Has IS disappeared?

Muna Al Fuzai

The caliphate of the Islamic State (IS) has ended. This was the most mentioned topic on social media last week, after an announcement by official Iraqi TV of the end of IS in Iraq and the liberation of Mosul. But this declaration throws up many questions. Many of us are wondering that if the war is over, then where are the bodies? Why haven’t we seen anything from the media that is covering every detail of our life, from private kitchens to politicians’ offices? Yet we have not seen a single video documenting the so-called war of liberation of Mosul and Iraq from IS!

Suddenly, the Iraqi army, with the support of the “popular mobilization forces”, managed to retake Mosul from IS without a drop of blood spilt. This is worth thinking about, especially in our Gulf region. Where has IS gone? I have always said that I do not see IS as a state, but as an extremist militia that moves from one place to another waiting for new orders – perhaps in civilian clothes, curly beards and tight trousers this time.

IS performed its mission with distinction. It played all the roles required of it in order to distort Islam, whether in Syria, Iraq or in other parts of the world. It violated the humanity of many women and children as well as occupying territories. IS gave the greatest justification for foreign intervention in Syria, either by Russia, Iran or US, through the emergence of counter-militias fighting for all what was said to defend the oppressed – then disappearing without spilling a drop of blood. IS has done its job to justify the emergence of militias and parties of doctrinal stands.

IS will end in Syria too very soon. If the goal was to tear apart Syria and Iraq and give the Kurds an independent state carved from these two nations, then a new map of the Middle East is no longer a piece of fiction. Few foreign reports speculate about the future of IS after Iraq and Syria. It may disappear into neighboring societies and countries, and perhaps no one will feel suspicious. Naturally, under this situation, Gulf governments should strictly control and monitor all ports and movements of Islamist groups, youth and even money transfers.

I am convinced that the defeat of IS in Iraq is not the end. The source of extremism has not dried up and sectarian fanaticism is strong. It is the first nucleus for the establishment of any extremist organization, and Gulf governments must be aware of the seriousness of this issue while dealing with promoters of religious extremism.

By Muna Al-Fuzai
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