SMU professor gives his insight on ISIS

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SMU Professor Sabri Ates walked to the front of his classroom to start his lecture with a question as he usually did.

But unlike most days, the projector at the front of the room wasn’t showing a PowerPoint. In place of a PowerPoint was the front cover of Dabiq, the online Islamic state magazine.

“The main question I have for today: Is it appropriate to discuss ISIS in a class on Islam?” Ates asked.

For some the answer to that question is mixed. In a press conference, President Obama said that equating ISIS’s Paris attacks to a view of Islam is wrong. According to Ates, one of the three World of Islam professors, it’s a little more complicated.

“It’s [ISIS] definitely part of a specific tradition that follows a certain part of Islam this tradition doesn’t represent the 1.5 billion Muslims in the world it represents less than 1 percent,” Ates said.

In the wake of the Paris attacks more than 120 were left dead and the French MPs voted to extend the national state of emergency. As a response to people linking ISIS to Muslims as whole after the attack an online movement called terrorism knows no religion has started.

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“What’s not realized is that Muslims suffer much more from ISIS than others,” Ates said.

According to a report by the United Nations, in the first four months of 2014, ISIS killed more than 8,493 Muslims in Iraq. Johan Elverskog, professor for World Islam, says that this is because ISIS sees Muslims that fail to align with them as not Muslim enough.

Hamas, The Muslim Brotherhood, and Al-Qaida have all denounced ISIS.

For Ates and other Muslims ideas and values that ISIS encourages aren’t the normal.

“I grew up in a Muslim country and I had never heard of those things that groups like ISIS say are Muslim,” Ates said.

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