The mission of ICMES is to inform and enlighten American citizens and the West concerning current states of mind in the Middle East and to inform and apprise governments, non-governmental organizations, and citizens of present and current dangers, hazards, and threats of concern to the Middle East and global communities.
ICMES will serve in support of education and conflict resolution roles that will pursue, promote and provide peaceful solutions and outcomes to Middle East social, political, economic, cultural, and educational problems and concerns. ICMES will strive to provide people with a better understanding of major religious and non-religious beliefs that are relevant to the Middle East. [read more]
ICMES Conversations With...
ICMES Conversations With...
Continuing the Palestinian Struggle:
An Interview with Fouzi El-Asmar
For over 50 years, Fouzi El-Asmar has been one of the most important public intellectuals of the Palestinian liberation struggle. He is most well known as the author of the landmark autobiographical work, To Be an Arab in Israel (1975), and as a prolific journalist specializing in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict with particular focus on the Palestinian citizens of Israel. Less well-known is the fact that Dr. El-Asmar earned a doctorate in Arabic and Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter, with a dissertation on Hebrew children's literature published subsequently as Through the Hebrew Looking-Glass: Arab Stereotypes in Children's Literature (1986), and that he also published several collections of poetry as well as collective works theorizing a resolution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. ICMES Board member Terri Ginsberg sat and talked with Dr. El-Asmar about his writing, his activism, and his present views about the Israeli situation and the Palestinian struggle. [read more]
Recent & Upcoming ICMES Events
On April 4, 2013 ICMES and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) hosted a jointly sponsored program, “Two Years into the Arab Spring: Islam, Elections, & Democratic Transformation,” on at IFES headquarters in Washington, D.C. Zeinab Abdelkarim of IFES introduced the panel with a short discussion of the process and technicalities involved in elections. ICMES Secretary Issam M. Saliba, Professor Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na’im (pictured above), the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Law at Emory University, and Professor Daniel Brumberg, Associate Professor of Government at Georgetown University, followed as speakers and discussed elections and constitution writing within the context of Islam, Islamic law and Islamic societies. ICMES President Norton Mezvinsky served as moderator. [see flyer]
On January 30, 2013, ICMES co-hosted a session on the issue of Christian Zionism and its relationship to Islamophobia, at The National Press Club in Washington, DC. In coordination with the Council for the National Interest (CNI), the event offered three intersecting perspectives on the role, function, and meaning of U.S. Christian support for Zionism and the pro-Israel Lobby. Speakers were: Jon Basil Utley, Associate Publisher of The American Conservative and Robert A. Taft Fellow for International and Constitutional Studies at the Ludwig von Mises Institute; ICMES President Norton Mezvinsky, Professor Emeritus of History at Central Connecticut State University and co-author of Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel; and Fuad Sha’ban, Vice President of Yarmouk Private University in Jbab, Syria, Professor of Literature and Translation in the Department of English at the University of Petra in Amman, Jordon, and author of For Zion’s Sake: The Judeo-Christian Tradition in American Culture. The session was moderated by Dr. Philip Giraldi, CNI Executive Director and former CIA counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer. [view entire program]
Past ICMES Events
Constitutionalism and Human Rights in Tunisia: The Islamist-led Democratic Transition Post-Arab Spring
In coordination with The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations, and The Maghreb Center, ICMES hosted a one-day conference, “Constitutionalism and Human Rights in Tunisia: The Islamist-led Democratic Transition Post-Arab Spring,” on March 5, 2013 at Johns Hopkins’ Kenney Auditorium. The conference was organized by ICMES Secretary Issam M. Saliba, Dr. Mohamed Mattar, Executive Director of The Protection Project at SAIS, and Dr. Nejib Ayachi, President, The Maghreb Center. Participants included Dr. Alaya Allani, Professor of History, Manouba University, Tunis; Dr. Ghazi Gherairi, Law Professor, University of Tunis and Secretary General, The International Academy for Constitutional Law, Tunis; and Ms. Naziha Réjiba, journalist, human rights activist, and 2009 Recipient of the International Press Freedom Award of the Committee to Protect Journalists, Tunis. [read more]
To What Extent Is Iran a Threat to Israel? Is Military Intervention by Israel and/or the West Probable?
On February 29, 2012, ICMES hosted Iranian policy expert, Trita Parsi (pictured above), and Israeli security specialist Ehud Eilam, as they discussed the perceived danger posed by contemporary Iran to Israel and the advisability of Israeli and/or Western military intervention into Iran. Trita Parsi is the founder and president of the National Iranian American Council and author of two outstanding books on Israel, Iran and the U.S. Ehud Eilam is an Israeli security expert who has served as a lecturer and academic instructor in the Israel Defense Forces’ Staff and Command College. The session was moderated by Norton Mezvinsky, President of ICMES. [see flyer] - [in Arabic]
Ongoing ICMES Projects
Religion and State in and on the Periphery of the Contemporary Middle East: A Close Examination of Five Separate Countries
This ground-breaking book, edited by Issam M. Saliba and sponsored by ICMES, will contain sophisticated essays that compare the relationship between religion and state in five Muslim majority countries: Iran, Turkey, Sudan, Palestine and Mauritania. An introductory chapter will discuss the theoretical formulation of Islam and the state. Numerous perspectives and arguments, rarely heard in the West, will be presented. Most of the contributors to this scholarly collection are indigenous scholars and writers from the designated countries. This book promises to be not only a contribution itself but also a model for further study. [read more]