Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

People, Governments Push Terrorist Organizations to Change Ideologies | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Smoke raises behind an ISIS flag REUTERS/Stringer

 The dream of “Khilafah”, speech in the name of religion, and Jihad for martyrdom and paradise, are no more a winning card for extremist groups to influence minds and recruit new members.  Therefore, the recent losses of these groups on ground urged them to make changes to their strategies.

Experts in terrorist groups’ affairs said these organizations are seeking new thoughts to break the blockade they face in addition to escaping members. They exaggerate actions to prove their power and control for countries that fund them to maintain their support. Experts added that violence groups are increasingly using terrorism in the name of Islam, and benefit from their terroristic attacks and the chock they cause. Terrorism is deepening in people’s awareness and spirits, as everyone can follow up and interact with it on social media.

The experts noted that the new ideologies are no more than miscalculation by these groups. The illusory dream of Khilafah made them recall the ending of the Islamic Khilafah, and think that the weakness of governments, the naivety of people and the oppression they face are enough to gain support. Yet, the terroristic groups were hit by the strength of governments and the awareness of the public.

The violence groups are seeking to change ideologies since people have understood their threats and the destruction they cause.

Observers agreed that these groups emerged from the Islamic Brotherhood, and that ISIS, Qaeda, Nusra Front, Ansar al-Sharia, and many more organisms belong to the same group under different names: the “Brotherhood”.  They also said that the terrorist organizations studied under the books of Sayyid Qutb, guide of the group and its approach…adding that the return of the Islamic Khilafah is an old ideology in the Brotherhood’s intellect. The observers noted that the extraction of such extremist organisms from the Brotherhood requires the use of the organization’s intellect, to convince the deceived members with the justness of their choice, and generous expenditures to recruit the poor people chosen to implement suicide bombs. The abovementioned information confirms a recent global study, which showed that 50% of the extremists have connections to the Muslims Brotherhood group, or other related groups.

Dr. Elham Shahin, professor of ideology and philosophy at Al-Azhar University said that the terrorists groups have always failed in realizing their aims when they were confronted by strong governments that enjoy political and military powers, and by mature people who claim authorities that ensure them wealth and groups that push them toward death to win heaven through immoral thoughts.

Shahin noted that if these organizations aim to win heaven, why would they want to grant that honor to people other than themselves? And why would they ask others to die, while they remain on earth to rule it? These groups have always aimed to dominate the nations’ wealth, leaving them suffering from misery, but this time they adopted the name of religion.

Experts say that the real battle which the whole world should engage in against extremist groups is the battle of awareness. Thoughts encouraging extremism will never end with weapons only, for instance eradicating them from the youth mentalities is a must. Countries and religious institutions have understood this fact, and worked on unveiling these groups and their actions to prevent the youth from being attracted by extremism and terrorism.

Observers say that from the beginning of seventies to the late nineties, hundreds of attacks became familiar each year in Europe, and 150 victims were expected annually. Yet, the last attack in Paris was the biggest where 147 people were killed. Maj. Gen. Talat Mosalem, Egyptian military and strategic expert said that violence groups increasingly link terrorism to Islam, and count on the post-trauma effects that follow each attack. He adds that the recent terroristic attacks intend to target the biggest number of civilians randomly.

Statistics show that terroristic organizations in Egypt become more aggressive, and their attacks reached 617 operations during 2015 compared to 349 during 2014, according to the security index in Egypt, issued by the Regional Center of Strategic Studies.

Dr. Mohammad Ali al-Azhari, from Al-Azhar University said that the thoughts of the Jihadist groups such as Al-Qaeda and ISIS are similar, and sometimes identical especially when discussing the “Takfir” issue.

Al-Azhari continues that global statistics that provide them with the rates of youth’s rejection of extremist intellect are vital to verify the efficiency of global awareness campaigns. He noted that a survey implemented in the United Kingdom showed that 96% of the British Muslims support the British people, institutions, and committees and lack compassion with suicide bombers.

Observers see that developments show that the organizations try to emphasize their spread by increasing the number of their attacks and bombing operations, which urges the governments to concentrate the awareness campaigns to prevent the youth from being involved in these groups.

Commenting on the new strategies adopted by the extremist groups, Al-Azhari said that they adopted new motivations to convince new members to join them. He added that the role of women has also changed in these groups. In the past, they depended on her to work in households and for reproduction, yet these days women are participating in fighting plans.