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Boise Roundtable Will Try to 'Defuse Political Demagogues, Extremist Elements' in Anti-Refugee Rhetoric

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In the shadow of Governor C. L. "Butch" Otter and the Idaho congressional delegation calling for a ban on allowing Syrian refugees into the U.S., following GOP Presidential hopeful Donald Trump's demand for an outright ban on allowing any Muslims into the U.S., a Treasure Valley community conversation called "Healing Cultural Trauma" is set for Tuesday, Dec. 22, at Boise's Cathedral of the Rockies.

According to Dr. Zhiwa Woodbury of the Boise Institute for Buddhist Studies, who will moderate the discussion, the purpose of the conversation is to "help us defuse current attempts to scapegoat the Muslim culture by the political demagogues and extremist elements in our own society." Participants of the discussion will include Rabbi Dan Fink of Congregation Ahavath Beth Israel; Dr. Said Ahmed-Zaid, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at Boise State; Dr. Mike Cutler, assistant professor of counselor education at Boise State; and Dr. Geshe Thupten Phelgye, Global Scholar in Residence at Eastern Washington University.

"Obviously, this is a hot topic," Woodbury wrote about the Dec. 22 round table. "But the point of this panel is to delve a bit deeper into the role cultural trauma plays in perpetuating these conflicts, from both the perspective of the victims and perpetrators of genocide."

On Nov. 21, hundreds of demonstrators filled the steps of the Idaho Statehouse in a show of solidarity with Idaho's refugee community.

(L-R) Boise State students Amanda Earley and Megan Freeman attended the Nov. 21 rally on the steps of the Idaho State Capitol to show solidarity with refugees. - HARRISON BERRY
  • Harrison Berry
  • (L-R) Boise State students Amanda Earley and Megan Freeman attended the Nov. 21 rally on the steps of the Idaho State Capitol to show solidarity with refugees.