Tuesday , December 12 2017

Where do jihadists go now? – Radicalism fails to die

Fauziya Abul
Many might find this question weird but what will those involved in armed organizations or the returnees from the war zone or even those who supported a particular faction do when circumstances change and the war ends? What will the “jihadists” do after the war? What will be the level of their integration into the society after they return to their countries and their situations normalize?

Is there any political faction or civil society organization that can accommodate these people and render them individuals with political roles after their armed roles? How can they be contained so that they are held accountable for their action within the peaceful political framework? Or will they be shunned?

Before we move on, we need to highlight three cases or situations. The first situation is of the fighters who are not affiliated to any organized group; and all they do is attempt to overcome some difficulties or even rebuild their personalities on individual basis. However, the difficulties they encounter dissuade them and perhaps they may even find it difficult to integrate into the society during the period of calm, stability and non-violent political conflicts.

The second situation is of those who are affiliated to a certain faction. They practice violence on a large scale, spread tension and fear, and destroy public domains and so on in order to achieve their goals. The destiny of these individuals depends on the new developments that take place in the organizational structure and the way they are dealt with in terms of the society force, which has transformed from the period of armed violence to the period of promoting principles, building understanding and solving differences through dialogue and mutual respect.

The third situation is of the armed individuals whose mission is to execute foreign agendas and serve regional and international factions. When the tense situation ends or fades away in their countries, they are perhaps sent to execute missions outside. An outstanding testimony to this is Tunisia, where when security had stabilized to some point, hundreds and thousands of Tunisian extremists were sent to other missions somewhere else.

Nonetheless, we ought to mention that some militias have become part of the political infrastructure of certain countries. We find this phenomenon in Iraq where the authority depends on militia organizations, which adopt creedal or regional affiliations.

It is really unfortunate that there is a phenomenon that has imposed itself globally and is very difficult to curb without an intense campaign of immense force. These organizations have multi-national characteristics, and their role continues to grow and impose dramatic effect such that it is difficult for its members to let go of the language of weapon especially after the extremist base in their countries collapses.

In this case, the question is very intricate due to its entanglement with several countries. However, there are countries that have managed to draw for themselves the road of peaceful political structure, in a bid to preserve peace, security, stability and harmony, and to strive towards the establishment of democratic pillars.

By Fauziya Abul

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