Terrorists Will Not Stop the People from Living

Westminister

At the heart of the city of London, a wave of dead-end traffic once again clogged city veins as police forces enforced a security lockdown after a bearded man was arrested with a knife near Westminster offices, which were attacked last month.

I asked the cab driver, who in turn was irked with the hour he spent stuck in traffic, on what was happening. “The police closed off all main routes as usual, and here we are stuck behind cars and buses as you can see,” said the chauffeur.

“These terrorists won’t stop pestering us, but we will carry on with our lives—we will not humor their attempts, but we will move on,” he added.

It might be that London suffered a grief lesser than Paris or Brussels — two capitals which fell victim to some of the most brutal terror attacks in Europe — but it too is a city targeted by terror that desires to impede people’s lifestyle every now and then.

Resiliently, the people of London, Paris, Cairo, Istanbul, Riyadh, Manama or any other part of the world threatened by terrorism have pushed full steam ahead. Even though, they may pause for a moment of grief and worry, they soon hit back the ground running.

In July, 2016, an attack struck the French city of Nice when a 19 ton cargo truck was deliberately driven into crowds celebrating Bastille Day on the Promenade des Anglais, resulting in the deaths of 84 people. It left a large number of people struck with horror, bringing out France’s then Prime Minister Manuel Valls to call for national unity in the face of terrorism.

“Times have changed and we should learn to live with terrorism. We have to show solidarity and collective calm. France has been hit in its soul on July 14, our national day,” Valls had said.

His speech received much criticism for demoralizing the French, but what he had said is the proper recipe for countering the fear-spurring and terrorizing strategy adopted by terrorists.

Terrorists stoke fear among all social elements, cultures and religions, and they are well aware that attacking Westminster will not harm any government official.

Nevertheless, attacking Westminster would horrify people, bringing them a step closer to achieving their goals.

Terrorism thrives on fear that makes resistance all the more futile and impossible. Fueled by religious disregard and immorality this threat has succeeded in infecting the world with anxiety, doubt and hatred.

Members of society cannot be blamed for naturally fearing threats posed against their lives. But a thought worth having is that the fear will not help in preventing terrorist attacks from happening. It would only prevent the people from going on with their lives and moving forward.

As governments spend tremendous military and security efforts to make the world a safer place, societies have to also aid in rejecting a reality where terrorism plays out its rules and goals. Losses suffered are a harsh work of fate and not a choice. A central part of the war on terror is for the people to coexist with terrorism, but governments don’t have to.

Marine Le Pen… Extremism Knocking on France’s Door

Pen

While French voters head to the first round of presidential elections on Sunday, the duet of extremism and counter-extremism has thrown its shadow on the country. The terrorist attacks claimed by ISIS have struck fear among the French people.

Terrorist groups are the happiest with the extremist approach of presidential candidate Marine Le Pen, the leader of the extremist right that has benefitted the most from this terrorist wave. The more ISIS increases its terrorism, the more Le Pen stresses her antagonism to Islam, not extremists.

When ISIS claimed responsibility for an armed attack on a police car in Champs-Élysées earlier this week, Le Pen replied by calling for the closure of “the Muslim mosques” in France, not extremist ones. This is only one new episode of extremism and counter-extremism hitting Europe in the past five years and is evident in the presidential elections in France.

Le Pen is always controversial in her attitude towards Islam and Muslims and her incitement to hatred, discrimination and anti-Semitism have led a number of European deputies to call for lifting her parliamentary immunity. Her extremist stances have also taken on a racist edge where in the past she had targeted French football players, especially those of Algerian origin, such as Karim Benzema and Samir Nasri. She also targeted Franck Ribéry who is married to an Algerian. She described them as immoral and haters of the French team and said that they only want to accumulate money and mock the French people.

These extremist stances have made Le Pen – head of a party that had been shunned during her father’s tenure – a strong presidential candidate. France Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve had meanwhile accused her of exploiting the Champs-Élysées attack to spread fear and sedition for political purposes.

Political exploitation of developments for electoral gains is understandable, but they become a very dangerous matter once these methods encourage extremism in the world. It is impossible to combat terrorism with extremism. On the contrary, it expands its circles and grants its perpetrators illusory justifications to incite their supporters.

There is no doubt that Le Pen’s rhetoric is not only backed by the extremists, but it is starting to spread, especially after she pledged to take France out of the Schengen agreement and to restore the French Franc to replace the unified European currency (euro). In most communities, no matter how developed they are, popular rhetoric will always be supported by various segments of society. Add to that the exploitation of the fear of terrorist groups, then attempting to win over voters will not be very difficult, even if they live in such a democratically prestigious country as France. In the past, the bet was on the French voters’ ability to limit the far-right’s advance to a certain limit line. This line however has started to fade.

The French elections are being held at a time of tensions in Europe in wake of the British people’s vote to exit the European Union and the rise of the far-right in several parts of the continent. These polls have been dominated by several main files in recent weeks before ISIS was able to impose itself as a decisive voter after the Champs-Élysées attack. France is a nuclear power that cannot be underestimated. It also enjoys the sixth largest economy in the world and is a founding member of the EU, which makes its presidential elections an anticipated event. It is unfortunate that counter-extremism is the solution that some politicians and voters are looking for. If we add to that the Muslim community in France’s failure to eliminate Le Pen’s stances from the minds of the French community and their failure to show the true image of the tolerant Islam then the extremists have found the road wide open for them to show the tarnished image of Islam that Le Pen and her party have latched on to.

It is not surprising that ISIS, or “voter number one”, chose to carry out its attack two days before the first round of the French elections. It is presenting a priceless gift to Le Pen, pushing her to obtain the support of 40 percent of the undecided voters. If ISIS is voting for of the leader of the far-right, then it will definitely be the happiest should she win and become president.

The Threat of ISIS beyond Mosul, Raqqa

Terror group ISIS has been pounded with consecutive strikes targeting the very foundations of its self-proclaimed “caliphate.” Military defeats in Syria and Iraq have undermined the group’s influence.

Close to losing Mosul, and the battle for driving the terrorists out of their de facto Syria capital, Raqqa drawing nearer, ISIS’ objective has been depreciated from “lasting and expansionist” to “save what’s left.”

With massive tracts of land still under its control, compared to its terror counterparts, ISIS is far from being fully wiped out of existence, even though the upbeat in fierce battles has severely afflicted the group’s fighting power. ISIS has lost manpower, funds and composure.

Despite all that being said, ISIS as an ideology is here to stay long after the group is dislodged from its bastions in Iraq and Syria.

ISIS represents a threat beyond the defining borders of its self-claimed “caliphate” in Iraq and Syria in June 2014. Its danger stretches into the unreasonable conditions it created, and that would outlive the organization’s demise.

Many terror offshoots, conveniently small in size, have exploited the ISIS-orchestrated chaos storming the region, whether in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen or even Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. This status quo plays into the hands of ISIS proxies staging terror attacks on an international level. Seeing that multilateral parties benefit off the Middle East conflict, terrorist attacks ravaging the world will continue.

ISIS might be in deep waters in Syria and Iraq, but the violence will not cease—it goes without saying that the end of war does not necessarily mean the start of peace.

Observing ISIS jumping into the fray, we should be reminded that the organization still actively exploits social media platforms more efficiently than other terror groups. It is saddening to see that ISIS malicious propaganda and media warfare are not receiving blows proportional to its field losses.

Virtually speaking, real-time battles should present a tougher challenge on the scales of dangers and costs. But the opposite is being proven on daily basis, cyber warfare and the manipulated social media arenas see to ISIS’ expansion and survival.

ISIS online propaganda continues to rally fresh cannon fodder and provoking violence. It is quite unbelievable that actual war has become an easy task when compared to confrontation on a virtual battlefield.

“Once Raqqa is liberated after Mosul, we will see the beginning of the end of this terrible caliphate,” British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon has said. Followed by incessant military operations, ISIS’ end as a “caliphate” is inevitable. It is merely a matter of time.

Nevertheless, the danger to ISIS in it being the first-ever terror organization to claim such fierce and untold violence remains unaccounted for. The group might end in its present form, but smaller ISIS-styled anomalies will breakaway as the mother group dissolves. These terror branches will be found nestled in destabilized areas, and of course in the boundless cyber world.

Shayrat Attack… Significant but Insufficient

U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71) fires a tomahawk land attack missile in Mediterranean Sea

Last week’s morning was a turning point in the US dealing with the Syrian crisis. When 59 missiles Tomahawk were launched towards Shayrat airport, this was the first direct attack by the |United States on Bashar Al-Assad regime since the beginning of the revolution six years ago.

The attack has stopped a US clinical sleep towards complications of a war that has resulted in the worst humanitarian crisis in recent history. Surely, speaking about whether the US has started practically correcting its stance is early. This might be a sole step and reaction for a massacre that was one among many committed by Assad’s regime – but it is at least a sign that the world is facing a new US administration that has done in less than four months what has not been done by the former administration in eight years.

The attack on Shayrat airbase, although it was surprising and important, is a small step in changing the field condition and ending the Syrian tragedy. Maybe, if the attack happened when Barack Obama threatened with the “red line” in 2013 and before the Russian military intervention then its influence might have been bigger – it might have contributed to supporting the opposition and putting huge pressure on Assad’s regime.

One strike will not change the horrible way Assad treats civilians and will not affect his power, even if it prevents him from using chemical weapons soon. Nonetheless, Washington believes that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapon in Khan Sheikhoun massacre and, thus, it should be punished.

During the Iranian-Iraqi war, the US supported Iraq against Iran, but soon after that it turned against Saddam Hussein regime after it used chemical weapons in Kurdistan. Also, Shayrat attack might be viewed as a warning to Moscow that their might be consequences for the acts of its ally, Assad.

Russians deceived the international community in 2013 agreement that admitted Assad has submitted his ammunition of chemical weapons, although Moscow knew that Assad kept some storage that was used later on without facing any real consequences by the international community.

Throughout the past years, the regime has carried out airstrikes that killed hundred thousands of innocent Syrians – it used the tactics of starving and bombing hospitals as well as chemical attacks. Despite that, Assad did not face any real consequences, not even once, for his barbarism. However, this time, the Trump administration saw that it has to destroy one of Assad’s airbases to prevent warplanes from striking innocent people and dropping Sarin gas on them.

It is true that the US attack is a huge symbolic step but it will be considered a limited tactic if compared to the facts on ground. If Trump’s slogan was “America first” then this does not necessarily mean acting indifferently towards the world matters but means that America stays strong and leads the world.

The US is not Switzerland to act impartially towards international conflicts and 50 Tomahawk missiles alone will not trigger a huge change. If the US chooses the relatively low-cost option represented in limited military response such as Cruise missiles, then it can also take an international efficient step against Assad’s regime through exerting pressure to implement the international resolutions – establishing safe zones.

As much as striking Shayrat airbase has achieved several goals, its influence will be limited with time if it remained a sole step and not a new strategy. Six years of war have proven that only Russia, Iran and “Hezbollah” are messing in the Syrian territories to support a practically collapsed regime.

The military strike at Assad’s regime might be a first step towards regaining respect to the international resolutions and pushing the international community, US in the lead, to play its role in putting an end to the Syrian tragedy.

Iranian Militias in Bahrain

Bahrain

The quiet kingdom on the Arabian Gulf has experienced a tough crisis over six years of chaos, explosions and sabotage. Bahrain has been shouting loud for six years: This is not a revolution nor a peaceful protest, but a riot supported by Iran.

The West, however, only sees what it wants to see. Even worse, the administration of former US President Barack Obama abandoned its closest ally and the Fifth Fleet of the United States Navy – it also blinded itself to the facts.

But the facts are finally being revealed to the western governments– they themselves are admitting, for the first time, that there are criminal acts by which Iran is endeavoring to form militias in Bahrain.

The Washington Post has published documents and interviews with former and current intelligence officials on a detailed training program by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to train its Bahraini members on building advanced bombs and waging guerrilla warfare.

European and American analysts now see a mounting threat since Iranian-funded and -armed cells are emerging. The Washington Post intelligence report also revealed that over the past three years, a huge quantity of modern weapons and military grade bombs have been discovered in Bahrain, all of which have most certainly been made by Iran.

At any rate, what the western intelligence considers as a newly-discovered major surprise has been known and backed with evidence since the eruption of the riots in February 2011. The Iranian exploitation of these acts to picture them as another form of the “Arab Spring” has also been known.

In fact, the Iranian regime had itself made this admission when in March 2016, Senior IRGC Saeed Qassimi openly declared “Bahrain an Iranian province that had broken away from our country due to colonization.” He added that Iran is now a base to support “the revolution in Bahrain”.

The belated western confession that the developments in Bahrain are neither a revolution nor an “Arab Spring” is a new western failure in analyzing, reading and taking decisions in the region.

It is true that the Trump administration is keen on setting things right through imposing sanctions on two Bahraini individuals who have been designated as terrorists on the US terrorism list. The US Department of State pointed out clearly that the designation came after the “escalation of rebel attacks in Bahrain, where Iran provided arms, funds and training for the rebels.”

The Bahraini kingdom has however witnessed serious losses and has been suffering for six years from organizations, associations and western parliaments that depended on the wrong stances of their governments. This led to the acquittal of the criminals and the indictment of the victims and caused unjustified international pressure. This complicated the Bahraini crisis, which was not a revolution, but a riot backed by the Iranian regime’s money and arms.

The West’s confession, although very late, is an opportunity for Bahrain to face all these rights and humanitarian organizations that overlooked all the human rights violations in all the conflict zones around the world and focused only on Bahrain.

It is time to confront these organizations with their own weapons: the intelligence reports that they have long used as an excuse, even if in most cases they were used for political, not rights, purposes.

When will the War in Yemen End?

Yemen

Two years after the “Decisive Storm” in Yemen began due to the coup of the coalition of Houthis militias and Ali Abdullah Saleh groups, the question remains: When will the war be over in Yemen?

It is a legitimate, natural, and expected question. No one really wants war, let alone an on-going one. But, can we answer that question without a follow up about the possibility of ending the war without eliminating its causes?

Surely, it is impossible for the war to be suddenly over and while the reasons that caused it are still present. All things indicate that Houthi-Saleh militias are still a knot in Yemen’s attempt to achieve peace and get rid of this war.

With a militia which violated 150 ceasefire in Yemen and 30 over the Yemeni-Saudi border and which refuses any initiative since Kuwait talks, there is no solution than the continuation of the coalition operations until they accept a political solution.

It is clear that Houthi-Saleh militias only understand the logic of power even with all the negotiations, initiatives and treaties signed. Based on this, the political and military tracks are parallel. Any political operation needs both parties, something which is not available in the Yemeni crises.

There is one party that represents the legitimate Yemeni government which accepts initiatives and sits alone at the negotiation’s table. The legitimacy can’t find another party to negotiate with and in this case there is no other way than continuing with the military action until militias accept to find a political solution.

So, what is delaying a military resolution?

Houthis deploy their military posts and civil bases in populated areas in Sanaa and other major cities under their control, so it is only natural that military resolution is not achieved as quickly as expected. This exposes the difference between how states and militias deal with the issue.

Military operations conducted by the coalition are done according to strict rules to preserve the lives of civilians as much as possible. Surely, there are some mistakes which no one desires. Yet, and in rare cases, the coalition mistakenly struck civilians while targeting military locations, contrary to the militias that target Saudi border randomly, aiming to target civilians.

During the two years, militias randomly launched over forty thousand missiles, mortars, and other bombs on Saudi cities killing 375 civilians, shutting over 500 schools, and displacing over 17 thousand citizens from 24 villages.

Surely, some might refer to the incident at the Sanaa funeral house in October, which was done based on wrong information. Arab coalition issued a statement back then saying that it had sadly occurred and that a party wrongly passed information.

Earlier last week, an international coalition raid targeted civilians in Mosul which also occurred based on wrong information given by Iraqi troops, according to US Department of Defense.

But the matters were dealt with completely differently. Innocent people are the same whether in this case or that, and so is the military operation. Yet in the first situation, the incident was exaggeratedly used politically as if it was done deliberately, whereas the second was considered a natural military mistake that could happen during such operations.

Two years after the war in Yemen, coalition forces and Yemeni legitimacy are in control of over 80 percent of Yemeni territories. The coalition succeeded in establishing a Yemeni state from scratch with its own government and army, after years without any of that.

We are faced with a legitimate government and an eternal coalition in accordance with the references to reach a peaceful settlement, as opposed to a militia which prefers war to peace and resorts to power instead of negotiations.

As long as the insurgency is persistent and won’t resort to a peaceful solution, there is no way other than continuing the war until its reasons are eliminated.

Internet: The Magic Lamp of Extremists

Internet

Only few days before the terrorist attack in London, an interesting report in The Times revealed that a number of extremists have uploaded videos of themselves on YouTube where various advertisements were shown alongside for: the Ministry of Interior, the Royal Navy, the Royal Air Force, Transport for London and other British governmental authorities and ministries.

This indicates that tax payers in Britain are unintentionally funding extremists via ads that appear on YouTube. Hours after the attack, the Daily Mail found on Google and Twitter guiding pieces of evidence – one of them included a section that explains how to use vehicles as arms. This guide was published one year ago, in other words, this content has been available online for extremists for a year now i.e. before the occurrence of similar attacks by vehicles in Nice and Berlin, killing and injuring dozens. These booklets provide detailed instructions on how to cause chaos.

Knowing this is an enough proof of the infiltration of extremists to the social media easily, despite the strict regulations against terrorism in the world. Even worse, some governments are confronting terrorism on one hand and allowing it to reach out to citizens on the other hand. This is a catastrophe. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have become the paradise of terrorists.

Internet that has represented a grace to the world is now, unfortunately, a magic lamp allowing extremists to emit their venom, trap their victims and play a vital role in the make of extremism, terrorism and in violence incitation.

In his book “Introducing Social Media Intelligence”, Sir David Omand says that the violent events that took place in Britain following the death of a citizen by a policeman in August 2011 wouldn’t have happened on such a wide-scale and influence if social media activists hadn’t incited violence against the police.

While some governments demand that Google, Facebook and Twitter agitate and cease the online prompting of terrorism and hatred, these companies affirm their clear policy in preventing publishing any material that contradicts with the terms of service with the support of a judicial order in this regards. However these companies do not hide their concern that cooperating with western countries that witnessed terrorist threats will lead to limitless demands from all over the world.

Surely, they don’t want to risk their stake from enormous profits that are influenced by additional steps and procedures that might reduce users’ turnover. For instance, every ad on a YouTube video grants his owner USD6 or USD7 for every 1,000 views. Also, Facebook, Google and Twitter prefer not to be held responsible for monitoring terrorism inducing so that they won’t be obliged to assign additional staff to cease extremist content.

According to the International Centre for the Study of Radicalization and Political Violence (ICSR), ISIS published in February 2015 around 892 ads and 570 ads in February 2017. This means that ISIS has not been stopped yet. Concerns are no more restricted to publishing this content but its availability online for a long time.

Google removed links that direct users to the booklets after The Times report, true. But the content achieved its purpose, was accurately implemented and uploaded on personal devices.

It is no longer a probability, internet has already become uncontrollable amidst a slight nuance between maintaining freedom of speech and horrible exploitation to serve murder and destruction.

Right now, social media is facing a huge challenge: either finding an effective method to put an end to extremists’ exploitation of social media or submitting to corrupt practices and, therefore, transforming the social media into a destructive tool that threatens communities and their national peace.

‘JASTA,’ 9/11 Allegations…The Legal Battle

As previously foreseen, the first of a kind legal battle made possible by the United States Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) began.

Families of 850 victims whose lives were claimed by the 9/11 terror attacks, next to the families of 1,500 injured on the ill-fated day, filed federal lawsuits against Saudi Arabia under allegations that it provided financial support to al-Qaeda members for years preceding the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people.

The plaintiffs seeing their day in court does not come as a surprise, it was rather anticipated given the fierceness of the families of the victims and the army of lawyers behind them. It is far and foremost a legal battle driven by material-oriented motives. However, international fallouts ensued by JASTA’s undermining of state sovereignty will not harm or effect those having their day in court.

Even though legal experts believe that the lawsuit would draw on for years due to the lack of evidence— for almost two decades, no judiciary body or US intelligence found proof of Saudi government involvement in the attacks– the claims are still filed to court. As if to shake up the new US administration after President Donald Trump only recently having hosted Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman.

According to reports, Trump and the Deputy Crown Prince had just established needed patching to the historical US-Saudi alliance.

If Saudi Arabia had raised the alarm over JASTA and considered its consequences “grave and dangerous”, it is not because the Gulf kingdom has anything to fear – Saudi Arabia’s position from terrorism is clear and well displayed – but it is because the bill muddles all relations shared by the international community given that they are based on principles of equality and sovereign immunity.

Abolishing sovereign immunity or weakening it would adversely affect all states, the United States included.

Assumptions and analysis aside, facts show that 9/11 investigations by each of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Central Intelligence Agency exonerate the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia of being even remotely involved in the terror attacks.

The 28-page famous Congressional report, on which the bill was based, reads that no evidence was found against Saudi Arabia—therefore, the lawsuit is nothing more than a brawl among lawyers which will yield the very same conclusions deduced by US investigation committees.

Meanwhile, the world would be rocked by chaos. It is not far-fetched that this lawsuit inspires a mushroom effect, except this time some would be directed against the US and a number of its servicemen deployed all over the world. Not to mention that the US economy would be greatly affected as would its currency, impeding on potential investments.

Kick starting litigation plays right into the hands of extremist groups. As the war on terror makes substantial progress, backed by international co-operation, a JASTA founded trial will help extremists spur hatred and rally more supporters. Such a lawsuit feeds into hate slurs claiming US intolerance towards Islam and other cultures.

It goes without saying that legal action against the Kingdom presents an undeniable contradiction. How could it be that Saudi Arabia supports al-Qaeda, according to claims, while the very same group has long fought and still fights Saudi Arabia more than any other country in the world?

Not only did the terror group bomb, terrorize and kill Saudi citizens, but has carried an assassination attempt at the life of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef. It is beyond commonsense for a state to support the same terrorist group prioritizing its doom!

Saudi Arabia is well prepared and stationed for a full-fledged legal battle. The Kingdom will not be shaken off by “JASTA” or any other bill for that matter, despite the mammoth-scale damage done to international values of sovereign immunity which will also have a jab at the United States. With all that being said, is the world ready for such a mess?!

Reforming the Saudi-US Alliance

Saudi

Even though the political positions of the new US administration have been positive and in compliance with the stances of its Gulf allies, the visit of the Saudi Deputy Crown Prince to the US has reformed the strategic alliance between Riyadh and Washington.

We could even say that the broad headline of the visit represents a turning point in the history of the relations of the two countries and the return of the train of relations back on its natural and right track as it has been for 80 years.

During the presidency of former President Barack Obama, US and Saudi relations were off track. This visit revealed that there is an actual, tangible and drastic change in the US positions.

US policy is now closer to its allies and stronger against its opponents, like Iran.

It is true that the Trump administration started off as more open and honest regarding main issues of the world. It is true also that this administration is “playing out in the open” as one might say, without entering into diplomatic mazes like the previous one.

Yet, history reminds us that the Saudi-US alliance has never really been truly jeopardized except during Obama’s term.

Even during the toughest crisis both countries had to face, meaning the attacks of September 11, President George W. Bush’s administration was able to contain the situation and make sure it did not affect the depth of ties between the two countries.

Recently the new administration brought matters back on track, especially since it recognizes Riyadh’s patience in maintaining the common interests of both countries despite all the negative pressure exerted by the previous administration on its allies.

During his visit to the US, Prince Mohammed bin Salman informed officials of Saudi Arabia’s new approach towards change and its ambitious economic and social reform plan.

No doubt Riyadh wants Washington to support the gradual reform and encourage it rather than rush it, which does not do anyone good.

It is important to point out the harmony between Riyadh and Washington on the most complicated regional cases, whether standing up to the expansionist aspirations of Iran and its role in destabilizing the region, or waging the war on terrorism and extremists’ groups, or supporting the growth of international economy.

The difference is that Saudi Arabia has always had the same position on these cases, but the previous US administration changed its policy. This caused frustration among countries who are allied with the United States as it was clear that certain parties inside the White House did not fully appreciate the relationship between Riyadh and Washington.

The message of the White House after the Saudi-US meeting was clear. The high-level Saudi visit was productive on all military, security, political and economic areas and it proved that both countries are heading towards fixing the issues that temporarily affected their strong coalition.

It suffices for the US government, and other governments of the world, to remember that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has for 100 years been the only stable country in the Middle East.

Who would throw away such an alliance with a stable country like Saudi Arabia?

Doing Muslims ‘Not Extremists’ Justice

Muslims

A billion and a half Muslims, roughly a quarter of the world’s population, have been long forced to account for actions carried by extremists who represent no more than the small ratio of one in thousand Muslims.

The extremist minority of self-proclaimed Muslims have managed to trick the entire world into believing that they with their brutality and zealous ways do indeed embody Islam. Extremists had lost their right to Muslimhood as they staged countless vilifying acts of plunder and bombing– not to mention the ongoing overpass of religious red lines and committed cardinal sins.

Extremists have spread chaos wherever they roamed, killing more Muslims than who they deem ‘apostates.’

When true Muslims tried to repair the damage done to Islam’s image, counterbalancing the extremists’ wrongdoing, they found no one listening. Muslims have washed their hands clean from extremism and its ultrahardliners, but yet with no avail.

Many fatwas were issued renouncing radicals, banishing them as far as religious authenticity is concerned. But day after day, the rift widens and the cracks deepen. The world’s ill-conceived perception of Islam self-consolidates as extremists grow fiercer and more extreme.

Little does the world know that by scapegoating Muslims it is playing right into the hands of terrorist groups. The very same groups threatening the safety and security of the global community at large.

Muslim World League Chief Dr. Mohammad al-Issa did well when making a speech before EU parliamentarians and officials in Brussels earlier this week. He could not have selected a better platform to address mushrooming fear of Islam and clarifying what comes naturally to Muslims.

Terror groups stand to benefit the most from Islamophobia, as they continue searching for ways to rally more recruits found in hate-fueled and enraged Muslim youth, particularly who reside in non-Muslim countries.

Fighting extremism with extremism will only exasperate the situation and afflict not only Muslim countries, but also have negative repercussions within countries fostering Islamophobia.

One of the fallouts of Islamophobia is a huge number found in moderate Muslims law-abiding and positively integrated citizens within Western societies – badgered with racism and xenophobia – swaying and playing into extremism.

Terrorist groups will exploit anti-Muslim sentiment as a rally base for recruiting youth that once valued countries they are citizens of and did things by the book, which is a warning Issa underscored in his Brussels speech.

Literature Professor Edward Said’s “Orientalism” publication says that it is only a slight overstatement to say that Muslims and Arabs are essentially seen as either oil suppliers or potential terrorists.

Islamophobia will have acute consequences on the fierce battle against terrorism, and will add further complications as animosity harbored against Islam grows.

A smashing majority of Muslims today show resilience and are fighting wholeheartedly against extremists and radicalism, whether through renouncing ultrahardline entities or shunning radical ideology.

Similarly, Western countries remain to follow through with the burden of not feeding into the ‘clash of civilizations’ rhetoric—the very same hateful, bigoted, and rabble-rousing discourse terror group ISIS uses to sway youths living in non-Muslim countries.

For example, last June when American famous boxer Muhammad Ali passed away, headlines celebrated him as an ambassador of moderate and tolerant Islam.

That positive image was soon replaced with its flipside, after headlines flashed with the United States Orlando terror attack gunman Omar Mateen, responsible for murdering 51 people.

Regrettably, the disdain and brutality of Mateen’s attack dominated international media for a while. Indisputably, the American observer will not imprint on Muhammad Ali’s display of Islam, but on that of Mateen the terrorist.

The fight against extremism and terrorism will go on until its illicit ideology is brought to a conclusive end.

Religious moderation is a key factor in curing intolerance and wiping out terrorist mindsets. Blaming Muslims– who are innocent from the gruesome atrocities of radicals– only promises less security and more recruitment for terror groups, an upshot that threatens everyone.