If we want to defeat ISIS, what we need is caring. I can hear a lot of people, “stop the hippy shit Ivy, we need to bomb these fuckers or they are going to kill everyone.” I get that people are scared, but hear me out.
ISIS is a terrorist group, and a fundamentalist, extremist religious group. Both types of group feed off the same type of people. Those who are dejected, rejected, separated from the world around them. Those who feel hated by the majority. Those who feel they have nowhere safe to go.
These people defecting to ISIS are not stupid. The people they recruit are not evil people. They are lost, rejected, hated by their own people, hated for the religion. Hated for their strongly held beliefs. They are welcome with open arms, and a beautiful, but razor-toothed, grin from ISIS, telling them “Look sons and daughters of Allah, you are hated by the world, but we will not hate you. We will embrace you. We will give you shelter and food. Acceptance and family.”
You’ve got to understand, they pay their soldiers
well, really good, excellent. They give them good shelter when they have nowhere else to turn. They make sure they have food. They have others to talk to. They are able to create this well padded echo chamber of sorrowful tales and vengeful rhetoric.
We like to think that people who have radicalized to anything, much less a group as violent as ISIS, as complete gullible idiots, but think of this, how many “stupid” things have you fell for when you were down and out? These people are young men and women. These people are college graduates, and former liberals. These people are already conservative and strongly religions. These people are middle aged. They are barely out of their teens. They are mothers, fathers, brothers, daughters. They have a history of violence. They have a history of peace. They are intelligent, naïve, understanding, ignorant. These people are tired. These people feel scared and alone, and I don’t blame them one bit.
And we only have ourselves to blame.
ISIS is doing exactly what it set out to do. It gains numbers by stoking the fires of fear. They do not give a shit about us bombing them, or infiltrating them.
They are not afraid to die, because, as per their belief, Allah will reward them greatly.
To die in battle for their beloved god is the best possible death they could have, why can we not understand this?! They are the modern day Crusaders. “For God and Glory!”
The sad thing is, the recruitment tactics aren’t much different then they ever have been for any radical group, but their appeal is larger because they are super media savvy. They have heavy social media use. They organize through Twitter, through Xbox Online and PSN. They know what the hell they are doing. They don’t have shitty video quality, they don’t have half assed National Enquirer level publications. Their magazines and videos are slick as hell. They look really good. They put time into this shit, a lot of time, a lot of expertise, and a lot of money. This isn’t Al-Qaida level grainy ass video. This is full out movie level production.
It’s like National Geographic from hell
San Bernardino, being so recent and in my country, comes to mind. A normal, happy man. A natural born citizen of the US. A good job, good co-workers. What happened? Why would someone with all those perks go to “the dark side”? Perhaps him and his partner felt rejected, even if the people in their immediate surroundings were nice… but what about the wider world?
What about turning on the TV, and seeing nothing in the news but a giant “fuck you, you Allah worshipping, brown skinned mother fucker.” How many times can someone walk down the street and be torn down verbally? How many of their brothers and sisters through their country and others can be attacked? Killed? How many mosques can be burned down? Taken over? Shot up? Vandalized? Threatened? How many times can the governments, their governments that they look to to protect them, speak out against them, and their entire religion. Calling all Muslim’s evil and vile. How many times before they get so rejected, they are willing to give their lives over to a fundamentalist, radical extreme?
You know, there’s this thing in our psychology that happens a lot. When people are told negative things enough times, they often stop trying to work against it. Rather, they start living up to everyone else’s negative expectations of themselves. They become that negative thing that other’s thought they were, and that they didn’t want to be, because the have been so beaten down, they can see no other way than to be what they’ve so often been told they are. This happens when people are radicalized as well. Often, they are at their darkest, most confused, most hurt points, and there’s nowhere to turn, but to the open arms and the wicked smile of those saying “come my child, you will be cared for here, we want to help you, we understand and we shall help you get your revenge.”
Here in my city, a local mosque had it’s windows broken out multiple times. It got a bunch of hate mail. Right now, it looks like a condemned building, but it’s not. They can’t keep replacing the windows, and they are afraid of other people looking in. They’re afraid of being hurt, and I don’t blame them one bit. This was four or five years ago. That buildings windows are boarded over to this day.
There was never anything in the news about the attacks on that mosque. Nothing.
So yes, I’m going to go all hippy up in this shit. I definitely have a non-violent utopia in my mind, but I also realize it’s not going to happen yet, there is still a place for violence and war in our human culture. It’s sad, but it’s true. So I’m not coming from a realm of “never violence”. That’s not yet attainable. All I’m saying is that, in this case, the violence and hate that we spew toward every Muslim on this planet, because of the radicals, destroys their lives, destroys our lives and makes ISIS stronger and more dangerous.
We have facilitated our own demise. We have facilitated the terrorist attacks that have killed so many. Everyone who has turned their backs on the Muslims of the world because of fear has helped create the individuals that injured and killed so many in France. All of us who hate Muslims because of fear helped stoke the fires that killed and injured those at San Bernardino. Everyone who has turned away Muslims in fear have blood on their hands, and don’t even know it.
Yes, it’s by proxy, and no, I don’t think that anyone is trying to facilitate these murders, but by giving these people nowhere to go, by showing them that they have no place in the world, by turning them away at every corner, they are stoking the fear that causes the running to radicalism.
There are so many more decent, loving, peaceful Muslim people then there are hateful, vengeful people and I doubt that will change, but keep this in mind:
How many times can you make someone feel cornered and trapped, how many times can you force someone into a situation of helplessness before they fight back?
This article is from someone who read every single issue of Dabiq, ISIS’s propaganda magazine. It helps to start explaining many of the things that we just simply do not understand about them.
I love you fellow human, whoever you may be, and I hope that you can do the same for those around you, whether you know them or not. Have a beautiful day sunshine.