‘Beirut, Russian Airline & Paris Carnage’ By F. Sheikh ( Brief Thought)

Within the span of few days we have seen the horrible tragedies of bombing of Russian airplane, Beirut bombing and now Paris suicidal attacks.  How to eradicate the menace of this extremism? It seems, we are at a loss and at a dead-end to find some credible solution. The natural instinct to use ruthless force to destroy the existing menace, also sows the seeds for the emergence of next monster even more ruthless and merciless. Invasion of Iraq lead to the creation of ISIS.

With current carnage in Paris, there may be now overwhelming military response by the West and goal of destruction of ISIS may be achieved, but it will not be possible without even a larger scale death, destruction and human dislocation. But then what is next? Who will fill the vacuum?  Both Syria and Iraq are in civil war and thousands of refugees fleeing to Europe. The Kurds will expand somewhat their own territory for Independent Kurdistan but they do not have the capacity to go much beyond their own borders. Any Kurdish expansion will also invite furious response from Turkey. The currently held territory by ISIS cannot be managed by weakened Syria or Iraq embroiled in civil war. Naturally it will get occupied by other extremists groups who will try to outdo each other.

Apart from use of force, withering attacks on radical Islamist ideology in particular and Islam in general,  has not done much either to combat extremism, rather on the contrary it is  creating an atmosphere of Islamophobia in the West which is helping create further alienated Muslim youths who are being discriminated against for just external appearance and Muslim names. It is not now uncommon, especially in Europe, for being fired or refused to be hired because of external appearance and a Muslim name. It no longer matters whether someone is a mainstream moderate Muslim or even Muslim atheist, external appearance and Muslim name is enough to deny your civil rights. These alienated young Muslim youths are the natural target of recruiting efforts by the extremist groups like ISIS.

Muslims themselves are also the target of these extremist groups and bombing of the mosques and other soft targets is a daily occurrence in many Muslim lands. The West has not been able to get the support of these targeted moderate Muslims either because of the mistrust of the West in the face of withering attacks on Islam in general and Islamophobia in Western lands.

Islam is in the middle of a civil war both Shia vs Sunni and extreme vs moderate Islamic ideology. This ideological civil war is further complicated by the masses’ desire to get rid of dictators and monarchs. The West is injecting itself in this civil war to protect its economic and politico geographic interests. It has prompted the Russia to enter the race also. By injecting itself in this civil war, both West and Russia has changed the civil war into extremists vs West and Russia. The ISIS has fired back at both.

There are no good options but outside involvement has never done any good in these Muslim lands and it may make it worse. Let Muslim lands fight it out themselves and West and Russia should get out of the way. If countries like Turkey, Iran, Jordan, Egypt and Gulf states are not willing to fight for their own survival and take the lead, then why West should get in the middle and become the target from all the sides.






4 thoughts on “‘Beirut, Russian Airline & Paris Carnage’ By F. Sheikh ( Brief Thought)

  1. It is hard for me to believe that ISIS could become so strong on its own when this region was under the West and USA’s microscope. It doesn’t add up. France and England are not clean in this mess. With USA leaving Iraq, field was open for other interested powers, weapons and money definitely got funneled in to make ISIS active again. Just like the rise of TTP Talibans in Pakistan courtesy India and may be CIA (to counter Pakistan’s support for Haqqani group) ISIS was resurrected. Muslims didn’t find the schism of sectarianism recently, this was there since the death of prophet so this is definitely being exploited now. Muslims deserve to be blamed not for being extremists but for easily exploited and being losers in the great games. Every Muslim country should find the black sheep among them and deal strictly with those who start hate speeches and so called Jihads because their enemies have found this weakness.
    Muslims can not stop their enemies from trying to make them fight with each other but what they can do is not fight with each other.
    France and England are involved in destabilizing Middle East. Certainly the acts of terrorism are deplorable but what is more deplorable is the intervention in Muslim countries that creates such situation as we have seen resulting in mass exodus if Syrians from their country.

    I can not believe how the candidates running for President in the Republican party discuss Syria – the only non-interventionist Paul Rand is lowest in the polls and the one who says we should put boots on the ground in Syria or challenge Putin by creating no-fly zone are on the top in polls … what right we (Americans) have to intervene there, what did Asad do to America ever – nothing. Imagine Syrians talking about bombing America and making this their point of discussion!!

    We are definitely in trouble because of our color and names in America but we must continue being ambassadors of our countries and show that we are nothing like what politics paints us to be. Average Americans are far better than what some congressmen and hawks who are serving their lobbyists and special interests.


    • The only way to change attitudes is to become politically involved. Pakistani community in
      America is one of the most affluent and well educated immigrant group yet is also one of the most politically and socially apathetic. The Islamophobes and Republicans in particular paint the American muslims as part of the problem when the truth is that Muslims are the foremost victims of militant violence. The muslim victims number in the tens of thousands from suicide bombings and other terrorist attacks. If one includes the numbers of dead in the wars over the past thirty years the casualty figure ranges in the several hundreds of thousands. It is imperative that moderate voices in the Islamic world attain center stage to place their respective countries on the path forward rather than be brutalized by age old sectarian strifes being waged by militants and their ultraconservtive cohorts. American muslims can play a vital role in this reawakening by engaging fully in local and national elections and formulating open forums of discussion where instead of falling in the trap of defending every religious edict be in the forefront of critidcal evaluations and critiques to address the core issues that provide the insider perspective on how to mitigate the radical fringes. We owe it to ourselves because of our peculiar situation of attachment to the countries of origin and to the US, the adopted homeland that has provided us the privilege and security of citizenship. And even more we owe it to our children who are growing up with American sensibilities so they can share pride of their heritage.

      Nasik Elahi

    • I agree with most of this comment by Babar Mustafa.
      I am not sure whether ISIS was intentionally created by the west.
      There was a power vacuum and all vacuums have to be filled in.
      For the time being the biggest beneficiary is Israel. All the heavy lifting is being done by the western powers.
      America is a super power. America has economic interests in the middle east – no ideological interest.

      Ideological interest were involved during cold war – Capitalism vs Socialism/Communism.
      Socialism was an off shoot of Western civilization. Capitalism felt threatened by Socialism.

      There is no ideological threat to capitalism or Western civilization by Islam.
      Islam is so week at present time that Islam has to use suicide bombers to make a point or vent our collective grievances.

      America wants a safe flow of oil from Middle East. Present crisis in middle east has seriously damaged the economic well being of America.
      America needs status quo in middle east but that will not be easy for sometime.


  2. It is a comprehensive description of a complex situation. Actually only Muslims can solve this problem. We Muslims know the details because we are the ultimate insiders.

    Solutions provided by Western scholars are just objective analysis by the outsiders.

    Historically Crusades were the religious responses of the West against Islam.
    After industrial revolution and especially post firsr world war the complete subjugation of the most of the Muslim world were bitter experiences for the Muslims.

    Muslims intellectuals need to debate the issues and point out the real causes of Muslims political, economic and social backwardness.

    The real causes may be inside Islam.

    One person cannot provide a solution.
    The situation is too complex for one person to solve. Muslims expect one person – the concept of Mehdi in Sunni Islam and Last/Ghaeb Imam in Shia Islam are clear indicators.

    Without serious debates, no solution is possible.
    Solution are there. We have to find them first.


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