Buffett Institute faculty contribute commentary after Paris terror attack

November 24, 2015

Buffett Institute faculty affiliates frequently lend expertise on crucial global issues, and their contributions to the conversations that stemmed from the November 13 attacks in Paris are evidence of the richness and breadth of our scholarly community.

The bombs exploded, and France’s prime minister called it ‘war.’ It was 1986.

Peter Slevin (journalism), The Washington Post

“‘In the 1980s, the terrorists were using attacks in a transactional manner to achieve specific French action,’ said de Galbert, a visiting fellow at Washington’s Center for Strategic and International Studies. ‘Today, the terrorists are trying to create disunity in France, trying to turn the French against the Muslim minority, trying to create a de facto conflict of civilizations.’

“If Parisians thought the January attacks on cartoonists and other journalists at the Charlie Hebdo offices in the 11th arrondissement were a one-time event, the Friday attacks showed them otherwise: ‘A lot of people realize the attacks in January were not an end, but the beginning of something that will last far longer,’ de Galbert said.” Read more.

Map of Terror: Where Will ISIS Strike Next?

Josh Meyer (journalism) and Robert Windrem, NBC News

“Intelligence officials are concerned that ISIS is now striking foreign targets in a sequence that may include Germany, the U.K. and the U.S., NBC News has learned.

“ISIS attacks have killed more than 500 people outside its Syria and Iraq-based caliphate in the past two months, including more than 100 victims in France, 224 in a Russian plane above Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, more than 100 in Turkey and almost 40 in Beirut.” Read more.

Paris Terrorist Attacks Cause Worldwide Security Concerns About ISIS

Ian Hurd (political science), Chicago Tonight (commentary begins at 2:02)

“...I think with the emotional reaction to these attacks in Paris, I think it’s very easy to look for a visceral and immediate response but I think it’s somewhat dangerous to imagine the military is the way to resolve the issue,” Hurd said. “I think that more military attacks might well be, if done poorly, simply an amplification of the conflict rather than contributing to a solution.”

Don’t subject refugees to a religious test

Elizabeth Shakman Hurd (political science, MENA), Al Jazeera America

“Religion is deeply woven into the fabric of human society, politics and history everywhere. But the Syrian war cannot be reduced to religion or religious dynamics. Tens of thousands of Syrians, Muslims and Christians alike are fleeing from threats ranging from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which claims responsibility for the Paris attacks, to the brutal regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

More to the point, the Syrian people cannot be reduced to their status as believers or non-believers in a particular U.S. government-defined version of Christianity — or any other religion. Such a test would do violence to the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits ‘the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion.’” Read more.

Syrian Refugees Settle in Chicago After Extensive Process

Galya Ruffer (political science), ABC7 News (commentary begins at 1:31)

Galya Ruffer interviewed for ABC7 about refugee resettlement

In the wake of the Paris attacks, more than 30 governors demanded a ban on Syrian refugees. But Northwestern University Center for Forced Migration Studies Director Galya Ruffer says the resettlement process looks much different in the US than it does in Europe.

“The image in Europe of the single adult male who’s migrating through isn’t what our resettlement process is offering Syrian refugees,” Ruffer says. “We’re offering families who are legitimately refugees a chance to restart their life here in the United States.” Watch the news segment.

Examining the Syrian Refugee Crisis, Response Following Paris Attacks

Galya Ruffer (political science), Chicago Tonight (commentary begins at 3:28)

“I don't think that there's a link between the Paris bombing and migration,” said Ruffer. “It's been shown that one of the people had traveled through Greece and then made his way and took part in it, but most of the other people who took part in the Paris attacks were actually from Belgium and France. They were not refugees by any sense, and they were not migrants.”

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Europe, Migration, Peace/Conflict