The word terrorism derived from the word terror which meaning is ‘affright’. In simple words terrorism is the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims. Common definitions of terrorism refer to violent acts which are intended to create fear. They may be done for a religious, political, or ideological goal, and often target civilians.
Terrorism is, in the broadest sense, the use of intentionally indiscriminate violence as a means to create terror among masses of people; or fear to achieve a financial, political, religious or ideological aim. It is used in this regard primarily to refer to violence against peacetime targets or in war against non-combatants. There is no commonly accepted definition of” terrorism”. Being a charged term, with the connotation of something “morally wrong”, it is often used, both by governments and non-state groups, to abuse or denounce opposing groups.
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Broad categories of political organizations have been claimed to have been involved in terrorism to further their objectives, including right-wing and left-wing political organizations, nationalist groups, religious groups, revolutionaries and ruling governments. Terrorism-related legislation has been adopted in various states, regarding “terrorism” as a crime. There is no universal agreement as to whether or not “terrorism”, in some definition, should be regarded as a war crime.
According to the Global Terrorism Database by the University of Maryland, College Park, more than 61,000 incidents of non-state terrorism, resulting in at least 140,000 deaths, have been recorded from 2000 to 2014.
Affected Muslim countries:
For centuries, Afghanistan has been an unstable place, especially over the last century. In the early 1900s, Afghanistan was established as an independent country, no longer under the yoke of foreign powers.
Starting in the 1970s, there were a series of coup d’?©tats, where power changed from one group to another. In 1978, a civil war began within Afghanistan’s borders between pro- and anti-communist forces. The Soviet Union sent in military forces to support the communists, and a bloody conflict began. During this fight, the United States provided money and military assistance to those fighting the Soviets. Some of these were known as the Mujahedeen, composed of Islamists who were staunchly opposed to the Soviet invasion. Over one million Afghans died during this conflict, but the Soviets were repulsed.
After fighting the Soviets, Afghanistan saw various warlords and extremist groups vie for control of the country over the coming years. By the mid-1990s, a fundamentalist group called the Taliban took control of the country. The Taliban ruled according to Islamic Sharia law and instituted extremely harsh restrictions on the country.
The Taliban created an environment in Afghanistan that bred terrorists. Osama Bin Laden, a veteran of the fight against the Soviets, became a leading figure in the Al Qaeda terrorist organization, one of the largest and most sophisticated Islamic terror groups in the world. It was from within Afghanistan that Bin Laden and his followers strike against the United States.
The war in Afghanistan began back in 2001.
A group called the Taliban had controlled most of the country since 1996 but they were overthrown in November 2001 by British and American armed forces, as well as lots of Afghan fighters from a group called the Northern Alliance.
During the time that the Taliban controlled Afghanistan, they allowed an organization called al-Qaeda to have training camps there. In September 2001, nearly 3,000 people were killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The United States believed that Osama Bin Laden – who was the head of al-Qaeda – was the man behind these attacks.
There was a lot of international pressure on the Afghan leaders to hand over Osama Bin Laden. When the Taliban didn’t do this, the United States decided they would use their armed forces. In October 2001, the USA began bombing Afghanistan. They target laden’s al-Qaeda fighters and also the taliban November 2001, the Northern Alliance took control of the Afghan capital Kabul. They were being helped by the US and other countries that agreed with it, including the UK.
The Taliban were quickly driven out of the capital city, Kabul, but even today Afghanistan remains a dangerous place.It was in 2011, ten years after the war in Afghanistan began that Osama bin Laden was eventually found by American soldiers in Pakistan, where he was shot and killed. British troops and forces from other countries are still in Afghanistan, trying to help the government build a stable nation.
After more than six years of a civil war which started in 2011, some analysts are beginning to question whether Syrian war is reaching its conclusion. The situation as of this moment is very much different from when it first started. President Bashar Al Assad seems to be in a secure position while the opposition is still fragmented.
With victories on the battlefields and the race for oil in the northeastern province of deirezzor, are all sides attempting to gain an upper hand on the negotiation table in post-war Syria? Whatever the outcome, it is clear that Syria will never be the same country as it was before the war.
It started out as an event in what we know as Arab Spring. Syrian people were complaining about corruption, political repression, unemployment, and lack of freedom. A small demonstration in the southern city of Deraa sparked a devastating war which consumes the whole country after the violent response from the government.
Instead of reforms, Syrian government vowed to crackdown on dissidents. Since 2011 the opposition has attempted to overthrow Assad’s rule with the support of the West and Gulf countries. However, extremist ideology has also begun to take hold amongst rebel groups. This has made it hard for regional and world powers to back them.
Since the start of the conflict, the opposition has never been united into a single movement with one objective. There are infighting and competing ideologies. Some rebel groups are linked to Al Qaeda. Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham is a well-known branch of Al Qaeda in Syria. They sometimes fight government forces, but they also fight with other rebel groups for influence and dominance.
ISIS and Kurdish militias muddy the waters even further. First of all, ISIS had claimed a large part of eastern and central Syria. Their atrocities have turned the world’s attention away from toppling Assad to combating terrorists. It appears that if the Syrian government collapses, the opposition won’t be able to guarantee a good future for the country since there are jihadists in their ranks.
The Syrian government has been trying to present itself as the protector of the people against extremists. As it controls the coastline and most of the big cities, people in government areas have better living conditions than elsewhere. This projected image has attracted people who are desperate for security and services.
The Kurdish militias have carved up their own territory in northern Syria. With American support, they have recently retaken ISIS’s de facto capital Raqqa. The Kurds support neither the government nor the opposition. They claim to champion autonomy and self-determination.
However, this does not sit well with neighbouring Turkey who is the main backer of the opposition namely the Free Syrian Army. Turkey has, again and again, called on the US to drop its support for the Kurdish militias as it sees as a threat to its security.
It is clear that the balance of power has shifted in Assad’s favour. The rebels are not strong enough to remove him. Their foreign backers have so far been starting to reduce their support. Infighting among them has also contributed to the ineffective chain of command. ISIS has begun to lose territory in Syria.. This oil-rich region is extremely strategic for post-war reconstruction of the country. It will also give leverage on the negotiation table.
Syrian Arab Army and Kurdish forces seem to be at odds with each other over this competition. It is possible that when ISIS is defeated, both sides could turn against each other. Without a common enemy, the fight will be directed elsewhere.
War-weariness seems to be taking place in international politics. Syrian civil war is an extension of the Arab Spring. There are many players in the conflict with different interests. On the one hand, we have the United States and European countries along with Saudi Arabia.
They want to remove Assad from power by arming opposition forces. Yet, as the war drags on, combating ISIS has become the first priority. Assad is no longer the main goal for them. Additionally, the refugee crisis in the region and Europe has created tension and resentment. The war has so far become unpopular.
On the other hand, Russia, Iran, and Lebanese Hezbollah are propping up the Syrian government militarily, financially, and diplomatically. Russia wants to maintain its presence in the region as Syria has had good diplomatic relations with Moscow. Losing a client state means a loss of influence. Also, its military base in the country is an important projection of power.Iran, at the same time, wants to maintain a land corridor to Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea through Syria. With such geopolitical advantage at stake, Iran has been the main supporter of Bashar Al Assad’s government.
Meanwhile, Turkey seems to be changing its position as well. Once a vocal advocate of Assad-must-go policy, Turkey is now cooperating with Russia and Iran to curb the Kurdish influence in northern Syria. The Astana talks between Syrian government and rebels have brought a ceasefire to certain regions in the country. Without Turkish participation, it would not be possible for such outcome. Regional and world powers are beginning to shift their priorities in Syria. With the tide of the war turns against the rebels, overthrowing Assad is out of the question. All eyes are looking to post-war reconstruction and the future of the country torn apart by civil war.
The war has affected the very social fabric and networks that had held the society together. Even if Assad wins, his power would be very much limited. The Kurds would not give up their gains without a compromise. The rebels would not renounce the fight without certain conditions. It is not likely for Syrian presidency to maintain the same power as it was before the war.
People have been traumatized by the violent clashes. As it has been proven in other parts of the world, a whole generation of people suffers. The memory would not be forgotten. The social link has been broken. It is hard to establish that trust back into the society. People may be flocking to the government side for better living conditions, but it does not necessarily mean that they would forget the political repression which gave birth to the fighting in the first place.
What are the factors that affect the Muslims countries?
We believe that the war that should unify all nations is the war against poverty. And we believe that the most effective weapon against poverty is education. The most effective way of helping people is by teaching and training them to help themselves.
Ignorance, not poverty, is the root cause of terrorism.
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