Mission & Name
US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)
Islamic State Phenomenon Is a Reaction to
Western Invasions and Wars on Arabs and Muslims
By Khalid Amayreh
PIC, Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, October 16, 2014
Even if the West scores a tactical victory, ISism will continue
There is a shocking
degree of superficiality characterizing the media treatment of the subject
of “Islamic State." Some of the ignorance has a definitive historical
background, stemming from enduring western cultural stereotypes, bequeathed
generation after generation, especially in academic, political and media
Other forms of ignorance are quite malicious and emanate
from adamant western refusal (or reluctance) to face the truth. Influential
Policy-makers and opinion-shapers in North America and Europe simply dread
the prospect of ordinary westerners discovering the truth about the Middle
East and Islam as knowing the truth would deal a serious blow to the
prevailing western discourse. Needless to say, this discourse is based on
Islamophobia, hegemony and aggression.
Indeed, in addition to
existential western apprehension about the possible resurgence of Islam's
political power, western circles also fear that positive perceptions of
Islam in the West would be very bad for Israel.
In the final
analysis, many in the West still cannot comprehend the idea that politically
and militarily defeated Muslims have the audacity to present
themselves as a historical alternative to western civilization.
The superficiality characterizing western perceptions of IS is encapsulated
in efforts to ignore, overlook and marginalize the causes that made the
appearance of violent Islamic groups inevitable.
honestly and objectively with this issue at hand would expose western
hypocrisy and maliciousness.
Real causes of IS and like-minded
These groups are by no means a thunder appearing on a clear
day. They are the inevitable outcome of long decades of frustration,
constantly fed up by ruthless Arab tyranny, shamelessly sustained by western
powers at the expense of Arab-Muslim masses' rights to human rights and
These Arab regimes succeeded in thoroughly
tormenting and dehumanizing average Arab Muslim individuals. And when Arab
masses, as in Egypt, sought to achieve a semblance of democratic
transformation, the West hastened rather maliciously to abort popular
uprisings and reinstate criminal dictators. Moreover, western indifference
or implicit acceptance of wide-scale massacres, as at Rabia'a in Cairo, made
numerous Muslims not only lose faith in western-style democracy but also get
more determined to change the unbearable status quo even if rivers of blood
A few weeks ago, this writer asked an ideological
supporter of the IS to justify some of the reportedly ugly behavior of IS
fighters in Iraq.
This is what he told me:
"The West and
Israel are effectively offering us two choices: either they kill us like
they slaughter meek lambs at the slaughter house, or enslave us. But Islam
commands us to defend ourselves against aggression and oppression and to
lead a dignified and honorable life.
We believe it is far better for
Muslims to die an honorable death rather than live a dishonorable and
submissive life. Even in America, they say ' give me liberty or give
"I know the site of blood is
revolting. But the West has been carrying out one genocide after the other
against Muslim nations. Do you know how many innocent Muslims in Afghanistan
were killed, or perhaps some one might think that the Afghani lives don't
"Do you know how many innocent Muslims they killed in Iraq?
In Syria? In Gaza?"
The middle-aged man went on: "I am against the
killing of even a single innocent person. This is against the teachings of
" But why is it that exterminating thousands of
Palestinian and Syrian children in Syria and Gaza is overlooked and
treated as a mere banality while the alleged killing of a few individuals,
including hostages, is viewed as a legitimate cause to mobilize crusades
The man, who spoke sparingly and was apparently
eager to end the conversation, said:
"The West can't push us to the
corner and then expect us to behave meekly. We will morph ourselves into
ferocious lions. And if it is death, be it."
It is important to
point out that this is not an isolated voice. There are millions, perhaps
tens of millions of Muslims who think this way. Their frustration is real
and legitimate. Their will to kill or be killed for a sublime cause must
never be doubted.
Which brings us back to the ongoing American-led
bombing campaign against the IS fighters in Syria and Iraq.
and its puppet Arab allies, who bask in their own tyranny, corruption and
backwardness, may succeed in achieving a tactical military victory over the
Islamist fighters. But such a victory is likely to be indecisive and
short-living. The reason is simple: America can't win "the war of ideas"
with these people.
Yes, many Muslims do have serious reservations about
IS's behaviors and tactics. However, I am yet to find a single Muslim who
would doubt the legitimacy of IS's grievances and even most of their goals.
In the final analysis, these grievances are the same grievances facing
Muslim masses everywhere.
Yes, the American machine of death may
succeed in killing many of these fighters. But eventually this would only
help swell the extremists' ranks.
Such will be the outcome of a
misguided policy of treating the symptoms while leaving the root causes
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