Terrorism and ISIS: The World Perspective

Darren Tung, Staff Writer

The concept of terrorism has existed for centuries, going as far back as the time of the Roman Empire, where a group called the Sicariis committed acts of murder and violence to protest Roman influence over present-day Israel. However, the threat of terrorists has increased significantly over the past 25 years, with high profile terrorist attacks like the Tube Bombings, the Paris attacks, Pan Am 103, and most significantly, 9/11 becoming prominent throughout the entire world. Lately, a good portion of these acts of terror have been conducted by a group called the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS for short. This group’s main goal is to get rid of all members of the Shiite sect of Islam and all Western influences from the world, creating a unified Muslim empire just like that of the 7th to 13th centuries. It should go without saying that the vast majority of American adults strongly condemn the existence of both ISIS and terrorism. Hundreds or even thousands of innocent people are killed just so that one group of extremists can make a point to the world. However, what do other parts of the world think of these concepts?

The French people, a part of a region that has been hit with three major attacks in the past two years (Charlie Hebdo shootings, Paris bombings/shootings, and the Nice Bastille Day attack) is not only terrified of what is being done to their country, but is also outraged that the French government is not doing enough after the attacks in Paris to ensure top security for the threatened nation. Specifically, the French Institute for Public Opinion conducted a survey that came to the conclusion that 67% of the French population do not trust the government to keep track of possible terrorists. The country has a extremely high radical Muslim population (over 5,000 to be exact) of which over 75% are most likely in either Iraq, or Syria, being trained by ISIS. Conversely, the United States has very heavy surveillance to keep suspected radicals from traveling to ISIS territory, which is why less than 300 radicalized Americans are in ISIS regions now. France’s lack of surveillance on human movements is what allowed the region to be viewed as the country with the highest threat of terrorism in the world. The threat is made even more clear when it was revealed that most French Muslims do not feel accepted by the French people, regardless of whether or not they are terrorists, which can do nothing but motivate these people to become terrorists themselves with assistance from a group like ISIS. The French feel that they dug themselves into a hole that they themselves will have to find a way to get out of.

The vast majority of the Middle East, and Muslim nations in general, feel that ISIS does not at all represent what they think the religion should be based upon. Less than 20% of Muslims from nations throughout Asia and Africa are willing to accept this terrorist group, according to a Pew Research Center survey. Among these countries is Iran, a significant enemy of the United States, who goes against the principles of ISIS because they favor the Sunni sect, while Iran is a primarily Shiite region. Most go against ISIS because like America, they feel that the concept of a Jihadist group is morally wrong and does not represent the religion of Islam. Although the Qu’ran, the holy book of the religion states that those who do not believe in Allah must die in the cruelest ways possible, it was not meant to be taken literally as jihadist groups believe that it should.

Finally, in the wake of the execution of two Japanese individuals by ISIS in 2016, East Asia is in fear of terrorism, with the East Asia Strategic Review stating that “ISIL is threatening the security of East Asia, including Japan, by targeting the Asian people and Asian embassies in the Middle East, showing its ambition for territorial expansion, as well as recruiting foreign fighters from Asian countries.” ISIS could very well set up Asian targets, as two countries in the southeast: Malaysia, and Indonesia, have almost all of their populations consisting of the Sunni Muslim faith. East Asia is normally a very pacifistic region in terms of relations to ISIS, but the threat of the terrorists still lingers. Overall, even though most of the world wishes to end the threats of ISIS and terrorism, how much effort they are willing to put in to dealing with the threat depends on what part of the world that person lives in.