Dr Mohd Abuasi: The Motivations of ISIS Are Social, Political and Economic
Novinite.bg has interviewed Doctor Mohd Abuasi on the recent attacks in Denmark and the imminent terrorist threats across Europe.
Abuasi was born in 1960 in Ramala, Palestine. He emigrated to Bulgaria in 1984 and became a Bulgarian citizen at the end of the 90s. Abuasi graduated Sofia University St. St. Kliment Ohridski with a degree in Journalism and later became a doctor in Politology. He is particularly interested in the area of study of Islamic fundamentalism. Abuasi is also currently the Director of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies in Sofia.
Mr. Abuasi, can Europe be considered threatened by Islamic State after the series of terrorist attacks in Denmark and the statements regarding Belgium and France ?
The attacks are way beyond the borders of Syria and Iraq, and Europe is definitely at risk. This wave will not stop, it will even expand until a political will is expressed to stop the process. We already saw that the US air strikes on Syria and Iraq aimed against ISIS bases did not have a too positive effect. This is not a solution to the problem. The reason for that is that the Americans are waging a war in their own way and by their standards without taking into account the political perceptions in these countries. The USA and the West need to quit the political calculations and need to realize that they have to work alongside the governments of these countries.
What is the solution?
The solution is in joining efforts with the governments of Syria and Iraq. Three years ago Islamic State and other organizations overturned the regime in Syria with help from the West and started to stabilize Iraq. Now, it turns out that the political calculations have backfired and those same organizations already pose a threat upon Europe. One point needs to be clear - nothing will work unless all parties affected by Islamic State join efforts. Air strikes will not do the job.
European countries impose ever harsher measures to prevent terrorist attacks. Is there a recipe against the terror?
We can't talk about measures. The solution can only be reached in political terms. Terrorist attacks can hardly be prevented by simple security measures. The threat for them to expand their scope of action is realistic. We saw what happened in Denmark, in France, and even before that in London and Madrid. We need a change of the approach.
The international community can work against the causes for the attacks. The reasons can be found in the social, economic and political motivations for the spread of certain ideologies. They are not religious, at least not entirely as is the popular opinion. Citing religion as the cause is pure speculation and causes Islamophobia, and that doesn't help. Extremists are using the mistakes of the US and Western politics and give a religious explanation of the attacks. There will be results when the wrong opinions are eliminated and when we concentrate on the roots of the problem - socio-economic factors.
Is there a threat for Bulgaria?
There is hardly any threat for Bulgaria at the moment. But the fact that there is none now, doesn't mean that there won't be any in the long run. Nobody can guarantee that, having in mind a series of factors - the refugee influx, the tensions in neighboring Turkey, problems with border control. We have open border policy with Turkey, they apply the same approach to Syria and Iraq, Syria is quite close, so someone could benefit from destabilization of the country. But the fact is that there is no imminent threat to Bulgaria.
Can Islamic State be defeated?
It can be defeated as easily as it was created in the first place. This can only happen if political calculations are put aside and if there is political will. I repeat, the problem needs to be dealt with on a political level. The key is in the US. If they reach an agreement with the governments of Syria and Iraq, Islamic State will simply become an organization that the police forces can easily deal with. The joined efforts will result in elimination of the threat, but the West and the US are currently not ready for this step.
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