JournalistI’m CNN Sr. International Correspondent Clarissa Ward. I got a rare, unfiltered look at the life and mind of an ISIS soldier. AMA!
Mar 31st 2017 by ClarissaWard • 5 Questions • 77 Points
My short bio: I spent time profiling and getting to know an ISIS soldier for a CNN Documentary "ISIS: Behind the Mask," airing Friday at 10pm ET on CNN. 28-year-old Younnes Delefortie looks like many young Belgians, but this former alter boy joined ISIS in Syria and is now back on the streets of Belgium. Ask me anything about my encounter with Delefortie, his radicalization, journey to Syria and back, or anything in general about ISIS.
Read more about it here: http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2017/03/europe/isis-behind-the-mask/index.html
Do you see a chance for outside intervention to override the cultural influences responsible for violent Islamic terrorism, or will it need to be Muslims cleaning house from within?
This is such an important question. The confluence of geopolitical, social, cultural, ideological, military and economic factors that have come together to allow for the rise of ISIS, is extremely complex. The ways and means to combat groups like ISIS will need to come both from within the Muslim world and from outside. For example, propping up corrupt regimes that brutalize their own people is clearly going to result in the proliferation of extremist groups. We know that ISIS was born in a US prison camp (Camp Bucca) in Iraq. So external factors are important. Also, the military fight against ISIS needs the support of the US led coalition, for sure. But what happens once areas have been cleared of ISIS? How do you hold them? That's where issues like good governance come into play and countries like Iraq need to take the lead on that. Finally, you have the ideological/ theological factor. Certainly, this needs to come from within the Islamic world.
Why can't western states combat the ISIS propaganda in a similar way Indonesia is? Cause, if I remember correctly, there is a statistic saying the percentage of Indonesians joining ISIS is smaller than the west due to their largest Islamic association
Firstly, I would say that Indonesia is lucky in that it is far away from Syria and Iraq, so the logistics of getting to ISIS territory are complicated and expensive which may provide a deterrent. Beyond that, I do think that Indonesia has a problem with young Islamic radicals as well. The issue of radicalisation in the West is tied to a bunch of social issues as well: marginalisation of immigrant communities, social isolation etc. So there are other issues at play.