Government professor raises awareness of ISIS

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Government Professor Asslan Khaligh talks about the Islamic States of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) Nov. 4 at Hot Potato in the Methodist Student Center. Khaligh discussed the events leading up to the ISIS surge in the Middle East, such as the historical significance of World War I, World War II and the rise of the Ba’ath Party. Photo by Ian Coleman

Government Professor Asslan Khaligh talks about the Islamic States of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) Nov. 4 at Hot Potato in the Methodist Student Center. Khaligh discussed the events leading up to the ISIS surge in the Middle East, such as the historical significance of World War I, World War II and the rise of the Ba’ath Party. Photo by Ian Coleman

Origins of organization trace as far back as WWI.

By Nathalie Mora

sac-ranger@alamo.edu

The Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, became known in this country after broadcasting the beheadings of American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff.

Government Professor Asslan Khaligh talked to 36 students about the history of ISIS during a Hot Potato forum Nov. 4 in the Methodist Student Center.

Khaligh used a slide presentation to show how the roots of the organization go back as far as World War I and World War II. After those wars, the nations of Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria were formed, he said.

Soon after that, the fight for control started between those countries, Khaligh said. As a result, the Ba’ath political party started in 1950 in Syria, Khaligh said.

They had an ideology to unite all Muslim countries, construct a social system and build solidarity within the Islamic community, Khaligh said.

Civilians originally ran the Ba’ath party, but eventually it became a military force to be able to fight others, Khaligh said.

One of the junior officers that emerged from the Ba’ath party was Saddam Hussein, Khaligh said.

Hussein was the Iraqi leader hanged in 2006 in the Iraq War.

After the U.S invaded Iraq in 2003, the military in the country was dissolved, Khaligh said.

“Iraq had the fourth largest military in the world,” Khaligh said.

Since the military was dismantled, major officers scattered to different groups, Khaligh said.

As a consequence, ISIS was born, and the people who joined this group were former al-Qaida members, northern Sunni minorities, Jihadists and Hussein’s former military, Khaligh said.

Khaligh said ISIS’s main fight is among its own countries.

In his opinion, this is because the Middle East has the most corrupt governments.

The next discussion, “Sexual Assault on College Campuses,” with guest speaker Lindsay Evans, is at 12:15 p.m. Nov. 11 at the Methodist Student Center.

Dr. Robert Vela, this college’s president, will discuss “The Future of SAC” Nov. 18 at the last Hot Potato of the semester.

After each lecture, all attendees receive a free baked potato.

For more information, call the Methodist Student Center at 210-733-1441.

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