Huge news has come out of the Middle East and North African region today as ISIS appears to be losing ground everywhere. They have been on the run for some time now as an international coalition of forces have been systematically defeating them at every turn. With thousands of jihadists being killed or surrendering, it was not long until a massive victory such as the one that was announced this morning took place. Raqqa, ISIS’ largest and first city they held, has been freed by Syrian Defense Forces (SDF) thus shutting down the capital of ISIS in the region.
As the news continues to stream in, it is a glorious and joyous day for many around the world who were anxiously waiting for ISIS to be defeated. Trump made it a campaign promise to deal with ISIS and he did in nine months what Obama could not do for five years. It is truly remarkable what can be accomplished if the right person is in charge and makes the right decisions.
The days leading up to the final assault on the ISIS stronghold were full of good news as well. As the special Kurdish forces in the SDF moved in on ISIS targets, they freed many slaves along the way. When they freed one woman, she kissed the ground of those who saved her and ripped her burka off in defiance to the strict Islamic laws. It is a happy day for the people who were forced to live under brutally Sharia conditions that violated numerous human rights.
However, as brutal and intolerable as ISIS was, they are not the only ones who enforce strict Sharia laws. They are unfortunately not that extreme in their ideologies because they encompass basic tenants of Islam that fully functioning states take part in as well. They kept women as property and systematically executed Christians, a trait that is not unique to their own government as Muslim countries have been carrying this on for centuries. As the days of ISIS being a force to be reckoned with on the ground are coming to an end, the fight against their brutal way of life is still underway.
Many Muslim majority countries in the world have similar principles to those applied in the Islamic State. Men are still in charge of women as a father is in ownership of his daughter until her husbands purchases her, thus ensuring that women are subservient to men. Infidels are also treated viciously in the eyes of Muslim courts as they are not even people in the eyes of Muslims, a pillar of Islam that is almost universal in Muslim majority countries. Although ISIS was a bit more ugly and hostile, it represents close to the same values that many Muslim governments represent as well.
Although many in the West took their chances and went to fight for ISIS in Syria and Iraq, many more undoubtedly made their way into Europe to both recruit and carry out the jihad as well. ISIS’ networks are vast and modern as finances and records show that their advanced way of jihad involved online recruiting, financing, and training to many across the globe. The fight against ISIS may be ending in the Middle East but their presence has spread globally and will prove difficult to end.
Despite their international presence and funding, this news is good news as their physical dominance over those in the region is coming to a close. Hopefully many in the region understand that even though they found ISIS extreme, all they did was follow the teachings of Islam strictly which might lead to a form of reformation within in Islam. Unfortunately, it seems that Islam is somehow not at fault for creating ISIS even though it was. The world needs to recognize what Islam looks like and seek to correct their mistakes when it comes to governing.
The city of Raqqa is a great victory for all of those in the region who lost their homes or loved ones to the Islamic State, as it signifies their reign of terror is coming to an end. With the SDF sweeping through the city to make sure there are no traps or sleeper cells and the United States looking to provide work for the utilities, it seems that the region will fall back into civil control. The remaining matter of whose in charge has still yet to be determined.