Thousands continue to die every year from attacks by the so-called Islamic extremists. In Syria and Iraq the situation has reached alarming rates, attacks by the militant organisations Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have slaughtered over 500,000 people in a short space of time. Their reign of terror in these countries has led to millions of people being displaced.
In their war against the West, the terrorist organisations have committed untold atrocities in the name of Islam. They grab headlines around the world for shocking brutality. Captives are beheaded, set ablaze in cages, shot and killed, and even crucified. Most of these killings are filmed and distributed on the Internet to instill fear in people. In their crusade of terror the groups have not only murdered innocent people but have destroyed heritage and cultural sites in Iraq and Syria.
What the groups seem to be pushing for is a new world order, a world caliphate. They are seeking political, military and religious dominance. In the quest for power the groups are now taking the terror beyond the borders of Syria and Iraq. In the last few weeks, ISIS has claimed responsibility for the deaths of over 130 people in Paris, France. The group also claimed responsibility for bringing down a Russian passenger plane killing all 224 passengers on board.
ISIS and ISIL brutality is surely spreading to other places around the world. In fact the groups have threatened to attack the United States of America, the United Kingdom and other western countries. What is clear is that ISIS and ISIL are not only a threat to the Arab or western countries, but also to world peace. Other brutal Islamic extremist organisations such as Boko-Haram have pledged allegiance to these terrorists groups.
One thing for sure, ISIS like Al Qaeda will be defeated or at least contained, but the destruction that the group will cause before that eventuality is likely to be colossal.
As western countries tighten security, the organisation will opportunistically target other vulnerable countries. Countries close to the group’s enemies. And this is why it is important for other countries and in particular African states including Botswana to beef up their security and protect their citizens and residents. ISIS is on an aggressive recruitment exercise and the target is anyone that shares the group’s views. We are not immune.
It is also important for the Muslim communities to speak out against the brutality perpetrated by ISIS. Surely this organisation does not speak or represent the Muslim community in their evil deeds but its up to the Muslim leadership to constantly remind the world what Islam stands for.
“ISIL poses a threat to the people of Iraq and Syria, and the broader Middle East - including American citizens, personnel and facilities. If left unchecked, these terrorists could pose a growing threat beyond that region, including to the United States.”
- Barack Obama