Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Opinion: Causes of Anger | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
Select Page
Media ID: 55348796

A Philippine soldier picks up the headband of a militant, adorned with the logo used by the Islamic State group, as they end their operation in Butig Town, Lanao Del Sur on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao on March 1, 2016. AFP

Not a day goes by without news of several terrorist plots and events, mostly associated with the Middle East, Islamic countries or people or people who originate from this area.

Terrorism has become a deep-rooted phenomenon and most of its victims and those affected by it are the peoples and the countries of the region. Over the last two days, a terrorist attack targeting Egyptian soldiers took place in Al-Arish, there was a suicide bombing at a market in Istanbul that led to the cancellation of a football match due to the terrorist threat and an armed battle in Brussels ended in the arrest of the most wanted man in Europe- the main suspect in the bloody Paris attacks that took place a few months ago.

The organisation ISIS in Iraq and Syria has become the trademark of terrorism today after the demise of Al-Qaeda and appears to be Saddam Hussein’s revenge as many reports trace the organisation’s origins back to the remnants of the Iraqi intelligence service. What is more frightening is that the same process is occurring in Libya, which the US president referred to as a “swamp” in his controversial speech on the Middle East in which he criticised his friends Cameron and Hollande.

Terrorism’s motives have become incomprehensible and the causes of anger are also unclear. What is ISIS’ problem with Turkey? In Egypt, there was always an objection to targeting the army and it is not clear what the political goal of the organisation that is working in Sinai is unless it is affiliated with Israel. In Europe, the reasons for the anger felt by the generation that was born and raised on European land are also unknown. Was it the social circumstances in society that transformed Abdeslam from a criminal into a terrorist? Why don’t all violators of the law become terrorists if this is the case?

We need to examine the hidden reasons behind this anger that turns young men and women into human bombs that detonate themselves in the streets and in cafes or carry machine guns and bombs that kill unarmed civilians enjoying themselves in a coffee shop or a sports club.

What has created this state of anger that has taken on an unjustified form of madness despite the fact that the world is full of things that cause fury and anger? However, nobody reacts in this way unless they are part of these organisations that have made the region an arena for terrorism.

Many were shocked with Obama’s view of the area and his vision of the issue of terrorism and the region’s relationship with it. However, it seems that this trend will continue. What will we do with Trump if he wins the American presidency? What will we do with his public point of view towards Muslims that he does not hide? Even if he does not win and his role becomes limited to that of a Republican candidate, he will cause many storms.

The phenomenon of terrorism is not new to the world, it is old and exists in many areas and appears to be the desperate response of some groups or parties in developed societies to what it sees as political injustice. Even in America, local groups have carried out alarming actions like those that took place in Oklahoma. The First World War, which claimed tens of millions of lives was also caused by a terrorist assassination. What is new is that terrorist organisations are trying to hijack a religion to justify acts of terrorism, and this is what must be firmly condemned and fought. They should not be allowed to use religion as a justification for their actions in any way.

Terrorist groups such as Al-Jihad and Al-Qaeda emerged around three decades ago and now there is ISIS. We do not know what the future holds, but it is clear that intellectual confrontation must take a path other than what it took previously as this did not bear fruit.