Posts Tagged ‘Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)’


Religious Liberty and Violent Religious Extremism

Can a foundation of religious freedom mitigate violent extremism by various religious organizations? This is the question put before a group of scholars at a symposium sponsored by the Religious Freedom Project at the Berkeley Center for Religion, Peace, & World Affairs (Georgetown University). Moderated by Thomas Farr, the panelists include Dan Philpott (Notre Dame), William Inboden (Texas), Allen Hertzke (Oklahoma), and Sahar Aziz (Texas A&M).

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Lawrence Rubin on Islam and Ideational Balancing

When it comes to foreign policy and international relations, can theological ideas promoted by one country become “weapons” or “threats” to other regimes? Prof. Larry Rubin (Georgia Tech) discusses how the Iranian Revolution of 1979 and the Sudanese Revolution of 1989 affected the ideational balance of power in the Middle East and how Egypt and Saudi Arabia mobilized ideational resources to respond.

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Daniel Philpott on Defending Religious Freedom

Prof. Daniel Philpott, professor of political science and peace studies at Notre Dame, makes the case for why it is important to defend and promote religious liberty around the world. He reviews some common critiques regarding the promotion of religious liberty and then discusses why religious freedom is a universal human right and how best to ensure it flourishes globally.

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David Patel on Religion & Social Order in Iraq

Why have women in the Middle East resorted to more conservative forms of dress in recent decades? And what happens when social order breaks down in Iraq following the US invasion in 2003? These two questions, along with an analysis of the rise of ISIS, are answered by Dr. David Patel of Brandeis University. He connects these threads via a political economy approach to religious institutions and behavior by showing how signaling and common knowledge are important in coordinating society, and how religious leaders may play a role in enhancing such coordination. David explains how and why Shiites were more successful in building social networks in Iraq following the collapse of the Hussein regime as compared to their Sunni counterparts, and what ISIS has been doing in recent years to account for its success.

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Karen Elliott House on Journalism and Saudi Arabia

Pulitzer Prize recipient Karen Elliott House joins us to discuss her career as a diplomatic correspondent in the Middle East for the Wall Street Journal and a number of important changes that are occurring in what many consider to be one of the most stable countries in that turbulent region. After discussing the life of a female reporter covering a male-dominated culture, which has a few surprising benefits, we review Saudi Arabia’s socio-economic landscape and internal tensions that are generating support for reform.

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