April 28, 2021
11:00am to 12:00pm

An installment of the Pacific Council x World Affairs Global Leaders Series featuring Gilles Kepel, professor at the Institute of Political Studies, on the new Middle East fault lines and the jihadi terror threat and how it continues to evolve in France.

The Pacific Council, based in LA, and World Affairs, based in San Francisco, are California’s leading global affairs organizations. We have joined forces to bring our members exceptional opportunities to hear from global leaders throughout the year ahead. The Pacific Council x World Affairs Global Leaders Series features the world’s top thinkers and doers from government, business, and civil society.


Dr. Gilles Kepel, Professor, École Normale Supérieure

Gilles Kepel has authored more than twenty academic books on contemporary Islam, the Arab World and Muslims in Europe, translated into numerous languages. A tenured professor at Université Paris Sciences et Lettres, Dr. Kepel chairs the Middle East and Mediterranean Excellence Program at the Ecole Normale Supérieure of Paris. He also gives classes at Sciences Po Paris and is Professore Aggregato at the University of Italian Switzerland. His last essay, The Prophet and the Pandemic / From the Middle East to Atmosphere Jihadism, just released in French, has topped the best-seller lists and is currently being translated into English and a half-dozen languages. Read more.


Antonella Caruso, Founder and Executive Director, LAMEDINA Institute

Antonella Caruso is founder of the LAMEDINA Institute for International Dialogue in Los Angeles. She is the former Director of the Middle East and West Asia division in the Department of Political Affairs of the United Nations in NY (2012-2017). Before joining the UN, she developed and organized a Track II Dialogue on national reconciliation in Iraq, that led to the first  caucus on the issue in the Iraqi Parliament (2008-12). In France, she collaborated with the Institute Montaigne, a leading independent think tank, and authored the Institute publication “Au nom de l’Islam”, the result of a two year-research project on the institutionalization of Islam in Europe (2005-07).  Read more.


France’s most sophisticated scholar of contemporary Islam and the Arab World, Gilles Kepel, joins us from Paris to discuss the new Middle East fault lines and the jihadi terror threat, and how it continues to evolve in France since the now infamous attack on the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo through the use of social media and online networks. An excerpt from his most recent work, “The Prophet and the Pandemic,” has just been published in English in the journal Liberties (April 27, issue #3). In it, Professor Kepel tells the story of civics teacher Samuel Paty, and the role that atmospheric jihadism played in his murder in October 2020 outside his Middle School in the outskirts of Paris, by a young Chechen whose family came to France as political refugees. This latest incident is a window into the broader conflict between radical political Islam and the West, and Professor Kepel will offer a unique insight into how this conflict takes place within the new Middle East fault lines, from the signing of the “Abraham Accords” to the “Iran and political Islam Axis.”

Watch the full conversation below:

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