A Conversation About the ISIS Crisis and What It Means Locally (VIDEO)

Montgomery County Executive’s Faith Community Working Group and The World Organization for Resource Development and Education (WORDE) hosted a dialogue with the community to talk about the ISIS crisis, and what it means to Montgomery County.

The conversation took place on Oct. 8 at the International Cultural Center in Montgomery Village and featured Montgomery County Police Chief Thomas Manger, Rabia Chaudry, founder of Safe Nation Collaborative, Mehreen Farooq, from World Organization for Resource Development and Education, and Hussein Hamdani Esq and Angus Smith, members of the Canadian Cross Cultural Roundtable.

During the event faith leaders and law enforcement officials talked about factors that influence an individual to join groups like ISIS or al-Qaida.

“As our entire nation worries about terrorist attacks, we need efforts like this to really have the courageous conversation that will hopefully stop something from occurring in our community,” Manger said.

The group discussed the ISIS recruiting tactics, and strategies to empower the community to intervene in case they can recognize risk factors on a person leaning toward extremist activities.

Sahar Ahamis, associate professor of communication at the University of Maryland, said this type of event is important to raise awareness, and create a policy of prevention and pro-activeness.

“We can not have a bipolar position on this. We have to have a united stand in this type of terrorist threats. It has to be an ‘us’ mentality,” Ahamis said.

According to the event’s invitation, in the past year more than 100 Americans have attempted to join ISIS or other terror groups in Syria or Iraq.

Speakers also said it is important to know that there are reform moderate voices who condemn extreme violence and terrorism.

“I think it’s really important to know that ISIS, al-Qaida, all the different incantations of these violent extremists groups, have been repeatedly denounced by every major and minor American-Muslim organizations,” Chaudry said adding that Muslim organizations, all around the world, are focusing on building community resilience and working with government law enforcement.

To find out more about interfaith community in Montgomery County, visit www.montgomerycountymd.gov.


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Aline Barros

About Aline Barros

Aline Barros is a multimedia reporter and community engagement specialist with Montgomery Community Media. She can be reached at Abarros@mymcmedia.org and on Twitter at @AlineBarros2.


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