By Laila Azzeh – May 26,2016 -JORDAN TIMES
Experts participate in a session titled ‘The Secret of Attraction: ISIS Propaganda and Recruitment’ in Amman earlier this week (Photo courtesy of Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung)
AMMAN — Faced with mounting economic hardships, young people are attracted to Daesh’s rhetoric and methods of power and revenge, seeing in the terror group a way to disrupt their gloomy reality, experts argue.
The economic hardships facing the middle class in the Arab world should be seen as one of the key factors that contributed to the rise of Daesh, Basim Tweissi, dean of the Jordan Media Institute (JMD), said at a session, titled “The Secret of Attraction: ISIS Propaganda and Recruitment”.
“Unfortunately, this class has received poor education. When we look at what members of this segment consume culturally, we find that they have a great appetite for media product, but of low quality,” he noted, during the discussions held earlier this week by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung in Amman.
Tweissi said Daesh’s show of power is also appealing to young people by “saying to the world: I am strong and can penetrate your security and reach out to your children inside their rooms”.
He criticised some media outlets for reproducing Daesh’s propaganda, giving it additional supremacy and exaggerating its power.
“It has managed to attract the attention of millions of people thanks to the media that are thirsty to this type of news,” the dean said.
Experts at the event underlined the need to understand the social context behind the flourishing of Daesh.
“Never in the history of mankind have we witnessed a bloodthirsty group that has managed to attract people from around the world with their bloody narratives,” said Mohammad Abu Rumman, a researcher and expert on Islamist groups.
Daesh is the “biological child of the current conditions in the Arab world supported by the spread of the Internet”, he added.
“The group managed to establish itself in four states in the region. It derives its appeal from control and revenge, two components that can be of great attraction to young people,” noted Hassan Abu Hanieh, an expert on Islamist groups.
However, he said that Daesh will fail at the end because “no ideology can stand strong for too long if its causes are not fair”.
Abu Hanieh said that of the total 35,000 Daesh militants, around 6,000 are from the US and Western Europe.
Ahmad Nueimat, from the National Centre for Security and Crisis Management, highlighted Jordan’s methods in dealing with the Daesh threat, including dealing with those who return after fighting with the terrorist group.
“We have managed to [rehabilitate] 423 individuals who used to believe in the ideas embraced by Daesh, and we have benefited from Saudi Arabia’s experience in this field,” he said.
Imposing stricter measures on the funding of organisations, amending school curricula and revisiting the role of the Awqaf Ministry in preparing imams and preachers are some of the measures the Kingdom has taken in its fight against terrorism, according to Nueimat.
During the event, a publication, titled, the “Secret of Attraction: Isis Propaganda and Recruitment”, was launched. It includes articles and views of several experts on Daesh.