The truth behind terror in the name of religion

The Islamic Military Alliance’s meeting to combat terrorism concluded yesterday where Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince addressed a gathering of defense ministers and military officials representing the member states of the alliance.

“Terrorism in the past years has been working in all our countries, and most organizations operate in several countries without a strong, good and unique coordination among Islamic countries,” he said adding that today this has led to the existence of this alliance.

“Today more than 40 Islamic countries are sending a very strong signal that they will work together and will coordinate very closely to support each other’s efforts, be it military, financial, intelligence or political support.”

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This alliance has come into existence late but its better late than never. I believe that with the desired transparency and coordination among these 40 countries, many holes, that allow those who commit massacres in the name of religion, can be plugged.

Some countries hide behind religion to further their economic interests. Some of them even indulge in smuggling and organized crime in the name of religion. They conceal ignorance and underdevelopment all under the banner of Islam.

The time has come to sort out, examine and unravel the facts for Muslims before the international community. Who are these people fighting in the name of our religion?

With the desired transparency and coordination among these 40 countries, many holes, that allow those who commit massacres in the name of religion, can be plugged

Sawsan Al Shaer

A new theory

Amid this confusion, an article by Egyptian writer Mamoun Fandy drew my attention. Fandy came out with a new theory on what had happened at the mosque in Areesh Sinai.

In an article published yesterday in Asharq Al-Awsat, Fandy writes: “A large part of the problem in northern Sinai is not ISIS or even the Ansar Bait al-Maqdis. I claim that there is no basis for these organizations there, instead, what we hear are banners raised to cover up a mafia situation, which is more complex than terrorism”.

We are talking here of organized criminals, which often succeed in allying with corrupt elements, not only in Egypt, but also in countries around the world.

Social incubator

Part of the problem is the social incubator, which witnesses the Egyptian state handing over its territory to businessmen not from Sinai. The Mubarak regime also gave them vast areas in kilometers, not acres. These individuals depend on the people of Sinai as guards for these lands and not partners.

Stories of Bedouins and their relationship with land have been known for long. Similarly it is unacceptable two or three businessman can come and control northern Sinai. As a result, people of that region join forces with terrorist groups to complain against Cairo’s policy. It is like a toss-up between paying royalties or terrorism.

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In the most recent incident, another element comes into play. It is a kind of family conflict within the smuggling mafia. According to some reports, the feud began in one family and then took place at the mosque. This definitely requires further in-depth study.

Dr. Mamoun raises several legitimate questions: “If it was ISIS, then why in Bir al-Abd and Sheikh Zuweid, and not in Taba or Nuweiba or Sharm in the south? Why not even in Awja or even Rafah, after Areesh on the border with Gaza?”

“What is more important is to speak seriously of the frequent disasters in this small area of northern Sinai, which occur in a strip no more than an hour away by car from Bir al-Abd to Sheikh Zuweid. For those concerned with Sinai please look at the map first. We are not talking about Sinai, but about an area that does not reach two percent of Sinai.

Terror triangle

The terrorism triangle generally constitutes the following:
1- Terrorist groups
2- Social incubation of terrorist groups
3- Culture of atonement and justification.

The terrorism social incubator in North Sinai is the mother of all disasters in the region from Bir al-Abd to Sheikh Zuweid. In order to answer them, one is required to sift through information and purify it from the misleading media campaign in the name of nationalism.

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Using this new proposition, we assert that even Iran, which is recruiting and establishing militias spreading terrorism in Syria, Iraq, Bahrain and Yemen, is raising the banner on protecting al-Bayt cemeteries or protecting the Shiites. All the while the target is ports on the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea to export gas.

What matters to us now is that it has been proved that all kinds of crimes are committed in the name of religion. We have also come to establish that hiding under ISIS, Popular Mobilization Forces, or Hezbollah’s cloak is hiding under the façade of religion. This has become a trend and is available to states and organized crime alike.

With this in mind, the group battling against terrorism has expanded it to a fight against every crime committed in the name of religion.

This article is also available in Arabic.
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Sawsan Al Shaer is a Bahraini writer and journalist. She tweets @sawsanalshaer.

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Last Update: 10:28 KSA 13:28 - GMT 10:28
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