"We Can't Kill Our Way Out of This Conflict" - How moderate Muslims are countering extremism
From the Christian Science Monitor:
Mohammed Zorgui is decked out in sweatpants, a teal Portugal soccer jersey, and a crisp New York Yankees cap. As he works the crowd in a smoked-filled cafe in Kasserine, Tunisia, he looks more American East Coast rapper than the Middle Eastern jihadist he once pledged to be – more Jay Z than Islamic State warrior.
Yet a jihadist sympathizer he once was.
Islamic extremists slowly converted Mr. Zorgui to their cause while he was serving time in prison. He found their daily religious messages soothing and their revolutionary rhetoric beguiling. He became a committed follower, until they gave him an assignment for after he got out of prison: to kill his brother-in-law.
Zorgui quickly jettisoned his extremist comrades. Today, two years removed from that jarring experience, the jihadist-turned-rapper has devoted himself to trying to counter militants’ efforts to recruit young Muslims by the only way he knows how – “dropping rhymes.” Which is what he’s doing, in pulsating cadence, in this cafe in Kasserine, itself a battleground between the Tunisian government and jihadist fighters, before an audience that has seen many friends and relatives flee to join Al Qaeda and Islamic State (known both as IS and ISIS).
I am a Sunni Muslim, and terrorism is not my religion - Choked up by the situation of my country and politics, it does not matter - Stand up, get up, terrorism is not my religion - Abu Bakr Baghdadi, we don’t want you, we shout, - You are forbidden to enter my country – get out!
Forget Libya, Iraq, or even Syria. This is the true front line in the ideological war against ISIS. Across the Arab and Muslim world, civil society groups, activists, imams, tribes, and musicians are taking on the Islamic State – challenging its nihilist ideology, undermining its legitimacy, and working to prevent a lost generation from answering the group’s militant call.The true front line of the war on "Terrorism" is the idea - enshrined in the Koran and the Hadith, as well as the hearts of a huge number of Muslims throughout the world - that Jihad against the Infidel is incumbent upon the Ummah.
The notion that we are in a war against ISIS is a distraction. Sure, ISIS is a problem. But if we focus all our attention on ISIS, we will not see the larger problem of Jihad in general, and then we will be surprised when we defeat ISIS and find another group pops up, under another name, and starts doing the same thing ISIS has done.
Al Qaeda, Hamas, Hizbollah, Islamic Jihad, Hizb ut-Tahrir, Moros Islamic Liberation Front, Jamat al-Islamiyah, ISIS, they are all the same thing, ultimately.
They are expressions of the will to murder Infidels, as is commanded in the Koran.
What good are "moderate Muslims" who oppose ISIS (because ISIS murders Muslims) and yet still support the murder of Infidels?