Susan Smith will be moderating a panel at the Left Forum titled: Islamic State: Responsibility and Response. It has been scheduled for Saturday, May 21st from noon to 1:50 pm. The Left Forum is an annual conference of leftists held in NYC that draws 5000+ people. This year it will be held at John Jay College May 20-22nd.
The West’s wars in the Middle East and the rise of violent extremism present a serious threat to global peace and security. Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hate crimes are rippling through American Muslim communities with a force greater than in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. The American Muslim community is extremely concerned about 1) how war in the Middle East fuels terrorism; 2) the rise in Islamophobia; 3) how the Islamic State distorts Islamic doctrine; 4) how Islamophobic rhetoric is being used by the Islamic State to recruit American Muslims; and 5) death threats made by the Islamic State targeting particular Muslim leaders in the West. This panel takes a look at 1) the root causes for terrorism and the need to hold the West accountable for the circumstances that led to the establishment and spread of the violent extremism; 2) a global campaign by and for Muslims that aims to take Islam back from extremists and Islamophobes; and 3) creating an opportunity for Muslims and non-Muslims to have brave conversations about the 25 year-old Gulf War and so-called “War on Terror”, 9/11, Islamophobia as the lay ideology of the United States Empire, and what the Muslim community can do to counter extremism and Islamophobia.