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February Community Forum: Understanding Islamic Fundamentalism

February 02, 2010

Category: Events

Milton L. Iossi, a retired diplomat, will speak on the topic of "Understanding Islamic Fundamentalism" at Catawba College's Community Forum for February. His remarks are scheduled at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, February 16 in Tom Smith Auditorium on campus.

Iossi was born in Sioux Falls, S.D., and raised in several Midwestern states. While in the U.S. Army Engineers in Korea, he earned three bronze battle stars before returning to major in international relations at the University of Minnesota where he graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. Later, he did his postgraduate work at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University and the U.S. National War College in Washington. In the Foreign Service, he first served at  the U.S. Embassy in Tito's Yugoslavia, and at the U.S. Embassy in Paris, France, as well as interim tours of duty in Washington. His last three posts abroad were in Morocco, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, all Muslim-majority countries.

Mr. Iossi retired after 32 years of U.S. Government service, moved to the North Carolina coast, and stayed busy in volunteer activities. In 1998, he won the N.C. Governor's Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service. He remains active in Rotary International and writes and lectures on foreign affairs. Now a resident of Salisbury, Mr. Iossi lives at the Crescent with his wife, Toni. His  three sons, Paul, Peter, and Graham, also live and work in Salisbury.

Mr. Iossi writes:


Islam is without any doubt the fastest growing religion in the world today and most global terrorist incidents are claimed to be in its name. While the majority of Muslims are clearly not themselves terrorists, the majority of attacks are by Muslims and the numbers are growing.

Remarkably, more than eight-years after the horrific attacks of 9/11/01, most American leaders do not yet fully understand our dynamic and evolutionary self-professed enemy and are playing defense in reacting toEvents. Indeed, most of our citizens have only the haziest notions about the beliefs of Muslims and only wish to be left in peace by these strange people.

The belief system behind the headlines must be understood better, however, if we are to formulate a strategy to cope with this rapidly growing, long-term threat to our way of life as Americans.


His presentation at the next Catawba College Community forum will fill in some of these gaps in our knowledge. Join us on Tuesday, February 16, 2010 at 7:30 p.m. in Tom Smith Auditorium of Ralph W. Ketner Hall for a look at one of the most pressing issues of our generation.