U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum presents ‘Fueling Extremism’ at VOSJJC

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum presents “Fueling Extremism in a Wired World,” at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 21, at Valley of the Sun Jewish Community Center in Scottsdale.

The program is co-presented with Arizona State University and Scottsdale Community College.

Nazis used radio; today’s extremists use social media. Then as now, new technology provides extremists with unchecked ability to spread hate and prey upon disenfranchised audiences to realize their deadly agenda.

This event will explore the tension between protecting free speech and limiting incendiary propaganda, according to a press release. What responsibility do technology companies, governments, and individuals have to limit uses of technology to keep our world safe?

What might the Nazis have done with the Internet and social media at their disposal? While digital tools are fostering unprecedented global conversation and interaction, extremists are using them to foment hate, recruit followers, and incite violence. The museum presents a conversation about the tension between free speech and incendiary propaganda.

Panel to include:

  • Dr. Steven Corman, director, Center for Strategic Communication, Arizona State University;
  • Mouafac Harb, Independent Media and Political Consultant and former News Director, The Middle East Radio Network;
  • Dr. Steven Luckert, senior program curator, Digital Learning and New Media, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum;
  • Moderator: Janine Zacharia, senior program curator, Carlos Kelly McClatchy Visiting Lecturer, Stanford University.

“This is a timely and critically important discussion as demonstrated by the use of the Internet and social media to help collaborate the recent attacks in Paris, Orlando and San Bernardino, Calif.,” said Steven Klappholz, the museum’s western regional director, in the release. “The panel members are leading experts in their respective fields and will provide a robust dialogue on the state of – and future for – the use of these new mediums for propaganda, hate and violence.”

In the 23 years since it opened, the museum has educated and inspired more than 40 million visitors, including more than 10 million children and nearly 100 heads of state, the release stated.

A permanent reminder on the National Mall in Washington of what can occur when the world fails to take action, the museum inspires citizens and leaders alike to confront hate and indifference, end genocide and promote human dignity.

The museum’s work is having a significant impact – here in Arizona and around the world. Hundreds of Phoenix area schoolteachers – and thousands more from all 50 states – are trained each year in how to make the Holocaust relevant and meaningful to young people.

The museum’s leadership programs are inspiring Arizona judges, police and military officers to heed the lessons of the Holocaust and understand their roles as safeguards of democracy, the release stated. The museum brings together policymakers, diplomats and heads of state to focus on ending the continuing scourge of genocide.

The “Fueling Extremism in a Wired World” program is free and open to the public, but advance registration is required at ushmm.org/events/wired-arizona. For more information, contact the Museum’s Western Regional office at 310-556-3222 or e-mail at western@ushmm.org.

Valley of the Sun Jewish Community Center is located at 12701 N. Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale.

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