Panel Discussion About How Terrorism Started And The Impact It Has On The West

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Discussing with the former Strategic Advisor for Arab Affairs, Lionel Vairon

April 14th, 2016

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On April 11th, there was a panel discussion hosted in the Academy of Cultural Diplomacy. The theme of this panel discussion was “How terrorism started and the impact it has on the West”. The former diplomatLionel Vairon was invited as a guest, to give a deeper insight in this theme.

The panel discussion started with a PowerPoint presentation. During the presentation extensive explanations were given, firstly about the origins of the Iraq-Syria war. Secondly about the way that ISIS is recruiting and thirdly about how to prevent young people from all over the world to join ISIS. During the presentation ISIS´s strategy to recruit fighters was explained. ISIS is using propaganda to persuade people to come fight in the so called “Holy War”.

Promising people that they will go to heaven and that they will be hero’s by fighting. Most of the people who join ISIS have Arab background and were born in countries such as Belgium, France, ... Despite the fact that they were born there, they can´t find a connection with the country in which they were born. They feel rejected from the society and don´t find a job, despite their academic diploma. Governments should solve this problem internally, so it will prevent a few people from leaving their country to go fight with ISIS.

The second part of the presentation was focused on the question: “to what extent has the migrant crisis impacted the EU and how it will keep affecting it?”. This part was mostly explained by graphs showing that most of the asylum seekers in the European Union come from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq. These migrants would mostly like to settle themselves in the following countries: Germany, Sweden and Hungary.

The migrant crisis has effected the rules and regulations of the European Union. The Schengen Agreement which enables border-free travel in the EU, has been questioned as the migrant crisis has resulted more border controls.

During the final part of the panel discussion the guest Lionel Vairon, who served as a diplomat in Asia and the Middle East for twelve years, was invited to the stage. He was also a Strategic Advisor for Arab Affairs, while simultaneously teaching courses in international relations. He gave a presentation about the civil war in Syria and explained what he had experienced during his career as a diplomat. After his presentation, the floor was opened for questions. He received many questions about the war, the migrant crisis and ISIS fighters.

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