Has IS dis­ap­peared?

Kuwait Times - - LOCAL - muna@kuwait­times.net By Muna Al-Fuzai

The caliphate of the Is­lamic State (IS) has ended. This was the most men­tioned topic on so­cial me­dia last week, af­ter an an­nounce­ment by of­fi­cial Iraqi TV of the end of IS in Iraq and the lib­er­a­tion of Mosul. But this dec­la­ra­tion throws up many ques­tions. Many of us are won­der­ing that if the war is over, then where are the bodies? Why haven’t we seen any­thing from the me­dia that is cov­er­ing ev­ery de­tail of our life, from pri­vate kitchens to politi­cians’ of­fices? Yet we have not seen a sin­gle video doc­u­ment­ing the so-called war of lib­er­a­tion of Mosul and Iraq from IS!

Sud­denly, the Iraqi army, with the sup­port of the “pop­u­lar mo­bi­liza­tion forces”, man­aged to re­take Mosul from IS with­out a drop of blood spilt. This is worth think­ing about, es­pe­cially in our Gulf re­gion. Where has IS gone? I have al­ways said that I do not see IS as a state, but as an ex­trem­ist mili­tia that moves from one place to an­other wait­ing for new or­ders per­haps in civil­ian clothes, curly beards and tight trousers this time.

IS per­formed its mis­sion with dis­tinc­tion. It played all the roles re­quired of it in or­der to dis­tort Is­lam, whether in Syria, Iraq or in other parts of the world. It vi­o­lated the hu­man­ity of many women and chil­dren as well as oc­cu­py­ing ter­ri­to­ries. IS gave the great­est jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for for­eign in­ter­ven­tion in Syria, ei­ther by Rus­sia, Iran or US, through the emer­gence of coun­ter­mili­tias fight­ing for all what was said to de­fend the op­pressed - then dis­ap­pear­ing with­out spilling a drop of blood. IS has done its job to jus­tify the emer­gence of mili­tias and par­ties of doc­tri­nal stands.

IS will end in Syria too very soon. If the goal was to tear apart Syria and Iraq and give the Kurds an independent state carved from th­ese two na­tions, then a new map of the Mid­dle East is no longer a piece of fic­tion. Few for­eign re­ports spec­u­late about the fu­ture of IS af­ter Iraq and Syria. It may dis­ap­pear into neigh­bor­ing so­ci­eties and coun­tries, and per­haps no one will feel sus­pi­cious. Nat­u­rally, un­der this sit­u­a­tion, Gulf gov­ern­ments should strictly con­trol and mon­i­tor all ports and move­ments of Is­lamist groups, youth and even money trans­fers.

I am con­vinced that the de­feat of IS in Iraq is not the end. The source of ex­trem­ism has not dried up and sec­tar­ian fa­nati­cism is strong. It is the first nu­cleus for the es­tab­lish­ment of any ex­trem­ist or­ga­ni­za­tion, and Gulf gov­ern­ments must be aware of the se­ri­ous­ness of this is­sue while deal­ing with pro­mot­ers of re­li­gious ex­trem­ism.

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