I have read a lot of studies recently that warn of the danger of Islamist formations and groups that are scattered around the world, even in the world’s most poorest and corrupt countries. The question remains about the threat of these organizations to people’s security, religious and human rights and stability of countries. Is it possible to eliminate these cells in light of the wave of extremism that is sweeping the world?
While I was writing this article, I hesitated a little because this is a thorny issue and sources of information are limited. The financiers and persons involved with these Islamist groups rarely speak to the media or press, but enlightening the people is essential to alert them to the danger of joining such political organizations, which in my opinion have nothing to do with religion, but money and power. They are only using religion as a stepping stone to achieve their dreams.
Any political group claiming to be seeking Islamic rule and authority tend to be mercenaries and terrorists. They use religion to convince the gullible and intimidate people that those who do not stand with them are against Islam. Let us recall the Taleban. They are a political organization who dreamt of power and used religion as a political ploy.
They turned out to be a curse for their neighbors and the world. They also provided shelter to Osama bin Laden. Women and children were their first victims. Eventually, they proved to everyone they’re just a group of mercenaries and criminals. It is ironic that the Taleban wanted to present themselves as the legitimate representatives of Afghanistan, but the United Nations refused to recognize them and they ultimately fell in 2001.
Even today, Afghanistan is facing the threat of Taleban fighters. It is a great pity that violence still continues between tribes, armed groups and militias. Even with the current system of political rule, Afghanistan is still fighting for survival. One of the important lessons is that Islamist groups are not suitable to rule because they are responsible for instability, chaos and killings of innocent people. Look at the crazy group calling itself Boko Haram and its crimes, and the same applies to IS. Both declare themselves as Islamic but have no connection to Islam.
Around 2006-2007, some Western studies appeared to call for the establishment of a new Islamic trend, described as moderate Muslim groups, to face hardline currents for a kind of democratic transformation in the Arab world, but they proved to be unable to be a suitable alternative because they lacked support and acceptance in their communities. Another problem with liberals and secularists is that their views are not welcome by Islamist militant movements.
For example, in Egypt and with the success of the Muslim Brotherhood in reaching power, the liberals lost. The Palestinian National Authority also lost in 2006 in favor of Hamas. The fall of Islamist organizations is neither quick nor easy.
So how to confront Islamist organizations that are widespread now in the west and east? There is no immediate solution, but there are means to undermine their power within the society and challenge them by spreading democratic ideas, which means essentially rejecting the idea of an Islamic state.
Also by cutting all means of cooperation, communication and financial resources on which the militants depend, control everyone and meddle in the land and people. The press is a powerful instrument, and can play a role to help civil governments protect themselves and reshape public opinion.