Is the “ISIS” Secret Out?

By: Mohammad Aburumman

تم نشره في Thu 26 May / May 2016. 12:00 AM
  • Mohammad Aburumman

Just a few days back, a book, “The Secret of Attraction: ISIS, Propaganda and Recruitment”; was published by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, with a series of papers presented by experts and researchers specialising in Islamic Movements from different Arab and western states, on the factors that gave rise to the attractive force of “ISIS”, drawing youth into the embrace of terrorist organisation.

Experts speak in this book in theory and hypotheses first, in an attempt to uncover these factors, then cover the particular conditions of each state; Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon. States that vary in circumstance and condition, both regionally and domestically; but nonetheless exhibit a particular commonality, as coined by my colleague, Hasan abu Haniyeh, and I in the book “The Islamic State”; the “the Sunni Crisis”. What is inferred here is the anxiety among a vast segment of Sunnis regarding their identity, and the sense of injustice and prosecution in the two Iran-affiliate states; Iraq and Syria. As for Lebanon, it is obvious the crisis is also gaining grounds.

The chapters of the book also discuss the Jordanian, Saudi, and Tunisian cases, and the factors pushing youth into joining these organisations there. In respect to the Jordanian situation, there presented an autopsy of the multitude of social segments and models for youth segments in Jordanian societies, whom have been incorporated into ISIS; their intellectual and social backgrounds, concluded by colleague Wael Batiri. As for the Tunisian case, Sami Ibrahim provides also an analysis on the factors and preconditions that lead the young into the Organisation, most of which tie to the chaotic status of state institutions and the vulnerability of the prospected modernisation project in Tunisia.

In the chapters following, an overview of the ISIS propaganda strategy is provided, with special focus on the German case, and the reasons why youth there are joining ISIS. And finally, Dr Amro Hamzawi summarises the conference, its highlights and conclusions, in the last chapter of the book.

This is the 3rd in a series of books published by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Amman, on papers and conference conclusions held in Jordan; the First is on the rise of the Salafi current and its shifts. The Second was on radicalism and its distribution in the Arab world. And third, is this most recent one discussed above, next to the variety of books on Political Islam in Jordan published by the foundation; The Islamic Resolution in Jordan, I am Salafi, the Islamic State Organisation, in English and Arabic. A German publishing house went on and translated 2 of them into German. The Friedrich Ebert Foundation is laying preparations for their forth regional conference on Strategies to Counter Terrorism and Extremism, in just days, to be attended by a number of Arab and western specialists to discuss this issue.

In spite of all these scientific, academic, priceless and quality efforts, and despite our satisfaction with Jordan being a centre for these publication with such added research and scientific value; there still lies a vast area of ambiguity and riddle behind the Organisation’s recruitment and attraction abilities, more clearly; this wide nihilistic-radical current that surged and grown in the Arab World and lured thousands of European and Asian youths.

It is easy to resort to the stereotypical analysis, stating there are mainly materialistic reasons behind this surge; that they are poor, uneducated individual with criminal tendencies, or just throw it all behind and say it is some cosmic conspiracy against us, without ever knowing who is conspiring against whom!

The scientific effort, make no mistake, is the most capable of eventually interpreting and correlating variables, as even should ISIS militarily face defeat, the “Post-ISIS Question” is ever more dangerous; should the factoring conditions persist!