“ISIS” and Corruption: “The Hidden Connection”

By Mohammad Aburumman

تم نشره في Tue 21 February / Feb 2017. 01:00 AM
  • Mohammad Aburumman

The recent report by Transparency International, “the Big Spin”, according to the BBC, carries an objective insight into the questions of ISIS, Terrorism, and Extremism; no politicisation or biases.

The Big Spin found that ISIS cannot be defeated without addressing the enabling factors of corruption, which allow for terrorist groups to grow and expand. It accuses western states, too, including the US and UK, of ignoring corruption as an enabler it is of terrorism.

Apparently; the organisation exploits corruption to spread its seeds, introducing itself as the antidote to corruption while seeking to cover up his own acts of ilk, which is nothing new to us.

Katherine Dixon, Director of the Transparency International organisation’s Defence and Security, reaffirmed the report’s findings.

Corruption is a rallying cry, an enabler and a key modus operandi for ISIS. The failure to grasp this undermines efforts to tackle the rise of violent extremism.

The international community expends great efforts tackling the ‘ideology’ of groups such as ISIS, focusing on the religious rhetoric they produce, yet completely ignoring the material circumstances in which they thrive.

Corruption is a real security threat, more than just a means for elites to line their pockets. In the end corrupt governments by fuelling public anger and undermining institutions, are the architects of their own security crises.

This is not just about closing off the corrupt channels that enable the day-to-day operations of groups like ISIS, but rethinking relationships with the Mubaraks, Gadhafis and Malikis of the future.

To the BBC, Dixon underscored that “corruption is a real security threat, more than just a means for elites to line their pockets. In the end corrupt governments by fuelling public anger and undermining institutions, are the architects of their own security crises.”

Rightly, the report ties the rise of radicalism in the Arab World to corruption, and underlines the necessity to address it as the grave and concrete danger it is; both domestically and regionally.

Corruption undermines the political institution from the inside and poisons the public’s relationship with it, which platforms nepotism and social frustration, escalates unrest, and reinforces a mass sense of social injustice and inequality, which is only the precursor to lawlessness.

Notably, that would uproot any political system, no matter how stable!

This is —as coined in the report— ISIS’s Big Spin; their ilk’s ability to recruit and exploit the public’s outcry at their deteriorated situations by investing it in a promotional spin to present themselves as remedy or alternative.

Agreeably, corruption is tied to autocracy, dictatorship, and the lack of accountability and transparency, which usually go hand in hand with violations in human rights and public liberties, including freedom of the press and the rights of expression.

Accordingly, the report sees that corruption is a subsequent product of dictatorship, and hence calls to revaluate relationships with autocratic states.

Whereas other factors of culture and ideology stand just as well, the report only validates what we have been saying for years: that ISIS is the product of autocracy and the absence of democracy.

Additionally, perhaps one the most crucial points featured in the report is the fact that the terrorist group is indeed presenting itself as an alternative, wrapped in a religions cloak, pretexted by the proposition of their “utopian” state.

As fragile and unrealistic as that may seem to us; it is viable for vast segments of society, including youth, who are incapable of embracing and reconciling with their worsening reality.

Hence, comes the promise of the ideal state, by ISIS and similar terrorist organisations.

There lies the core and primary danger of the organisation and its ideology. Even if it were militarily vanquished, and its delusionary Caliphate destroyed, it is not so difficult to reconstruct it virtually or maybe even physically; somewhere else.

More dangerously, if we do not address the faults of our systems now, then the next coming of ISIS will be fiercer and far more destructive!

This article is an edited translation from the Arabic version, published by AlGhad.