ISIS & The Future of Iraq: A Talk at the Habib University, Karachi
The Future of Iraq: YCSD holds Public Lecture with Dr. Hassan Abbas
Sponsored by American Institute of Pakistan Studies: http://pakistanstudies-aips.org
Led by the moderator of the Public Lecture, Dr. Hafeez Jamali, the event started off with an introduction of Dr. Hasan Abbas. Listing out his career trajectory, the moderator spoke of his professional and academic achievements, also informing the audience of how Dr. Abbas has remained a former member of the Board of Trustees at Habib University.
Dr. Abbas took the stage with great enthusiasm, commenting on his delight at being back at Habib University, at “seeing the dream turn into reality”. To delve into the state of Iraq and ISIS currently, he listed out three questions:
Who is behind ISIS, what inspires these young radical Muslims to be sympathetic to the ideology of ISIS?
How do we understand the rise of ISIS, is it a symptom or a cause?
What inspires these nearly 200,000 young people, with their foreign schooling and further education from regions such as France, UK, US, Middle East and so on, to drop everything and fight for the “cause”?
In order to answer these questions, Dr. Abbas set up a historical context for his audience, where he mapped out the ethnic identities of the current population of Iraq. He said that each of these identities have their own sense of rights, of what they’re entitled to and where they belong. He spoke of how, since the middle of 2014, one third of Iraq is under the control of ISIS, while one fifth of the entire population live in the area controlled by them. Furthermore, 10,000 people were butchered just in the last year by ISIS, while 200,000 remain internally displaced. Nearly 2 million refugees make up this area, thus why would the population that does turn to ISIS, do so?
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