NWC Hosts 3rd Annual Genocide Studies Conference

Ruth Oppenheim, a holocaust survivor, at the inaugural Genocide Conference in 2018.
Ruth Oppenheim, a holocaust survivor, at the inaugural Genocide Conference in 2018. (U.S. Navy photo by Jaima Fogg/released)

NEWPORT, RI— The U.S. Naval War College hosted its third annual genocide studies conference on Oct. 21 in the virtual environment.

The panelists focused the discussion on genocidal ideologies, warning signs of genocide and genocide prevention. Power and prejudice play a huge role along with human psychology.

“Since we study and analyze wars and conflicts at the U.S. Naval War College, the concepts of genocide and mass atrocities are not only highly pertinent but also extremely important in terms of ethical standards in the modern era,” said Hayat Alvi, associate professor and organizer of the conference.

She added that in the post-WWII era and in the 21st century, certain wars and conflicts encompass calculated and systematic processes attempting or threatening genocide, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.

“Genocidal ideologies continue to pose a threat to the minorities in different parts of the world, especially in conflict zones, and the world needs to learn from the past instances of genocides and mass violence to evolve better prevention mechanisms to deal effectively with genocidal ideologies,” said Muddassir Quamar, Ph.D., associate fellow, Manohar Parrikar Institute of Defence Studies & Analyses. “It can happen only through concentrated efforts at both local and global levels.”

For the past five years, Quamar focused his research on radical and jihadist Islamist ideologies and how they pose a threat to India and South Asia. He presented his findings on how India has been able to minimize the threat from ISIS/ISIL/Daesh by adopting a two-pronged approach of dealing with it as a national security issue as well as a civil society issue. With the active involvement of families and civil society, India has been able to minimize the inroads of ISIS ideology in their country.

Alvi said she expects the conference on genocide to continue to be an annual event with diverse topics each year. Oct. 21 marks the 75th Anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, while genocides continue in the 21st Century.

The conference can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VCrwHJ55sv0.

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Michael Guterl, U.S. Naval War College Public Affairs
November 17, 2020

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