UAE PM calls for 'intellectual battle' against Islamic State

'Foster development, fight ideology'. IS affiliate in Egypt

29 September, 20:59

    UAE' s first female pilot, Major Mariam al-Mansouri on board of his F-16 figher jet. According to media reports she also took part in the air strikes on Islamic State (IS) targets in  Syria. UAE' s first female pilot, Major Mariam al-Mansouri on board of his F-16 figher jet. According to media reports she also took part in the air strikes on Islamic State (IS) targets in Syria.

    (ANSAmed) - DUBAI - Force alone will not defeat the Islamic State (IS) and the other breeds of fanaticism the world is currently up against, Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashed Al-Maktoum wrote in an editorial appearing in the emirate's largest daily on Sunday. The UAE vice president and prime minister said that the international community should use a 'holistic approach' focusing on ''winning the intellectual battle, upgrading weak governance, and grassroots human development''.

    The UAE is one of the first Arab nations to have taken part in the US-led airstrikes on IS positions last week. While using force within the international coalition - and just as the jihadists of Jabhat Al-Nusra (also targeted by the strikes in Syria) began threatening US allies - Maktoum explained the UAE government policy. ''Not a single politician in North America, Europe, Africa, or Asia can afford to ignore events in the Middle East. A globalised threat requires a globalised response. Everyone will feel the heat, because such flames know no borders; indeed, ISIS has recruited members of at least 80 nationalities,'' he wrote.

    ''With its twisted religious overtones, this pre-packaged franchise of hate is available for any terrorist group to adopt,'' he said, calling IS ''a barbaric and brutal organisation. It represents neither Islam nor humanity's most basic values. Nonetheless, it has emerged, spread, and resisted those who oppose it. What we are fighting is not just a terrorist organisation, but the embodiment of a malicious ideology that must be defeated intellectually.'' ''The destruction of terrorist groups is not enough to bring lasting peace. We must also strike at the root to deprive their dangerous ideology of the power to rise again among people left vulnerable by an environment of hopelessness and desperation,'' he said. ''Credit is due to our neighbours in Saudi Arabia in this field for their successes in de-radicalising many young people through counseling centres and programmes.'' Governing well and providing citizens with services is the second 'ingredient' to defeat the various breeds of fundamentalism, in his view. ''It should be clear to everyone that the rapid growth of ISIS (another name for IS, Ed.) was fuelled by two governments' failings: the first one made war on its own people, and the second one promoted sectarian division,'' he wrote, referring to Syria and Iraq. ''The final component is to address urgently the black holes in human development that afflict many areas of the Middle East. This is not only an Arab responsibility, but also an international responsibility,'' he said.

    With its over 200 million young people, the region has ''a critical need for long-term projects and initiatives to eliminate poverty, improve education and health, build infrastructure, and create economic opportunities'' in order to wear down hate-driven ideologies fostered by a sense of impotence. (ANSAmed).

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