ISIS Is Not a Tool of Intelligence Agencies

ISIS Is Not a Tool of Intelligence Agencies

Despite the fact that ISIS-K claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack in the suburbs of Moscow, many refuse to accept that they were behind it! The terrorists responsible have told us that they planned and executed the operation, and denialists say no they did not!

This reminds me of the justifications some Western analysts gave for Al-Qaeda terrorism in the past and even the present. Al-Qaeda’s leaders and ideologues believe in a “takfiri” ideology that compels them to sacrifice in its name and accuse even those close to them of being infidels. However, theorists in the West have argued that 9/11 and other attacks are the result of American expansion, modern imperialism, and modernity’s assault on societies that reject it.

I once attended a lecture at a Western university in which the professor made all of these arguments to the students, but he forgot to present the simple explanation: extremism breeds terrorism! He also forgot to mention that extremists do not leave their mothers’ wombs as extremists. They are born normal, healthy individuals, and they then immerse themselves in a culture that turns them into extremists before climbing the professional ladder to become terrorists!

The latest excuse is that ISIS is a tool of intelligence, and some deluded individuals on social media even claim that President Obama is its founder. They are echoing Trump’s simplistic and malicious statements accusing Obama of being behind ISIS, implying that his withdrawal from Iraq created a vacuum filled by the terrorist organization! In both cases, the claim is baseless. ISIS told us so in its latest announcement, explaining that extremist ideology is its ultimate motivator.

While countries or organizations could resort to using the group, it was formed and exists because of extremist ideology, and destroying it demands rooting out the extremist thought that had brought it to life in the first place.

But why fabricate such excuses? Some of those who make these arguments are well-intentioned individuals who are deceived by this propaganda and want to avoid blaming Islam. They thus seek comforting justifications. However, Islam, a great religion, is not at all to blame. Extremist thought and the Islamic faith are two very different things that have unfortunately come to be seen as one and the same. The problem is that hate speech has prevailed for decades, perhaps centuries, creating fertile ground for extremists seeking to hijack the religion, speak in its name, exclude whomever they want to from it, and maliciously exploit it as a tool for incitement and recruitment.

Indeed, in recent decades, we have seen many Sunni and Shiite terrorist organizations, like Al-Qaeda and its branches, ISIS with its offshoots, Hezbollah, and “Asaib Ahl al-Haq,” effectively hijack this religion, brandishing others at infidels in their discourse, or physically liquidating them with suicide attacks or car bombs. This is a crisis of extremist thought, and let’s remember that while Russia was the target of this bloody massacre, Muslim countries are the primary targets of these terrorist organizations, and Muslims are their primary targets, be they the killers or the victims.

Society bears responsibility for a peaceful boy’s transformation into a heartless monster in just a few years; we cannot blame him alone. If he had grown up in an environment that taught him to be tolerant and rational, and explained the humanitarian essence of all religions to him from an early age, at home, school, in the mosque, and through television, would he have grown up to be a terrorist?

Of course not, he would be a well-adjusted, tolerant, and good person who seeks to do good for humanity and serves it (as well as himself, as we all do). He would not blow himself up to kill children or run them over with a truck like insects under the pretext that they are infidels!

Most of those who reiterate these accusations that ISIS is a tool of intelligence services, however, are malicious actors. Their intentions are clear and simple: they do not want to scrutinize extremist thought, and so they mix things together. They are the same people who consistently insist that the perpetrators are mentally ill and deranged, which is also another excuse meant to distort the issue by shifting it from an ideological and cultural matter to a public health issue!

Psychiatric patients go to clinics, and we don’t see them organizing themselves into disciplined armed groups, burning businesses to the ground, and bombing mosques! These claims are optical illusions, and now they speak of a culture clash with the West and are turning it into fodder for extremist thought, in order to find excuses for this thought and ways to avoid confronting it. Ironically, these extremists migrate to these Western countries, whose freedom of speech they exploit to incite against countries that embrace a tolerant and humanist thought that preserves Islam’s sublimity and spirituality, and are gradually reclaiming it from its hijackers!

It’s not American expansion, the incursion of modernity, intelligence agencies, colonialism, imperialism, or the cultural clash with the West that has given rise to this terrorism. These were excuses concocted by extremists trying to keep their extremist ideology alive. The terrorists themselves are more candid. They openly embrace takfiri thought and their thirst for blood – we should believe them for once!

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