professor of History and Politics is one of the panelists. He has lived in the Middle East and has extensive knowledge of ISIS and Islam. Some of his expertise stems from heading the college’s Model Arab League and Model NATO which has won top honors almost every year for the last two decades.

Dunn is eager to lay out the facts on everything from the strategy to fight ISIS to misconceptions about muslims and violence.

He explained how ISIS is stronger than Al Qaeda because it has taken over a territory, and as such, has a constant source of money through taxation (as well as other means).

“Unquestionably, they intent to have a major terrorist attack in the US. And their goal is to make 9/11 minor in comparison. So they are very very dangerous, extremely dangerous,” he said.

We asked: “For the people who say that most muslims at least privately support what ISIS is doing, what’s the reality?”

“The reality is that is an incorrect analysis. It’s incorrect. Saudi Arabia is bombing, Qatar is bombing, Turkey is bombing them, Jordan is bombing them, the UAE is bombing them. You’re talking about countries that are 100% muslim, and they are part of the coalition. So that is just absolute abysmal ignorance for people to say that muslims are not doing anything about it,” said Dunn.

The event will be different from what you’re hearing on the news because it will provide extensive historical background and unbiased analysis of Islam and ISIS. It will also give the audience a chance to ask any questions you have to a panel of experts.

This is an opportunity to be like, all right, assume I know nothing, help me understand,” said Haas.

The event is in the Daniel Recital Hall in the Blackman Music Building at Converse College.

This map can help you find the building.

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