The Brian Lehrer Show

Newsmakers meet New Yorkers as host Brian Lehrer and his guests take on the issues dominating conversation in New York and around the world. This daily program from WNYC Studios cuts through the usual talk radio punditry and brings a smart, humane approach to the day's events and what matters most in local and national politics, our own communities and our lives. WNYC Studios is a listener-supported producer of other leading podcasts including Radiolab, On the Media, Snap Judgment, Death, Sex & Money, Nancy, Here’s the Thing with Alec Baldwin and many others. © WNYC Studios


'ISIS Needs to be Denied Theological Oxygen'

Fawaz Gerges, professor of international relations and contemporary Middle East studies at the London School of Economics and the author of ISIS: A History  (Princeton University Press, 2016), says ISIS is a symptom of a breakdown of state institutions following the Iraq War and the Arab Spring, as well as a clash between Shiites and Sunnis for regional dominance.

ISIS was basically born as a result of the dismantling of Iraqi institutions, explained Gerges. It belongs to this global jihadist movement.

And the first step to overcoming it, according to Gerges, is to rebuild the states and institutions in that part of the world and effectively "reclaim the rallying cries of the millions of Arabs and Muslims" about freedom and citizenship, which will take decades.

That doesn't mean the United States should play a role in this. They can help through multilateral channels to rebuild the state institutions, but they'd do best to keep boots off the ground, said Gerges.


 2016-04-06  21m