URI Member Publishes Article Highlighting Peaceful Responses to ISIS

18 November 2015

Janessa Gans Wilder is a former CIA analyst who spent time in Iraq after 9/11. After leaving the CIA, Janessa founded the Euphrates Institute, a URI Cooperation Circles whose mission is "to prepare for peace, where the world needs it most—in, and with, the Middle East." The Institute fulfills this mission by cultivating informed and engaged global citizens with a focus on the Middle East.

Janessa wrote the cover article for the winter edition of Principia College's magazine Principia Purpose "ISIS and Islamic Extremism: Where Did It Come From and How Do We Respond?" An excerpt of the article is below. Read the full article at this link.

"[Experts] agree that even if ISIS's acclaim subsides and its views moderate, the next iteration of extremism is likely to be all the more brutal and outrageous....

This sounds bleak, and the world is still reeling from ISIS's horrific attacks on Paris, but I am not hopeless. I have experienced the impact of healing the divide between the Middle East and West through the power of personal relationships and understanding the "Other." As we widen the reach and strengthen the efforts of those working for peace, inclusivity, and empowerment, we marginalize extremists and curtail the creation of would-be terrorists. I am confident that there need not be an all-out war between the Middle East and West—such as ISIS is trying to precipitate—but that, instead, the vast majority of people on both sides, who are committed to peace, can unite to root out extremism." READ MORE