Rethinking the global fight against extremism

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Hardeep S. Puri and Omar El Okdah of the International Peace Institute present a strong analysis of how the fight against the Islamic State needs to be reoriented to be more effectively carried out (“Rethinking the Global Fight Against Extremism,” Global Observatory, 24 February 2015):

The fact that the Islamic State is a territorial entity sets it apart from older organizations like Al-Qaeda and demands the international community develop new strategies to counter it.

Shortsighted military response—while necessary at times—is no longer adequate to deal with such deep-rooted entities that have a persuasive ideological premise.

In terms of forging a response, the authors outline three major considerations:

First, claiming to be on the side of human rights is hypocritical when nations engaged in the coalition against the Islamic State are outrageous human rights violators themselves. Saudi Arabia is the most obvious example of this.

Second, a similar contradiction exists in the “global” will to address the scourge of terrorism versus the tendency by some members of the international community to instrumentalize the use of armed groups to further national interests at the expense of the sovereignty of other states.

And finally, the coalition against the Islamic State would benefit from framing this conflict as a fight against violent extremism, rather than a fight against Islam, as it avoids playing directly into the hands of Islamic State propaganda portraying the group as the defender of Islam.

Read the full article here: Rethinking the Global Fight Against Extremism

Photo credit: Thierry Ehrmann, Flickr

 

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