Depriving ISIS of Oxygen (5-17-15)

What can be done to prevent the appeal of ISIS (the so-called Islamic state)?  On May 17, Palestinian-American Nihad Awad was on hand to help Adult Ed wrestle with this question and others like it. Awad is co-founder and executive director of CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations).

"ISIS is an affront to my faith," Awad told Dumbartonians. He pointed out that the violent enterprise is not "Islamic" in any way and should be deprived of its title. According to Awad, ISIS arose gradually out of an absence of leadership..."It appeals to poorly educated people who have been victimized by violence--people who fear 'outsiders' and who yearn for protection, justice, and the rule of law. In towns and villages where ISIS controls the natural resources, most are afraid to build out of fear ISIS will come and destroy it. They don't see American diplomacy, just bombs," Awad said. 
There are 8 million Muslims in the U.S. Very few have joined ISIS, but for Awad even one is too many. "It's a dangerous phenomenon," he said. The solution to reducing ISIS' appeal? "If we chose to IGNORE ISIS, it would go out of business," said CAIR's leader. "Let's deprive ISIS of oxygen."

--By Ginny Finch