Davidson Barsky: The Ethics of War Overlooked by American Media

Davidson Barsky, Oberlin class of 2017, did an excellent job in his religion department capstone with me as his advisor. He demonstrated, how through intelligent attention and hard work, a student can transform his thesis into a paper that can be used by his successor generations as a research tool. I am proud of him and have no doubt that wherever he goes after graduation he will shine. The above picture, he produced with three other students is perfect reenactment of Abraham’s Biblical Sacrifice story in which Davidson appears as an ethicist.

Good luck Davidson, Continue your ethical intervention and Farewell!

J. Mahallati


Capstone Paper Abstract:

By Davidson Barsky

He The attacks of 9/11 and subsequent military invasion of Iraq spurred not only literal war but and ideological warfare as well. Islamic jihad has been framed as incompatible with modern globalized institutions that regulate International Humanitarian Law (IHL). Religious scholars and ethicists have responded to this by studying the potential compatibility or synthesis between the jus in bello of Islamic Jurisprudence and IHL since 9/11 in an attempt to harbor a cross-cultural dialogue and reconciliation between Islam and the West. Culturally, however, Islamophobia continues to thrive due to harmful depictions of Islam in American mass media which has normalized anti-Muslim political rhetoric and policies. By observing the highly successful and quintessentially American war-film, American Sniper, through the lens of Islamic ethics of war, we may blur the lines between Islamic and American conceptions of jus in bello and reveal the hypocrisy of Islamophobia that has become engrained in American society.