State weakness leading to violent extremism, Kalin says

Violent extremism is the result of failed states and weak governments, says Turkish President's spokesman, adding that the anti-Muslim backlash after every terrorist attack gives a boost to extremist groups.

Photo by: AA (Archive)
Photo by: AA (Archive)

Presidential spokesperson İbrahim Kalın at a press conference on Nov. 4, 2015.

Updated Apr 29, 2016

Failed states and weak governments are the key reasons for the spread of violent extremism, said the Turkish Presidency's spokesman said in an article published online by Al-Sharq Forum, an organisation which promotes discussion of issues affecting the Middle East.

Ibrahim Kalin, who is also an associate professor of philosophy, said that there a multiple reasons for the rise in terrorism but weak governments are the key factor, adding that the anti-Muslim backlash after every terrorist attack helps the agenda of terrorist groups like DAESH.

Giving the example of the Syrian Civil War, which is in its fifth year and has claimed at least 400,000 lives, Kalin said as long as the conflict continues it will allow DAESH to grow stronger.

"As long as the Assad regime remains in power and its supporters continue to pulverise Syria to their advantage, DAESH and similar groups will find chaos and destruction as suitable tools to spread their violent extremism," he said in the article, entitled Violent Extremism: How to Fight the Monster without Becoming One.

The article was first presented by Kalin during a conference named "Rethinking Violent Extremism in the MENA Region" which was organised by the Al-Sharq Forum in Istanbul between April 9-10

"The DAESH terrorists and others are using the Syrian war to spread their extremist ideology and recruit new members," he said.

"The war in Syria has become a useful tool now for any group and state that wants to impose its policy on the Levant region."

Underlining that the current strategy - largely based around air strikes - against terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq has failed, Ibrahim Kalin said a new strategy is needed against DAESH and similar groups.

However, he said DAESH is only a symptom of larger problems which are the failure of the international system, a sense of despair and nihilism, political and economic injustice, and the uneasy relationship between tradition and modernity.

Kalin said the current system of political and economic relations force people to the margins and to the extremes.

He said methods intended to stop violent extremism can be varied, but intelligence sharing among the states is the key factor preventing future incidents.

Wadah Khanfar, president of Al Sharq Forum, said in another article also published on that DAESH and the whole phenomenon of violent extremism is the result of the many contradictions in the Middle East "..created by geopolitics and the influence of foreign powers."