The best strategy to defeat IS

By Harun Yahya

What is the Islamic State (IS) movement? How can it commit such violence in the 21st century?

How did it obtain so much power and what does it want? What is the solution?

In his recent speech, even US President Barack Obama admitted that “they haven’t figured out a strategy for IS yet.”  Further, the international community has spent significant amounts of resources in the Middle East to battle radicals in the region to bring an end to terrorism since 9/11, yet the problems continue to escalate in the Middle East.

IS is not a shadow, run-of-the-mill, small-time terror group. It is a force to be reckoned with. Taking large swaths of land in both Syria and Iraq, it aims to establish a caliphate. In Iraq alone, due to IS’ ruthless aggression and inhuman practices, 1.25 million people have left their homes and fled to other towns, or left Iraq altogether.

The attacks in Iraq also have major repercussions for Turks in the north. Hundreds of thousands of Turkmens, Arabs and Kurds living in these areas have already been forced to abandon their homes. Those who remain are suffering greatly under IS’ extremely repressive policies.

Some 300,000 Alawite-Bektashi Shabaks with close ties to Turkey have also been subjected to these attacks. In addition, 48 people at the Turkish Consulate in Mosul were taken hostage by IS and still have not been released. IS is also trying to capture the Tomb of Shah Suleyman, which is Turkish sovereign territory, in Aleppo.

To understand IS we must look deeper into the ideology that drives it. The majority of the experts get the IS phenomena wrong. It is not just a group of misguided people but a way of looking at life.

The notion of taking out its members one by one is completely misguided and will not destroy it. We have to deal with its ideology, its foundations, and we need to cut its life line — the new recruits — by explaining to the youth how it is a deviant form of religion.

IS, which misinterprets the Koran and relies on non-Koranic sources filled with nonsense, employs policies of the severest repression based on an erroneous philosophy. The more it departs from the essence of Islam, the more inhumane, repressive, despotic and violent its rule becomes.

While IS has become stronger, drawing thousands to its ranks with promises of power, money and adventure, policymakers have started looking into finding quick fixes with minimal cost and impact. There is one disturbing scenario that begs closer scrutiny.

It is how the US and Europe seem to be willing to arm the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), hoping that it will bring an end to IS.

It is quite ironic that the US could arm the PKK, an organization that has been designated as terrorist, to destroy another terror group, namely IS.

This strategy is fundamentally flawed and is a highly implausible scenario that has no chance of success whatsoever.

The PKK emerged in the 1980s with a Marxist-Leninist ideology and has used violence and terrorism for the past 30 years in an attempt to break apart southeastern Turkey. In doing so, it claimed the lives of 60,000 people. The PKK is a communist, Stalinist and Leninist organization that merely uses Kurdish nationalism as a tool in light of its own interests.

Communist terror seeks to spread fear among people and to slaughter as many as possible, regardless of whether they are women or children.

With its terrorist actions, the PKK is fulfilling this requirement of communism. Terrorism will not be eliminated until the communist mindset is done away with.

Violence is an inherent part of the PKK philosophy. Thus, we should realize that laying down arms is only possible with ideas. So long as ideas remain unchanged, weapons may change, but they will never be laid down.

Arming the PKK will not stop IS. Instead, some circles hope that it will help the PKK in its fight against Turkey.

It is important that this baseless and absurd idea of using the PKK against IS, as a disguise to further plans to divide Turkey, is abandoned immediately.

Those that hope to divide Turkey should know that Turkey will protect its territorial integrity and will not allow anyone to break apart its land no matter how heavily armed.

You often hear the argument that the solution lies in moderate Muslims speaking louder against the terrorists.

However, with regards to the IS problem, it should be dealt with quickly but it takes more than words and speculation.

During the painful events of the Arab Spring, its aftermath, and even more painful and horrific incidents that occurred in Egypt and Syria, the majority of the Muslim countries maintained a shameful silence.

It is high time for them to step in, take action and act like real Muslims, rather than waiting for the US to swoop in and save the day. They should come together, build a united front and speak up against IS. They should ensure that political, religious figures as well as respected opinion leaders among them clearly state their opposition to and rejection of IS.

They should work to spread real Islam, which is the epitome of peace, compassion and love.