President of the Halifax International Security Forum Speaks on ISIL’s propaganda video and the use of the #HISF2014

Halifax, NS – Statement by Peter Van Praagh, President of the Halifax International Security Forum, about ISIL’s distribution of propaganda to Forum participants over social media:

“ISIS is using our Forum’s hashtag, #HISF2014, to circulate a propaganda video featuring a British captive, John Cantlie. We understand that ISIL is also sending messages to participants and staff of this Forum.

“At the beginning of this conference, I spoke to you about modernity. I spoke about freedom of faith, gender equality, economic equity, and democracy.

“Ours is a Forum where ideas are freely and openly exchanged. I also recognize that they must feel intimidated by the openness and transparency of our Forum.

“When people gather to discuss ideas, it scares those who would impose their ideologies.

“I am therefore not surprised by these efforts to leverage our discussions. While we cannot control the use of our Forum’s hashtag on social media, we continue to monitor it. Thank you.”

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