US Foreign Policy

Geneive Abdo and Ellen Laipson Testify in Front of Canadian Parliament

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On February, 5, 2015 Geneive Abdo and Ellen Laipson of the Stimson Center were called to provide testimony before the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development in the House of Commons of Canada to discuss the rise of ISIL, also known as ISIS and IS. To read a transcript of the testimony click here.

Testimony Highlights Include:

“I want to thank particularly the Stimson Center for the work you have been doing. I was involved tangentially with the work you did in 2009, when you had identified the issues that we’re all waking up to now. As we heard from our last witness, the emptying out of minority groups has been ongoing and continues.” – The Honourable Paul Dewar, MP, House of Commons of Canada.

“What I think Canada, the United States, the Brits, and others can do is offer scholarships and at least save a few promising young people. Let them come out to be educated and exposed to more tolerant multicultural societies. Even though the numbers in scholarship programs are usually so small that you might ask how this can possibly affect the whole country because the numbers are too small, the impact on individual lives is sometimes huge in regard to what happens when those people go home and learn to be better citizens than they would be had they been educated at home.” – Ellen Laipson, CEO and President, The Stimson Center

“What is the appeal of ISIS? It is interpretations of the Koran that are agreed upon by at least some Muslims. It is also not just the messaging but the fact that a lot of Muslims really don’t understand their own religion. They have this powerful movement that is talking about how Islam was interpreted hundreds of years ago, and in this internal Muslim debate, that’s again what distinguishes ISIS from a lot of groups. They believe that the real Islamic practice should stem from the time of the prophet. Other Islamic scholars say, ‘No, we need to take the traditions of the prophet, but we need to apply them to the modern world.'” – Geneive Abdo, Fellow, The Stimson Center

Follow Genieve Abdo and Stimson on Twitter.

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