New lecture series begins with journalist Michael Petrou
Award‐winning journalist, author and historian Michael Petrou kicks off a new President's Lecture Series at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) next week, exploring how a sophisticated ISIS propaganda campaign ensured support for genocide of the Yazidi people.
Petrou's lecture, "More important than Jihad of the sword," will show how ISIS has invested enormous effort and resources into its media strategy and use of diverse communications tools to seed hatred and facilitate genocide. He will argue that – just as Nazi propaganda was an integral component of the Holocaust, and Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines was a catalyst for genocide in Rwanda – ISIS also successfully used propaganda to prepare the ground for the mass slaughter and sexual enslavement of the Yazidis, whose homeland it overran in 2014.
The United Nations declared in 2016 that the Yazidis were victims of genocide after ISIS invaded their territory in northern Iraq, with thousands captured, murdered and sold into slavery. Yazidi survivors – a Kurdish‐speaking minority who practice an ancient religion regarded as heretical by ISIS – are considered among the most vulnerable people in the Middle East.
WHAT: President's Lecture with Michael Petrou
WHEN: Monday, January 15, 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
WHERE: CMHR, Bonnie & John Buhler Hall, 85 Israel Asper Way
The evening includes introductory remarks by Yazidi Winnipegger Nafiya Naso, and a post‐lecture conversation between CMHR President and CEO John Young and Petrou, followed by an audience question‐and‐answer period. The event ends with a book signing and meet‐and‐greet with the author. The cost is $30 ($27 for CMHR members).
Petrou's latest book, Is This Your First War? Travels Through the Post‑9/11 Islamic World, won the Ottawa Book Award for non‐fiction and is available for purchase in the Museum Boutique. Petrou has reported from across Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. He has a PhD in Modern History from Oxford University and is the 2018 Martin Wise Goodman Canadian Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. He also serves as non‐resident fellow at the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies.