The University held the Schemel Forum luncheon Monday in Brennan Hall with Daniel Serwer, Ph.D. as the guest speaker.
The Schemel Forum was founded in 2006 through gifts given to the Rev. George Schemel, S.J., Fund, according to The University’s website.
Serwer, a professor of conflict management and a senior fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations and Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies, spoke at Monday’s luncheon about current issues in the Middle East.
Serwer answered audience questions during the luncheon regarding topics like ISIS, as well as challenges of combating them.
Serwer said that ISIS in particular is a growing threat because the U.S. did not react soon enough.
“The U.S. hoped that Iraq would contain ISIS. The journalist beheading was what caught our attention,” Serwer said.
Serwer said that ISIS is still a growing threat, much more than just any terrorist organization.
“ISIS are more than just terrorists. They really are a pseudo-state. They collect taxes, provide services like electricity and water and are well organized,” Serwer said.
Serwer said that people under ISIS control experience a brutal, hard existence.
“The laws are strict, and the government believes in purification through violence, even on its own people,” Serwer said.
Serwer went on to talk about the number of refugees that ISIS’s warpath has produced.
“In Syria, one third of the population have been forced out of their homes,” Serwer said.
Students are encouraged to attend these luncheons. They are free for students but students only need to RSVP for the event beforehand. Students who are interested can visit scranton.edu for more details.