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Professor warns Syrian conflict could spread
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McMinnville Christians enjoy their exchange of ideas with Dr. Saleh Sbenaty, a trustee of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro and frequent commentator on Muslim issues in Middle Tennessee. Pictured, from left, are United Methodist pastor Bob Case, Sbenaty, First Presbyterian minister Harry Green, and First United Methodist Church member Dr. Neil Schultz.
Syria’s internal conflict has claimed more than 400,000 lives and created millions more refugees, a Middle Tennessee State University professor said here last week. The horrors of that war could metastasize in the American homeland, he warned.Dr. Saleh Sbenaty, professor of computer engineering technology, told The Rotary Club of McMinnville the destruction and despair caused by Syrian dictator Bashar Al-Assad has forced the country’s people to choose between two dreadful options—join forces with the government or embrace terrorists groups like the self-proclaimed Islamic State (ISIS). Sbenaty grew up in a solid, middle-class family in a comfortable and richly historic sector of Damascus.

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