It is an established fact that in plural societies, terrorist outfits live and thrive on hatred; they look for ways to alienate and attack the security forces and common people and then use the backlash to prove their victimhood and recruit more comrades. And this is exactly IS would be looking for by brutally murdering 130 people in Paris the other day. An expected harsh crackdown on French Muslim community and refugees escaping from Syrian and Iraqi civil wars would further estrange these disadvantaged groups and push several of them to subscribe IS cause. Soon after the attack on Charlie Hebdo this January, everyone got united to condemn terrorists, calling themselves —- Nous Sommes Charlie (We are Charlie). But that’s not what terrorists were aiming for. Then came the hate-campaign of blaming the Charlie’ writers for the attack, by calling – Je Ne Suis Charlie (I am not Charlie). Obviously that increased the gulf between already tense communities. One may presume that better sense and judgment will prevail and French will not take the bait IS has been offering to trap them.

But same time, we shall not ignore IS as merely a terrorist group in a faraway land, or continue to hide behind the pronouncements that it’s the attack on Iraq that created the IS, then West be responsible for its elimination. We shall not forget, IS is not Al Qaeda, it’s a State controlling large swathes of land in Syria and Iraq. It needs to be defeated conventionally which is not possible until the international and regional players put their petty interests aside and be truthful to the world community. As we see everyone is keeping his cards to his chest and IS has been exploiting the indifference among its opponents. Presently the action against IS is no more than a knee-jerk response. All players need to come clean, leaving their prejudices at home and commit not to exploit the situation to their advantage. One can’t understand how come IS has been running its business —- selling oil, buying weapons, doing banking transactions and communication with outside world – in other words hypocrisy is at its peak. Although Kurds are making some strategic gains in Iraq it only consolidates their claim on statehood and that is troubling Iraqi government. Turkey is more interested to take on Kurds, not IS. Obama doesn’t want to commit US troops on ground as already burned fingers in Iraq and Afghanistan. Russian action is limited to support its long-time ally in Damascus. Then who will take the lead?

This non-serious attitude will not get us anywhere. Act today to ensure a safe tomorrow in Paris, Baghdad, Beirut, Tehran, London and Washington.


Saudi Arab, November 16.