Tonight, April 30th, we attended a very provocative program titled “Globalizing Counterinsurgency and Policing in the Middle East” presented by the City Club of Greater Cleveland and the Northeast Ohio Consortium on Middle East Studies (NOCMES) which took place at the Happy Dog on Detroit Avenue in Cleveland. Pete Moore, Associate Professor of Political Science at CWRU, who has worked with our office before, moderated a discussion between Dr. Laleh Khalili, Professor of Middle East Politics at the University of London’s School for Oriental and African Studies, and Dr. Jillian Schwedler, Professor of Political Science at Hunter College within the University of New York, who are old friends having known each other for 20 years.
To put it briefly, the participants agreed that we have to be careful that the controversial techniques employed by law enforcement agencies in other countries including those in the Middle East to put down civil unrest, sometimes with the collaboration and assistance of the United States, are not copied here. They were also concerned about the effect that 911 had on our civil liberties.
Afterwards, attendees were given the opportunity to ask questions and contribute to the discussion. We were very glad when a man who respectfully took exception to the point of view of Dr. Khalili and Dr. Schwedler was also treated respectfully when they replied.
The handout we were given said that “by curating discussions about societies and peoples of the Middle East, NOCMES leads informed interactions in our local communities and on our member campuses . With goals of public education and outreach, NOCMES aims to increase respect for diversity and disseminate knowledge in the communities in which we live.” We feel that tonight’s program fulfilled this standard.