Peacebuilding through economic development – Countering the IS/ISIS Narrative

UK-US-Flag IS/ISIS and its ilk promise a better society for current and future generations through its narrative of change   under its Caliphate. Individuals at the sharp end are desperate for social change and will buy into whosoever promises a better future state for them and their family. President Obama and PM Cameron both talk about a generational struggle against extremism, yet we do little to empower the marginalised working poor to build a better future for themselves, their family and their community.

It is not only the West that is embroiled in a generational struggle against a poisonous brand of Islamic extremism, the front line in this struggle is in the East (in the Middle East, in Africa and in South Asia) where this poisonous narrative has taken deep roots.

The things we take for granted in developed economies; governance, regulations, access to institutions, resources both public and private to guide us and assist us, be it starting up small business or awareness of our rights. These privileges and safety nets are non-existent at the sharp end in conflict affected developing economies.  The citizens of these developing countries are not oblivious to the fact that it is the role of the state to provide such services and the state’s inability to do so has them seeking governmental and social transformation, individuals the world over chase the opportunity to build a better life/future for themselves, their family and community. People the world over want a life of prosperity, progress and peace not jihad, but the lack of a progressive transformation has given IS/ISIS an opportunity to exploit with a false hope of a better future under their Caliphate. 

What is required is for us to engage with the ‘at risk’ populous and course correct the social transformation that is already in motion. A small team with limited resources at Peace Through Prosperity has been engaged with marginalised individuals to empower them to build a better future for themselves, their family and communities; giving them the confidence of being the catalyst for transformation of their ecosystem. The team is achieving phenomenal results; the aim is to ensure IS/ISIS and its ilk have fewer and fewer individuals to radicalise both at home and abroad.

GoFundMe2 Peace Through Prosperity engages with marginalised and alienated individuals to ensure they have good reason to turn their backs on radicalisation and violent extremism, to condemn such acts rather than glorify them and their perpetrators. Just as IS is able to exploit moments when we let our guard down we avail the opportunities in the ecosystem to alienate IS/ISIS in its own environment from the indigenous population. It is peacebuilding through economic / enterprise development at the grass roots.

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Stopping an Un-Islamic State… an alternative approach 

unbent and unbroken Great Britain Friday the 26th 2015, 9th of Ramadhan, monsters we have come to know as IS struck across three countries – Tunisia, France and Kuwait – Britain could have been on the list (God Forbid) if not for our intelligence services or the lack of intelligence on IS member, Junaid Hussain’s part (Hallelujah for the lack of grey cells in his genetic makeup).
 
Whilst many were quick to blame the security and intelligence services in letting down their guards none so far have questioned the prevalent approach employed to counter the spread of extremism.

 

In Kuwait, a suicide bomber flew in from Saudi Arabia and carried out an attack on a mosque killing 27 people within hours of landing in Kuwait city (an impossible feat without an extensive local support network). In Tunisia, a lone gunman killed 38+ tourists at a seaside resort most of them Britons (once again not possible without an extensive local support network creating violent extremists out of  disenfranchised youth). In France, a Frenchman was beheaded by a Frenchman (an Algerian or Moroccan lone wolf radicalised either at home or in North Africa). The Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the attacks in Tunisia and Kuwait whilst the French terrorist’s affiliation is yet to be determined.
 
 
Each of these attacks demonstrated systemic planning and radicalisation of indigenous individuals Sousse PREVENT RADICALISATION ISIS ISLAMIC STATE by IS. It is time we seriously considered an alternative approach to ensure IS and its ilk have fewer and fewer individuals to radicalise both at home and abroad. It is time to win hearts and minds at the grassroots, to engage with marginalised and alienated individuals to ensure they have good reasons to turn their backs on radicalisation and violent extremism, to condemn such acts rather than glorify them and their perpetrators. Just as IS is able to exploit moments when we let our guard down we must exploit the opportunities before us to alienate IS in its own environment from the indigenous population.

 

We did not get peace in Northern Ireland because the terrorists wanted peace! we got peace because the indigenous population got sick of the cycle of violence which had no gain for either side in sight, the populous was convinced of the loose-loose outcome of the status quo. People the world over want a life of prosperity, progress and peace not jihad.

 

The only way to end this cycle of violence is for governments to invest on empowering the local indigenous population be it uneducated marginalised street merchants that may provide an extensive support infrastructure or disenfranchised graduates who are willing and able fodder for attacks on home soil and abroad. 
 
This is a common sense approach, IS is entrenched and playing the long game, they are building a state out of chaos and we too must play the long game if we are to ensure these monsters can never carve out a nation state from the chaos in the Levant and North Africa.
 
Generational-social-transformation Countering IS radicalisation at an individual level in Africa and Asia is less than the cost of a Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG), it costs US$470 over a 10 month period to transform an individual at risk of radicalisation in a marginalised neighbourhood both materially and psychologically, to take them from someone who may condone violent extremism as a means for social transformation to someone who condemns it and has other means to transform themselves, their family and community. It costs US$500 to purchase an RPG grenade and a shed load more for the RAF bombs Mr Cameron wants to drop on Syria and Iraq.
 
Whilst we invest in ever more sophisticated surveillance technologies and infringe even more individual rights to keep ourselves and our society safe why not invest in the ‘right’ programs at the other end too and see what results social transformation bear upon our security at home.
 
The results of a pilot project targeting 214 marginalised individuals from seven radicalised neighbourhoods in Karachi, Pakistan proves that the alternative approach works. Providing marginalised individuals the tools and skills to take charge of their future, become financially independent has a direct relationship with their view of the world as their enemy, their view of licit and illicit vehicles for social transformation. 
You can read all about it here and if you agree with this alternative approach perhaps you can poke your MP or Congressman/woman to wake up to the fact that security of our towns and cities begins abroad… with Agile designed and delivered programs that are low cost and deliver immediate and lasting impact on the individuals, their family and community. 
….….
The program referred to in the post above is run by Peace Through Prosperity a charity co-founded by the author to address violent extremism. You can learn more about the charity and its work here;
Peace Through Prosperity is a community funded organisation, do your part in helping them do theirs; you can donate here via Paypal or directly to their bank account;
Account name: Peace Through Prosperity
Bank: HSBC Plc
Sort-code: 40-15-05
Account #: 223-410-93
….….
 

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Gifts from Arabia – facts and biases

1280_Chess_World My recent post following yet another massacre of unarmed civilians belonging to a minority in Pakistan has drawn fire from a few folks in Middle Earth. 
Folks, our facts are informed by articles, based on research we rely on others to conduct because we do not have the time, resources or expertise to do so our selves, i.e. news papers and journals.
Though all news, views and editorials are biased the ones cited by me are likely to be less so than others (my main source is the Guardian not a Murdoch publication!), should you not agree with it then feel free to google and arrive at your own conclusion; my recommendation though is that you add the following publications to your list of must reads sources of news and views (links below are contextual to this post):
Let’s look at the facts, in a world of proxies the most well funded and dangerous ones emanate from Pakistan, brainwashed fodder from marginalised and uneducated communities that is used to oppress and slaughter minorities at home (destabilising the Pakistani state and making it possible for the patrons to nurture more of the same) and abroad to extend foreign policy matters that patron state(s) can not be seen to be involved in directly, essentially nurturing others to do their dirty work. Those of you who accuse me of bias, I ask you to follow a thread…ask a simple question; who is the single largest contributor/funder of schools (Madrassas) of hate and training camps for monsters in Pakistan? Don’t take my word for it, google it and draw your own conclusions.
 
No state is free of sin in the region or beyond, that is the nature of state craft; in context to this and the previous post; be it Saudi or Iran, whilst this exchange on g+ may read as a Brit and a Saudi having it off it is far from that.
 
The despots, tyrants, mullahs,  democratically elected self serving puppets and armed forces lead by generals of fortune have for too long kept the 99% divided, have pitched communities against communities, race against race so that they can maintain the status quo and continue their plunder, continue to take what rightfully belongs to the many and divvy it up amongst themselves and their cronies.
 
They play their games at the expense of the commoners – the 99%, the play is simple in Middle Earth, from Levant to Khorasan divide, rule and plunder; its about access to markets; routes for oil and gas pipelines; empire building. The choice however is ours, let them continue, side with them, be a silent witness or stand up and demand things change. It is in fact a moral duty to help the blinkered see how they are being used and abused, what it means to be a community and how theirs is being dismembered beyond recognition and driven into an abyss of sectarianism and hatred from which there will be no roads out for generations to come.
 
My rants will cause no harm and your defence of highly questionable policies of your government no benefit, what is needed is an awakening, one that can not be bought off by one of bonuses nor quashed by force. 
My own government is not free of blame either for those despots and tyrants are an extension of our self serving energy security policies too, the difference is, in my country (Great Britain) I can call a spade a spade without fear of consequences nor do I need to be seen to be defending the indefensible, whilst in Middle Earth the many can not critique without dire consequences. What comes of protestors in the Middle Earth from the Levant to Khorasan is well documented.
 
Make no mistake neither Iran nor Saudia will benefit from the fire that they are equally responsible for having started across the region nor will Turkey or others for fanning the flames, despite their delusions of grandeur they themselves are mere pawns in a greater game that has been at play in that region for 200+ years.
 
I have no solutions or silver bullets to share but I will keep calling a spade a spade be it a Saudi, Iranian or the self serving misguided adventures of my own government, and where it leads to oppression, persecution and genocide my voice will be louder still.

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The Children of Gaza – whose lives are seemingly worthless – نحن معكم أطفال غزة

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay was treading a fine line when he  said  there was a “strong possibility” that Israel was committing war crimes in Gaza, for the IDF can do no wrong.

Since 2000 the IDF has murdered a Palestinian child every 3 days,  that’s 5110 children murdered over 14 years. Our society is so broken that individuals can not be seen to reach out to help the Palestinians without coming under a barrage of fire from the media;  Mesut Özil had to deny donating money to ease the suffering of the children of Gaza, in private conversations many of us watch what we say for calling a monster a monster is politically incorrect. Today compassion for our fellow human beings should they belong to the wrong side can and does make us extremists, terrorist sympathisers or even terrorists.  

Our media has finally silenced our conscience, at a collective and individual level. David Ward, a Liberal Democrat MP, has been forced to apologise after suggesting that he might be ready to fire rockets into Israel if he lived in Gaza, he has been trolled and hounded on social media for highlighting the power of empathy and the role it plays in bringing peace or ensuring peace has little hope for generations to come.  

What is being allowed to happen in Gaza will feed the dark narrative for generations to come, it will ensure that there are many more Germaine Lindsay, Mohammad Sidique Khan and others who buy into the dark side for which empathy is the commodity of choice. And our lack of empathy, activism and action too will feed the dark narrative and help other monsters brainwash, recruit, train, create new monsters and continue the circle of violence.

Our silence, inaction and failure to call a spade a spade will haunt our future generations too, if it doesn’t then we would have failed to bring them up as compassionate human beings.

For the children of Gaza the reality is that their lives are worthless, none of the bastions of freedom, democracy and human rights care.

My own government which I am ashamed to say I voted for is quick to draw when it comes to an opportunity to take a shot at the Russian bear, or eager to arm Islamic extremists to further unintelligible designs in Syria but is toothless when it comes to the slaughter of children of Gaza at the hands of the IDF.

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Nationocide – ابادة الامة

Transformation Nationocide change radicalisation The fluid situation in Middle Earth is likely to make this post out of date by the time it gets posted, distributed and read.

Back in Jan 2013 I wrote a post on the state of minorities in Pakistan that are and remain at the sharp end of extremist violence that has plagued Middle Earth; from Syria to Indonesia. Since then time permitting I have been  researching the current state and my opinion has somewhat diverged, the violence has accelerated across the board be it intra or inter religion, the gulf between communities and the wider polarisation of communities has grown deeper roots and little points in the way of it receding or heading in the right trajectory. Unfortunately as has the level of desensitization of the 99% towards the 99%… accelerated that is… both in locale and here at home in Britain. Be it the Rohingyas, the Sunnis, Shias, Christians, Hindus or whatever other denomination being targeted or killed in mass, we have grown a very thick skin to facts that going back a decade would have had us out in the streets protesting.

Whilst in 2013 I was of the opinion that there was an active campaign that ought to be classified as the ‘Genocide of minorities’ in Pakistan, today I believe the issue is wider, its not just minorities being killed by bombs and hit squads it is pretty much every one! from Shia’s, Barelvis (who represent the majority of the Sunni population of Pakistan), Ahmedis, Deobandis to more hardliners from across the sectarian spectrum. It does not stop there, it goes beyond the confines of one religion and includes the indiscriminate attacks on Christians in Punjab and forced conversions of Hindus in Sindh. The violence is indiscriminate, it goes beyond genocide, it is a planned systemic dismemberment of communities that loosely make up what could be called a nation.

Delve further into it and you will see that the data reveals a darker plot… what can only be described as systemic social culling of talent and potential leadership of communities, from the assassination of moderate individuals of note on all sides to that of future potential community leaders. From religious seminaries to lawyers, doctors, teachers and entrepreneurs… selective social culling has reached epic proportions in Middle Earth.

This  is not confined to Pakistan, it is across Middle Earth (remember Hariri!). At the moment I do not have the resources to take a deep dive in to the data from Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Iran but similar violence plagues all of these societies, at times perpetrated by the state, at times sponsored by the state or instruments of the state and more often than not sponsored by external agents of unwelcome change.

The outcome of nationocide is in front of us in Iraq, I am sure this was not the desired end result for any or all sides behind the sponsorship of the various parties from across the sectarian, religious and tribal spectrum in Iraq, the outcome; an ISIS lead state can not benefit any group regional or otherwise. The current state in Iraq has reached an irreversible point, and the inevitable dismemberment of the country will only trigger the next stage in the calamity that Middle Earth is heading towards and its repercussions will go beyond the region.

Arming and training proxies after proxies is not the answer, I don’t know what is… but common sense or just sense seems to in short supply from Washington to Islamabad, Ankara, Baghdad, Brussels, Cairo, Damascus, Doha, London, Riyadh and Tehran included.

The Saint of Transformation is needed to perform an ordained miracle here! the job’s too big for Batman!

#againstnationocide #nationocide #genocide #HRW #Amnesty #ForeignpolicyFail #Fail إبادة الامة#

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