(GVO) – In recent months, the militant group ISIS, which has brutalized large swathes of Iraq and Syria for a few years in the name of establishing a “caliphate,” has been increasing its propaganda aimed at the Western Balkans. The countries of the Western…
None of us can claim to have an insight into why radicalised young people are joining Islamist terrorist groups like ISIS. That’s because most of us don’t have an understanding of political Islam or extremism. However, antifeminist radical blogger Claire Khaw just might be able to have a go at some tentative speculation.
To be clear, she isn’t an ISIS supporter nor does she condone violence. But there are broad ideological similarities between ISIS’ Islamism and Khaw’s Secular Koranism, a one-party Islam-based political and legal system which she apparently invented and hopes to eventually see implemented in Britain.This theocracy would involve abolishing welfare and the NHS and the reintroduction of slavery, public executions and public whippings of “Slut Single Mums”. (I previously interviewed Khaw and her views are also summarised here. She also runs a political blog.) Claire reportedly counts many prominent politicians as Facebook friends and was previously a BNP member. Secular Koranism is a state run on Koranic principles and laws- just like the ‘Islamic State’- but without belief in a deity. This secularist aspect, and (relative to ISIS) lack of violence appear to be the only differences between the ideology of Secular Koranism and that of the ‘Islamic State’. Both ISIS and Khaw, unlike Islam-based theocracies such as Saudi Arabia, openly state a wish for the UK and other countries to adopt their systems.
Before the blood was cleaned up, the propaganda machine was already in full swing. In this case it’s difficult to tell if it’s intentional or simply ineptitude. For the reader whose been watching the minute-to-minute coverage, which consists of lists of facts with absolutely no context, the picture seems complete. The lack of context is painting an inaccurate portrait. Omar Mateen was not a hardened terrorist from an ISIS-supporting family. He was a perfect example of a radicalized member of the disaffected American-Muslim population. This is the very phenomenon academics, terrorism experts, and the terrorists themselves have been warning about.
The Islamic State’s strategy for the “far enemy”, which is how the US and the western powers are described by the Islamic State, is not to infiltrate. It is to use propaganda to radicalize people already within the United States. The propaganda counts on exploiting those who are prone to violence, weak-minded, despondent, and searching for a sense of belonging.
Omar Mateen wasn’t a militant when he was married or joined a mosque. He was a wanna-be cop and a wife-beater. His social media accounts show him proudly sporting NYPD clothing, an organization he never belonged to. He was employed with G4S, a private security firm known for victimizing Muslims the world over, which is hardly a company a good jihadist would work for. That started to change around 2012 or 2013 when he began expressing sympathies. He was tagged by the FBI and interviewed. He was determined to not be a threat. He is said to have seen a gay couple kissing in Miami. This incident apparently incensed him. He bought his weapons and became a mass-murderer.