348 S. Fifth Street Highlands NC 28741 US

Start date: Monday, July 15 2024.


 On Monday, July 15, 2024, from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Resource person: Audra Bullard - office@clehighlands.com


Immediately after the horrific terrorist attacks of October 7, 2023, some commentators began comparing Hamas to ISIS, a political organization responsible for some of the most grisly acts of terrorism recorded this century. As Professor Tasar will explain, this comparison is misleading. Hamas owes its origins to Islamic traditions having little in common with ISIS. It has roots tracing back to 1978, when Israeli military authorities hoped to weaken the secular PLO by encouraging the creation of the Islamic University of Gaza. More than just names and dates, this presentation will take a bird’s eye view of Marxist guerrilla movements in the Third World, especially their frequent use of graphic terrorism to get publicity. It will then highlight the successful efforts by the Ayatollah Khomeini to “Islamize” these national liberation movements in the Middle East in the 1980s. Hamas was founded in 1989 as a “religious” partner in the PLO’s struggle against Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. As it has evolved, Hamas represents a confluence of an older Marxist guerrilla tradition that relies on terrorism against civilians, and a newer, Iranian-inspired model of militiabased mobilization that embraces Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Houthi movement in Yemen. The presentation will conclude by explaining the circumstances leading to Hamas’ takeover of Gaza in February 2007 and why the October 7 invasion was such a surprise, not just militarily, but ideologically as well.

Presenter: Boston native Eren Tasar has taught in the History Department at UNC since 2013. His interests are the religious and social history of Soviet Central Asia. Tasar’s first book, Soviet and Muslim, examined Soviet policies toward Islamic institutions. He is currently writing a 24 lecture video series about the history of Central Asia since ancient times for The Great Courses. He is also working on a second book project dealing with atheistic literature written in languages spoken by Muslims in the USSR.

Notes: Cancellation Policy Please let us know immediately if you are unable to attend a class. There is no refund for cancellations within two (2) weeks prior to a scheduled class. Programs that include food, beverage or art materials must be canceled within three (3) weeks prior to receive a refund. CLE reserves the right to cancel a program if the minimum enrollment has not been met or for circumstances beyond our control, and participants will be notified, a complete refund will be issued. All classes are held in the CLE Lecture Hall at the Peggy Crosby Center unless otherwise noted. In the event information has changed from the published brochure, it will be posted on our website and in our e-blasts. Addresses for “private home” venues will be provided to registrants within 2 days of the program date.

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