By Basil Hijazi, New Age Islam
Translated from Arabic by New Age Islam Edit Bureau
05 February 2018
The last year witnessed regional and international efforts combating extremism and terrorism, as compared to the previous years. This is as per the Global Terrorism Index (GTI) which, in its mid November 2017 report, stated that the global terrorist attacks and victims have declined in number, with a total of 22% reduction in deaths from terrorism in 2016, as against 2014 that was a completely bloody year. Perhaps the biggest reason of these results is international coalition’s hitting strongholds of ISIS and its members’ losing Mosul, Raqqa and many other strongholds.
The group had been receiving its funding from wealth and the lands it was controlling, along with the residents joining its rows to establish the so-called “state of caliphate”. However with its failure, the group set an example for the failure of the similar type of groups seeking to establish “Islamic State” and for their downfall in maintaining this “State”. The reason is that ISIS was incapable of protecting the borders and population of its “caliphate”. This gives a clear message to the extremist religious groups in the region and the world that they would never be able to turn the wheel of history backwards. Nor can they be destitute for the modern political democracies and systems.
The collapse of “ISIS” is a lesson for other terrorist organizations, such as al-Qaeda and those whose minds revolve in the orbit of “Jihad and Tawhid”, hoisting the black banners. Thus they will not try to repeat the experience of ISIS, because their failure is inevitable, and if they exist, they will be no more than filling a political vacuum. Their status will be like the criminal gangs practicing hit-and-run and some criminal terrorist operations here and there. Most of them will be among rebels and wanted criminals, and even this situation will not continue indefinitely. And if they think on the contrary to this status, they are like the one who walks behind a mirage in an arid desert and whose fate, in the state of being thirsty, is ultimately death.
In 2018 the “confusion” will be the feature dominating such groups, while they will be struggling for carrying out terrorist operations against government institutions, civilians and other open targets, but there shall be no worth mentioning success. Even before the ISIS announced its “state of caliphate” in Mosul in 2014, many gaps appeared in the rows of these groups, most notably the conflict in the rows of its leadership, such as the dispute between Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and Abu Muhammad al-Julani of Jabhat al-Nusra, with regard to allegiance with ISIS, and even fighting took place in many areas of Syria.
We have seen splits in these groups from the inside. Let us take ISIS as an example. After the military and organizational collapse of ISIS, due to military strikes, there emerged splits and accusations of treachery among the leaders of ISIS. This was the first indicator of failure overpowering such groups; which consequently showed that they could neither represent nor even simulate modern democracies. This is also the reason that the criminal practices and the phrase “we have come to you with sword to cut off your heads” became the dominant features of this organization.
The double standard is also one of the most prominent features of the radical religious groups. Al-Qaeda benefited greatly from its direct relations with the US Central Intelligence Agency in the Afghanistan war in 1989. Osama bin Laden then had a close relationship with the US administration and even the Afghan Taliban had direct and strong relations with Pakistani intelligence and vice versa. As for the Taliban in Pakistan, it had a cooperative association with the US Central Intelligence Agency. All this shows the duplicity of these organizations and the deception of the “ideology” that they advocate. It is also very suspicious to give support to these groups for the Palestinian cause and Jerusalem, as it raises suspicions of their establishing complicity even with Israel.
The question arises: what do these groups want? Are there international or regional parties that support them? If we take the case of Egypt, for example, we will find that terrorism in the cities of Egypt, especially in Sinai, has escalated in its current form after the isolation of Morsi and the banning of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt in 2013. The group has publicly declared that terrorism in the Egypt’s Sinai will not stop until the group returns to power again!
We have in Iraq another example of the failure hitting this radical religious trend. Al Qaeda, ISIS and other armed groups appeared in Iraq immediately after the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the fall of the Saddam regime. The state of chaos and political vacuum exploited the attempt to seize power in Iraq. What this theory confirms is the gathering of the remnants of these groups on the Turkish territory openly, under the auspices of effective international actors. This raises many questions about the efforts of these groups and their objectives in the region, which undoubtedly focuses on coming to power. This is the effort in which they failed so far, despite their tireless efforts and killing millions of innocent people on the devastated land of Iraq.
Of such groups, the Taliban are also another example of the failure. The Taliban negotiate with the Afghan government and with the United States with regard to ruling the country. This is an astonishing double standard. After it became an armed organization carrying out terrorist operations against the Afghanistan government, coalition forces, minorities and other sects, it suddenly got ready to sit at the negotiating table!
Poverty and chaos are the basic features of political Islam and the methodology of extremism is the common denominator of these extremist organizations and their emergence raises many questions about the reasons and motives that may be nothing more than a pressure paper on some countries in the region and the world to destabilize security in order to impose political agendas. We are living in the era of terrorism but now it is declining at the regional and international level.
The international community has been perpetually cooperating in a bid to consolidate the democratic regimes in the world, curb the extremist policies, strengthen the role of regional and international agreements and alliances in combating extremism and terrorism, and work at revising the educational curricula in the countries of the region and remove the discourse of hatred and ‘jihad’ as mentioned in the extremist Wahhabi thought. So the children should not be taught “the virtues of killing the infidel mother and the infidel father”. As for the fundamental problem, it is the Wahhabi and Ikhwani [Muslim Brotherhood] ideology which dominated the curricula of Arab countries and some Asian countries in order to bring out a religiously insane group exporting terrorism to all parts of the globe which in turn are suffering from climate change and global warming. (Translated from Arabic by Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi)
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