A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

No simple cure for jihadism

Last month, 30,000 men, women and children from the Yazidi community took refuge without food or water in the Sinjar mountains to escape atrocities committed by jihadist fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Currently, 70,000 Syrian Kurdish refugees are crossing the Turkey border.

According to the United Nations, 1.8 million Iraqis, primarily Christian, Yazidi and Turkoman minorities, have been displaced this year to flee persecutions.

In the name of Islam, ISIL fighters gave themselves the right to amputate, crucify, rape and kill anybody who does not follow their rules and beliefs. The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton denounces these atrocities as crimes against humanity.

In the past few months, the 30,000 ISIL fighters established their power on a large area extending from Raqqah in Syria to Fallouja and Mossoul in Iraq. Its radicality, brutality and military and financial power in addition to its goal to control Muslim countries represent a significant threat that democracies must fight.

A coalition of almost 40 countries is currently working on a plan to militarily destroy ISIL’s strategic positions in Iraq and Syria.

The goal is “to eradicate a cancer like ISIL,” President Barack Obama said. However, ISIL is not an illness that can simply be destroyed by some established process.

President Obama’s over-simplification of this organization as a “cancer” fails to consider its complexity. This jeopardizes the opportunity to destroy the movement completely. ISIL is a well-organized movement with a strong political goal and knows how to manipulate the Sunni’s preexisting grievances against the Shia and to attract new people into its ranks.

The fight against these militants could be efficient only if the political complexity of the situation is considered. Using air strikes as surgical operations will not be sufficient to destroy the roots of this terrorist organization – which is a state in name only, and which perverts Muslim religion to its benefit.

We are not talking about an illness that suddenly appeared on the body of Earth, we are talking about a terrorist movement born during American military intervention in Iraq in 2003 and is using propaganda to enroll new fighters every day.

Military action is not enough. Political and diplomatic ways are essential. The coalition must support Syrian rebels groups and promote political structures in Iraq in the long-term.

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Anne-Elisabeth Cavarec, Staff Writer

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