Inquisitive Minds Podcast Critical Thinking on History, Religion, Politics and Culture

This week on the Inquisitive Minds Podcast, we examine the problems with hasty conclusions and imprecise definitions. As news came of the identity of the suspect responsible for the bomb threat at Concordia University on March 1, 2017, people realized that a lesson against hasty conclusions and analysis needed to be learned. This unfortunate episode and others like it comes at a time when many feel a growing atmosphere of discrimination against Muslims and other religious groups. This has forced some Canadian parliamentarians to propose a motion against Islamophobia and systemic racism. In this episode, we discuss how this motion uncovered the uncomfortable reality that Canadians and Quebecers are quite divided over the issue of anti-Muslim sentiment and what some see as the threat of the Islamization of Canada.

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This week again, we continue with our topic on "Assaulting Cultural Heritage: ISIS's Fight to Destroy Diversity in Iraq and Syria." A conference on this theme was organized by the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies (MIGS) and held at Concordia University on September 25-26, 2016. This episode focuses on the Christian tradition and notes some of the recent destructive actions brought about by ISIS from a comparative perspective. We end with a few words on the shared apocalyptic worldview embraced by some religious extremist groups.

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In the next two podcasts, we discuss some aspects of a recent conference entitled: Assaulting Cultural Heritage: ISIS's Fight to Destroy Diversity in Iraq and Syria. The event was organized by the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies (MIGS) and was held at Concordia University on September 25-26, 2016. These episodes will focus on a paper given during the first panel of the conference on ISIS and the Intellectual Roots of Assaulting Cultural Heritage.

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Two weeks ago, the parliamentary secretary of the Canadian Defense Minister insisted that ISIS was "criminal organization with a religious veneer on it". A week later, the Premier of Canada stated that the country would stop airstrikes against ISIS in Syria and Iraq, but would still participate in the coalition's effort to combat the jihadist group. In that same week, the Defense Minister was reportedly reluctant to call the conflict with IS a war. Is there a disconnect between the reality which the coalition forces face in the Middle East and the desire of the new Canadian government to keep its electoral promises at all costs?

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