The Isis And The Global Threat Essays Examples

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Middle East, Islam, Muslim, World, Religion, Syria, Violence, Politics

Pages: 6

Words: 1650

Published: 2021/02/15

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Introduction:

This group is the most terrorizing group in the world in the present day scenario. They have resorted to inhuman practices and war crimes which are condemned all over the world. They have gained notoriety by capturing city of Mosul. But, no matter how they operate, like all organizations they have propaganda and goals to achieve. Therefore, it becomes very imperative to understand their objectives and act accordingly to control their growth.
This group had a very humble beginning in the year 1999 when it was started by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. It initially was called ‘Jamaat al-Tawhid wal Jihad’. It rose to notoriety during Iraqi insurgency of August 2003. The group attacked Shia mosques and Iraqi government. The group was renamed as ‘Tanzim Qaidat al-Jihad fi Bilad al-Rafidayn’ when it established close ties with al-Qaeda in 2004.In fact, it was informally known as ‘al-Qaeda in Iraq’. The al-Qaeda deputy chief Ayman al-Zawahiri gave inputs to Zarqawi in order to expand the Iraq war. In June 2006, al-Zarqawi was killed. In the same year, it joined hands with other insurgent groups to form ‘Mujahideen Shura Council’. On 13th October 2006, it was renamed as ‘Islamic state of Iraq’. The leaders of this group were Abu al-Rashid al-Baghdadi and Ayyub al-Masri. In fact, Abu al-Rashid al-Baghdadi was an army officer during Sadaam Hussein’s Baathist regime. Both the leaders were killed on 18th April 2010 during a joint operation by American and Iraqi troops. On 25th April 2010, Islamic State of Iraq declared officially that both the leaders had died. On May 16 2010, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was announced the leader of Islamic State of Iraq[1]. He was the mastermind behind the suicide bombing of Umm al-Qura mosque. Under his leadership, there have been 23 attacks between March and April 2011.With the terrorist activities rampant in Iraq, Osama bin Laden, the founder of al-Qaeda was killed on 2nd May 2011 in Pakistan by the US special force. Baghdadi released a statement in which he praised Laden and vowed to avenge his death. Three days later he masterminded an attack in the Hilla region, 100 kms away from Baghdad, which left 24 policemen dead.
The leadership roles in Islamic State of Iraq have been taken up the army officials of Saddam Hussein’s army. The army men who served Saddam Hussein’s Baathist army were thrown out of their positions in the aftermath of the U.S invasion of Iraq. They were denied to take up any other government jobs. They were also denied pension. This created resentment among the ex-servicemen. Hence they joined the Islamic State. They have been the biggest asset of the organization. Their experience has helped the organization grow. Samir-al Khilfawi , Colonel in the Baathist army has been the military chief of the organization. In 2011, the political condition in Syria also deteriorated. There were violent protests in Syria against Bashar al-Assad regime. The Syrian jihadis and Iraqi experts in Islamic State of Iraq were sent to Syria with a view to establish their regime. They formed a group called the ‘Jabhat al-Nusra’ or the Nusra front. It released its first official statement on 24th January 2012 wherein it called people for an armed revolt against Syrian government. It was this group that has claimed responsibility for the bombings in Damascus and Aleppo. But the al-Nusra group has given a boost to the Syrian rebels fighting Bashar Assad’s regime. Though the motives of al-Nusra front are different from the other rebels fighting the war, their enemy is same. The motive of al-Nusra front is to overthrow the existing government and create a state for Sunni Muslims under the Sharia law. When United States declared al-Nusra front as a terrorist outfit, a lot of Syrian rebels protested the move as the foreign participation brought a new vigor into their attack. But this does not mean that the rebels have joined hands with the al-Nusra front. There exists a cold war between these two factions. Some leaders of the rebel group have openly declared that though they are not supportive of the power falling into the hands of al-Nusra front, they are glad that they have the help of a foreign power. Experts predict that after the fall of Assad’s government, there would be a power struggle between the rebels and the al-Nusra group.
With all the unrest in Syria, al-Baghdadi announced in April 2013that al-Nusra was an extension of ‘Islamic State of Iraq’ and al-Julani was one of the men sent by them to combat Syrian government. He said that both the organizations would be merged under the name ‘Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham’ (ISIS). Al-Julani rejected the merger and said that al-Nusra front is an ally of al-Qaeda. Al-Qaeda leader al-Zawahiri tried to put an end to all this dispute and rejected the merger of both the organizations. But al-Baghdadi did not heed to al-Zawahiri’s ruling and claimed that the both the organizations were about to merge. This led to a split between the two groups-al Nusra front and ISIS. There were some provinces where there was an armed conflict between these two factions. Al-Zawahiri publicly declared in February 2014 that there were no relations between al-Qaeda and ISIS. The ISIS and al-Nusra front fought openly in May 2014 in Deir-ez-Zor province. In view of this, some factions ofal-Nusra front pledged allegiance to ISIS. As a result of this, ISIS has grown into a great power in Syria as well. With control over key areas in two countries, ISIS declared itself ‘Caliphate’ and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as the Caliph. It means that he will wield supreme religious and political powers over all the Muslims in the world. But in spite of this, various governments and leaders all across the world have refused to accept the Caliphate and his powers. However this organization has been able to garner the support of various Islamic terrorist groups around the world. In October 2014, militants captured Derna city in Libya and swore allegiance to ISIS thereby making the city a part of the proclaimed Caliphate. There have also been reports that there are a number of ISIS representatives in Yemen trying to establish the group’s presence. In January 2015, they were also recruiting fighters from Afghanistan. There were also reports that they have infiltrated into Europe disguising as war refugees. In Libya, the militants have captured a large portion of territory. Boko Haram, an Islamic terrorist outfit popular for its activities in Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Cameroon, also pledged allegiance to ISIS.
In short, ISIS is definitely the fastest growing terror network in the world. Brutal killings, violence and gun shots have become synonymous with the lives of the people living in the region of ISIS influence. It has eclipsed al-Qaeda in the recent years in terms of popularity and violence. The worst part is that it is spreading to almost each and every nook and corner of the world. There are fighters joining ISIS from even far away countries like Australia and Malaysia who are no way related to this. This is an indicator of impending disaster which could end up in a great war. The organization is just like a poisonous gas which is spreading rapidly all throughout the world. It is high time that the world understands the current situation and their principles so that their horrifying activities can be curbed and the spread of terrorism in the name of Islam can be prevented.

Goals and Objectives:

As said before, the goals and objectives of this organization have to be understood. To understand who they are and why are they inflicting atrocities on people, we have to travel back to the seventh century- the time when Islam was founded. There are two sects of Islam-Shias and Sunnis. Shias are the people who believe that Islam was passed on through the family members of Prophet. Sunnis, on the other hand, believe that a few chosen followers of Prophet are the true inheritors of Islam. This rift between two factions has always been there in Islam. The Shias have always been considered as ‘apostates’ by the Sunnis. Sunnis believe that the practices of Shiite Muslims are a development of the verses of Koran. The ISIS is a group which is very Islamic. The main aim of ISIS is to purify Islam and to remove any force that is trying to forge the religion and its sacred text. The ISIS comprises of hardcore Sunnis who are adamant in recreating reliving the life in seventh century. They are Salafis who take in the extreme interpretation of Islam without considering the time and situation it was written in. Many Muslim leaders around the world have considered the organization completely un-Islamic. But the organization seeks to relive the life completely as prescribed in Koran. It is true that Koran has verses which give account of the harsh punishments dealt by Prophet for the apostates of the religion. It includes slavery, crucifixion and beheadings. But what is missed out is that it was done at a time which was marked by unrest and violence. It was a war waged for survival. But the scenario is completely different. The dominance the outfit has been wielding on the people under its control has made the people difficult to survive. The world has changed considerably in the last thirteen centuries but they still delve in bringing back seventh century conditions back. It was a time when Islamic minority was surrounded by non-Islam majority. But today, ISIS is fighting against the Islamic forces, which it calls ‘apostates’. So the ISIS mainly targets Shia Muslims. [2] It deals out severe punishments to all the ‘apostates’ as innovation in Koran is prohibited. The Yazidis which is an ethnic group deriving its religion from Islam, Christianity and Zorastrianism are also termed as ‘infidels’ and are being hunted down.
In fact, the idea of Caliph also came from the existing practice at the time of Prophet which started declining in sixteenth century and was completely abolished after the First World War. The Caliphate needs territory to establish its rule. It is unlike the other terrorist organizations that do not need any territory under their control to operate. The other terrorist organizations like al-Qaeda can operate underworld but the theme of ISIS is that it cannot operate underworld. It proclaims Caliph as its ruler and hence needs people under its control to establish the Caliphate. It also proclaimed that all the states and emirates stays cancelled after the establishment of Caliphate. [3]It received a staunch opposition from the Middle East countries as this would mean the governments would lose power. This can be seen as a power hungry proclamation with a view to bring the entire world under its subjugation. Various Islamic institutions in the world have voiced their opinions against the atrocities of ISIS.

Atrocities committed:

The pamphlets of ISIS claim that they have full authority to take the captured non-Islamic women and children as slaves. It also states that Islamic fighters can inflict sexual violence on them. This is in absolute contrast with a religion which advocates women covering themselves from head to toe except a small veil over their eyes. The violence inflicted on the civilians has forced the United Nations to declare the outfit guilty of war crimes. [4] But the ISIS group believes that they have fumbled upon a new interpretation of Islam. Also, they claim that they can execute anyone who goes against the words of Koran. They term them apostates and kill them. In fact, it is also wrong in Islam to randomly call someone apostate and kill them. But that is what the ISIS is doing at present. They have not spared the Yazidis at all. They are killing them and treating their women like cattle. The Yazidis had fled to nearby Mount Sinjar and had taken refuge there. The Christians have also been tortured. They have been forced to admit that Islam is greater than any other religion. The Christians in the areas under their control have been given three choices- to convert to Islam, pay heavy tax called ‘Jizya’or face death. The ISIS claims that it is establishing Sharia law in areas under its influence. The Shias are identified from Sunnis and are killed brutally. They identify Shias generally by their names, location they live in and the way they worship. This is a threat to the existing population in Iraq. These atrocities are just a testimony to the threat faced by human civilization if it goes out to conquer other parts of the world.

Governance and Financial Aid:

It is obvious that to plan and execute events at this level, a structured administrative mechanism is needed. The ISIS definitely has one in place. Its way of administration is very similar to that of Ottoman Empire in sixteenth century. It was the time when the Caliphate at its peak. It is headed by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The headquarters is at Ar-Rabbaq in Syria. He is assisted by two deputy leaders- Abu Muslim Turkmani in Iraq and Abu al-Anbari in Syria. Under them there are twelve governors each for Iraq and Syria. Under them there are various councils to decide on important matters like finance, military, justice, recruitment and media. It also has a Shura council which ensures that the organization follows its interpretation of the Sharia law.Al-Raqqah has a dam which provides water and electricity to the areas under their control. In fact, some claim that there is a secret deal between Syrian government and ISIS to provide water and electricity to the remaining parts of Syria. They retained some of the Government officials who accepted the authority of ISIS in the region. [5] They were also assisted by foreign nationals who willingly joined the ISIS. All the men recruited by ISIS are not given the role of fighters. Some are given work of cleaning toilets while others are given work of drawing water from well. Some are discontented with the jobs they get there. It should be understood that it is a primitive society which subdues women. So, women do not occupy key positions in the administration. The role of women is to be good wives of Jihadists and take care of the household. Children are kidnapped and are trained in Islam. They are taught to use guns and ammunitions at a young age. They are also made used to the violence they have to execute at a later stage.
Finance is also an important part if the organization has to sustain for a great amount of time. ISIS has a lot of income generating ways. It levies taxes on the people of Iraq and Syria. The rich have to pay higher taxes. Like governments all across the world, it levies import and export duty for the goods coming and going out of the Caliphate. The area under its control has fertile lands. So, it exports fruits, grains and fabric. It has a ban on cigarettes. It imposes fines on people for smoking and missing prayers. It carries out a lot of black market activities to keep itself stable. It sells oil in the black market and earns huge profit out it. [6] It also sells cigarettes and drugs including cannabis. The drugs are prohibited within its province. But it finds morally right to produce drugs and sell it in black market to neighboring Turkey. ISIS does not approve of any kind of an art form including music and dance. It also loots museums and sells the artifacts in black market to raise money. Another profitable income for ISIS is by setting up ‘Internet Cafe’. [7] The number of Internet Cafes has risen from 20 to 500 under ISIS. It roughly makes up to 1million$ a day by selling oil in black market according to US sources. It is also building a network for organ trade. It has imported doctors to aid organ trade. The organs of captives and hostages are sold in order to make lucrative income.

Views on ISIS:

There have been mixed views on the goals and operations of ISIS. The governments of all the prominent countries in the world, including the ones in Middle East have declared it as a terrorist outfit. They have also declared that any civilian from their country joining the outfit will be arrested and prosecuted under law. But despite all these warnings, there are a number of people who join the outfit. Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Abdu Aziz ibn Sheikh has slammed ISIS saying that they are the number one enemy of Islam and are bringing about the decay of civilization and the Earth. In September 2014, 126 Imams all over the world have addressed a letter to al-Baghdadi saying that his outfit have completely misinterpreted Islam and have inflicting a huge injustice on Muslims all over the world.[8] Leaders all over the world have dismissed the organization as completely un-Islamic. But Bernard Haykel, scholar of ISIS theologies at Princeton University says that the organization is very Islamic in nature and the scholars who criticize them have a ‘cotton candy view’ of their religion. [9]

Regional and Global Threat:

This organization has deepened the divide between Shias and Sunnis. Sunnis have always despised Shias throughout years. Though the Sunnis do not agree of ISIS policies, they are to some extent glad that Shias are at the receiving end. With the anti-Shia practice rampant in parts of Iraq and Syria, it is highly possible that it triggers a Shia-Sunni conflict in other parts of the country. Another important threat is for the Yazidis. They are already very less in number in the world. Inflicting violence on them and killing them exposes them to a risk of getting extinct. A group being hunted down and made extinct just to meet the fanatic sentiments of another is a disgrace brought to the entire world watching as mute spectators. The ISIS also threatens to spread across all the continents by means of countries that follow Islam. It also should be noted here that, a hatred for Muslims have started to grow in the minds of secular people. This is extremely harmful for the future of the world. Already security checks have become stringent in countries like United States especially for Muslims. This is an indicator of the growing mistrust of the world against Islam. If the situation gets out of control, there can be war in the name of religion. If that happens, it would be no less than the apocalypse ISIS believes in. It believes that there would be a war with the ‘Roman army’ after which the religion and the peace in world will be reinstated. It also threatens the regional stability some countries in Middle East have achieved. Iran is a state with a majority Shia population. The Sunnis are a minority there. Any dispute between the two factions can lead to ISIS disrupting the mechanism and capturing lands. This would mean that, countries will always be watchful that no dispute arises between Shia and Sunni in their province. Not just that, it would also mean that governments would always be under pressure that no dispute goes out of control. It is because ISIS has been able to capture lands only because of political unrest and lack of harmony.
If ISIS is allowed to grow, they would forcibly change Islamic beliefs. They would make Islam a ‘terror religion’. They would not heed to any warning given by United Nations. They may resort to any kind of warfare in the name of religion. This would cause unrest in the world. Even more shocking fact is that the Iraqi and Syrian people are growing used to the harsh environments they are being subjected to.Some even prefer ISIS rule to the previous corrupt Syrian government. It would hence become very difficult to dislodge the ISIS from the areas under its control. The other terror outfits like Boko Haram have also emulated the principles and ideologies of ISIS. So many more clashes and upheavals can be witnessed in the years to come. Another thing to be noted is that throughout the beheading videos, they keep referring to Obama by name and challenging him to fight them. It means that they consider United States and its allies as their main enemies. They may unleash a set of terror attacks on their enemies. Hence it becomes very imperative for countries to be watchful and beef up security in order to prevent terrorist activities.

CONCLUSION:

Though the religion-Islam is a great one, ISIS is a fanatic element which shows zero tolerance towards other cultures. Over the years, this fanatic element has been growing not just against other cultures but also against their own people. A religion is a path to reach the Almighty. But the way we have to walk in it is decided by man who puts the blame on God. Going back in time and leading life according to Prophet’s sayings is a great initiative. In fact, even the West has taken lot of cues from Islam. We need to understand that not all of the life in seventh century can be replicated. The world has changed drastically. We have to find a way to fit our religion and ways of worship into the ever changing world, rather than fitting the world into religion. Taking lives in the name of ‘Jihad’ and religion has been a trend for all the terrorist outfits in the world. But we have to understand that they are trying to cover themselves in a blanket called ‘religion’ and reach out to people. Islam asks people to take up Jihad only to protect the religion when the world gets aggressive and not the vice versa. Hence the ISIS is a group of power hungry people who resort to brutal killings to establish their power in the province. They have taken in only the violent aspects of Islam without considering the political and social climate Prophet was in. The civilization has advanced. Many of the things that have been politically correct back then have become politically wrong. Applying the same principles to the civilization now is the root cause of all problems. Many devout Muslims all throughout the world are humiliated due to atrocious deeds of ISIS fighters. It makes them insecure. In many countries of the world, Muslims are only a minority. The continued killings and beheadings continue to make theminsecure. At any time, the wrath of other communities can turn against them. There are nothing but proponents of unrest and violence in the world. The regions under their control have been pushed back in time in terms of progress. Most of the funds of Iraq and Syria are spent in fighting the outfit thereby affecting the progress in other parts of Iraq and Syria as well. The outfit therefore poses a great threat to all the countries of the world. Hence it becomes essential to find ways to combat them and weaken them so that the regions under their control can be recaptured.

RECOMMENDATIONS:

The main reason why ISIS is able to sustain this long is that it has varied sources of income. So, in order to restrain the growth of ISIS, it is imperative to stop the funding from varied sources. It would be difficult for ISIS to fund from within and sustain. Though it would be difficult to curtail the internal sources of funding like cyber cafes, the income which comes in from external sources can be curtailed. The sale of oil in black market should be stopped. Strict punishments should be given to people who purchase the commodities in black market. It is very similar to abetting terrorist activities.Also grain, fabric and fruits should not be imported. Since it makes a lot of revenue by organ trafficking and selling cannabis, a strict vigilance should be laid on the vehicles coming in from the ISIS territory. It was also reported that the fighters are spreading all throughout the area by posing as refugees. This has to be prevented by enforcing a thorough check of the people. Assad’s regime in Syria seems to be more dependent on the ISIS governed areas for water and electricity. The remaining parts of Syria should be self-sufficient in resources. It would obviously take a long time to construct dams to create availability of water and electricity. So, the other neighboring countries can give a helping hand to Syria in its combat against terrorism. If their funding dries out, they will be forced to come out of their territory and conquer more areas to generate funding. It would be a strategy to build pressure on the ISIS.
Syria and Iraq, considering the current political situation they are in, are weak to combat ISIS. The issue is that ISIS has a lot of ‘divided rivals’. Though almost all the governments across the world have banned the outfit they all cannot be termed as rivals. They just take actions against people joining the outfit. All the countries have to fight terrorism. There also should be unity among the rivals. US and Iran are both rivals of the terrorist organization. US is a rival because it is challenged by the ISIS and as a world leader it becomes its responsibility to fight injustice. Iran is a rival because it is a country full of Shia Muslims and the Shias are being hunted down ruthlessly by ISIS. But despite the rivalry, there is not an unity between the two countries. Iran has been a long time foe of US. It is not just these two countries, but almost every country in the world who opposes terrorism should join hands and fight them. It is noteworthy that ISIS can exist only when it has territories under its rule. It therefore becomes imperative to capture back all the territories. Another power of ISIS is the large number of men joining the outfit. People should be dissuaded from joining by establishing an uncorrupt government. If the loop holes in Syrian government and Iraqi government are filled up, ISIS would lose the support of the rebel groups supporting them. The governments should hold peace talks with rebel groups fighting the government to find solutions to their problems. It may also eventually happen that the rebels support the government to fight ISIS. It is polarizing one enemy to fight the other. In a report it was stated that the arms and ammunitions sent to the Syrian government to fight the ISIS fell into the hands of the ISIS themselves. This should be prevented. The minorities in the region should be given protection and assurance that they would be protected against all odds. This would create a confidence of the people on the government. The government should realize that the most important resource is the people and garner their support to fight the obnoxious weed.
It is high time the world wakes up to combat terrorism and puts an end to this growing menace. We hope the leaders of the world take up initiatives to ensure a better future for not just Iraq and Syria but also the world.

References

Shadid, Anthony ( 2010,May 16). "Iraqi Insurgent Group Names New Leaders". The New York Times. Retrieved22 August 2014.
Harding, Luke (25 August 2014). "Isis accused of ethnic cleansing as story of Shia prison massacre emerges". The Guardian. Irbil. Retrieved 5 January 2015.
Johnson, M. Alex (2014, September3). "'Deviant and Pathological': What Do ISIS Extremists Really Want?" NBC News.
"Iraq violence: UN confirms more than 2000 killed, injured since early June". UN News Centre. 24 June 2014. Retrieved 4 July 2014.
How Saddam Hussein's former military officers and spies are controlling Isis". The Independent. 5 April 2015. Retrieved 5 April 2015
Chulov, Martin (15 June 2014). "How an arrest in Iraq revealed Isis's $2bn jihadist network". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 June 2014
Janine di Giovanni; Leah McGrath Goodman; Damien Sharkov (6 November 2014). "How Does ISIS Fund Its Reign of Terror?". Newsweek.
"Muslim Scholars Release Open Letter To Islamic State Meticulously Blasting Its Ideology". The Huffington Post.
Wood, Graeme (15 February 2015). "What ISIS Really Wants". The Atlantic. The Atlantic Monthly Group. Retrieved 19 February 2015.
 

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