Middle East studies in the News
Local Professor Says ISIS Threat Won't Go Away Until Root Causes Addressed [on Jeff VanDenBerg]
by Sara Forhetz
Those familiar with tactics of Islamic terrorist group ISIS say the threat isn't going away anytime soon.
The recruitment strategy for ISIS has been very effective with the group promising high pay, good benefits, and luring mainly young men who are upset with the state of world affairs, the economy and their likely unemployment.
Political Science and Middle East studies professor Jeff VanDenBerg with Drury has lived, worked and studied in the Middle East. He says ISIS also recruits accountants, engineers and even cooks.
He says their kind of variant of fundamental extremist Islam is going to be with us for a long time because the root causes are pervasive.
"Their rationale, as warped as it is, is that Islam is under some sort of attack, and that they are justified-- any actions are justified in defense of their faith, including killing civilians, anyone who can be in some umbrella way seen as a civilization that is threatening Islam," said VanDenBerg. "They see themselves as the continuation of institution of the Caliphate which is the kind of the successors to the prophet Muhammad that governed the Islamic community in various ways from the time of Muhammad's death in 632 until the institution was abolished by the Turks in 1924 after World War One."
VanDenBerg says ISIS' beliefs are not representative of Islam as a whole.
"What the Islamic state claims for itself is that they are the renaissance and resurrection of that institution-- they are now the reps of that institution," he said.
"Most Muslims, including theologians, scholars reject their self proclamation of the caliphates. In fact, dozens of leading Islamic scholars wrote a letter to this guy Baghdadi, who is the head of ISIS, and said here's all the ways you are wrong, and have corrupted the interpretation of Islam."
VanDenBerg says the world must take measures to minimize the threat of ISIS-- in his opinion, including military force, but also dealing with some of the root causes of poverty and high unemployment.Note: Articles listed under "Middle East studies in the News" provide information on current developments concerning Middle East studies on North American campuses. These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch and do not necessarily correspond to Campus Watch's critique.
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