By Mohammad Aburumman

The Future of Daesh: The Ideology and the Framework

Two days ago, ISIS militants struck two churches in Egypt, in Tanta and Alexandria, killing and injuring dozens of innocent Egyptians.

Earlier that day, some psychopath drove a truck into a mass of citizens crossing the street in Stockholm over.

Meanwhile, the terror group had issued yet another video recording, promising Jordan woes and horror beyond compare. They take pride in the sorts of events like the incident in Karak, where a number of Jordanian youths had turned to ISIS against their own country, like thousands of other Arab and western members of the group.

That aside, these recent attacks coincide with the surfacing of clear evidence on the imminent fall of ISIS’s claimed Caliphate in Mosul, having already fallen under siege in Raqqa, now that the group has lost so much in Iraq and Syria.

Typically, they are attempting to export their terror.

A little over two years have passed, since the Global Coalition against Deash (the Arabic acronym for ISIS), and now they controls only Raqqa and parts of Mosul.

In an attempt to save themselves, most of the group’s militants have taken to the Syrian Badia, the south eastern desert of Syria, which extends through parts of west Iraq, in fear of death and besiegement.

On the ground, the group also lost many of their vanguard leaders and militants, either to battle, precision strikes, or suicide attacks.

More than 1,200 suicide attacks were carried out by the terrorists in Mosul alone, since the liberation operation was set off by the Iraq forces a few months back.

Soon, the Baghdadi’s reign will end. His life may too. And with his fall, his state; Daesh, will too crumble.

This, however, does not mean that the Daeshi ideology or framework will go down with him.

There are numerous reasons why so many Muslim youth into joined ISIS. The group took control of a vast scape of land, claimed a state of their own, and dressed in the symbolic clothing which appeals to millions of Muslims; the Caliphate.

Naturally, to a marginalised, impoverished, oppressed, and frustrated youth, the symbolism fondles their historical imagination with the utopian aspiration of establishing the just, fair, and dignified Islamic State.

This, mind you, Al Qaeda did not do. They insisted it was strategically and militarily not doable, to establish the Caliphate, or at least not favourable.

Aside to the fact that ISIS will soon fall, their resident threat is will remain. The fall of their claimed Caliphate will not be the end of it. The shadow they cast is long and heavy, and the reach of their culture and ideology will not recede. The mutation which spawned Daesh will spawn more advanced abominations.

So, what future awaits Daesh when their Caliphate collapses?

Even if their house falls apart, another form of operation will arise; a new framework, which will drive a transmutation of the global ISIS framework and movement.

It is likely too, that the organisation will draw new discourses for their military operations, propaganda, and recruitment.

Whereas all that may be true, the fact remains that this Daeshi ideology is a compound and complicated product of the standing socio-political and economic condition. Be it the exclusive policies in place, the injustice, or the sectarian-national identity crisis, in light of the collapse of the Arab nation state and the disintegration of the societal rhetoric in general among Muslims, given the rising intensity of the collision between religious, national, and secular identities, all on the one hand, and the obsolete, historical doctrinal scripture, which have not been revisited or adjusted to our reality.

So long as all that stands, all these factors, unaddressed, Daeshism will remain present and strong.

Military defeat is only one aspect by which ISIS can be approached, but it is far from decisive.

How can we defeat ISIS culturally or ideologically?

Even though European Daeshis are not graduates of religious scribes or third world country schools for that matter.

They are neither poor nor unemployed; while some may be so, it does not comprise the general majority.

Contrarily, one could say that Arabs with ISIS, though, are all frustrated by their reality, feel hopeless about their future. They see no peaceful way to changing it, nor do they find the space of liberty or freedom they need; no dignity, respect of their basic human rights.

Societally, they do not see intellect or intellectuals, scientists, nor teachers with credibility to debunk the senseless ISIS rhetoric and give our youth another way to express themselves.

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

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© جميع حقوق النشر محفوظة لجريدة الغد 2018