On 29 June 2014 (the start of the Ramadan) the Islamic organization Islamic State (IS), operating in Iraq and Syria, proclaimed the new caliphate; a new Islamic empire ninety years after the collapse of the Ottoman empire. Members of IS are now fighting a holy war to expand the caliphate and in the Middle East region a very violent fight of Sunni Muslims against Shiite Muslims and non-Muslims is taking place. Also arch enemy the United States of America and its allies are a target. Journalists, tourists, expats and others visiting the Middle East risk to be kidnapped and brutally killed. In Western countries, the risk of terrorist attacks has increased.
Also The Netherlands has become more and more entangled in this conflict. We are faced with the problem of radicalizing Dutch Muslims, and our participation in the international military offensive in Iraq has resulted in serious threats of terrorist attacks by IS and its faithful supporters.
These days we see a heated debate on Islam in our local and global community. A debate on how to handle different cultures and different ideas in Dutch society, how to respond to radicalization, and a debate on what role we should play in this conflict in the Middle East. But it’s not always easy to form an opinion, and sometimes lack of knowledge prevents proper discussion and may result in prejudices and unnecessary feelings of fear.
Dr. Jan Jaap de Ruiter is assistant professor at the department of Culture Studies at Tilburg University. His interest is in the status and role of the Arabic language and of the religion of Islam in Western Europe and Morocco. His publications center on these themes and he participates in the debate on Arabic and Islam in national and international contexts.
In this talk dr. Jan Jaap de Ruiter will clarify much-used terms and discuss the background of the conflict on Islam in the Middle East and the situation our society is in. Besides, he will participate in a discussion with the audience about the current situation and societal issues.
On the personal website of dr. Jan Jaap de Ruiter you can find many interesting publications and discussions on Islamic State and the debate on Islam in the world and in the Netherlands specifically.
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