Wednesday, 24 January 2018 03:42 GMT

Stop equating Arab world with Daesh

(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) The world needs to stop "generalising" countries in the Arab world when it comes to Daesh as "you don't see terror groups walking down the streets of Dubai", the executive chairman of Wamda said during the announcement of the results of the Arab Youth Survey on Wednesday.

Fadi Ghandour's comments came following one of the results in the survey that said many young Arabs in the Middle East still view terror groups as one the biggest obstacles facing the region.

Ghandour, who was one of the panelists at the event, said Daesh does not target countries that have a strong government.

"I think this Daesh thing is overblown, with all due respect. I don't see Daesh overwhelming countries that have proper governments. Daesh drives in four failed states in the region - Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Libya. So, let's not generalise the rest of the Arab world on these failed states," Ghandour said.

"There are relatively successful states. There are challenges in the region. I don't see Daesh walking down the streets in Oman, in Downtown Beirut or definitely not here in Dubai. Let's put it in perspective - yes, we dislike it, its ideology, it's worrying - but it tells us that when states are protected well, it protects us from Daesh. When governments fail miserably, that's when we need to worry."

Property developer Emaar's chairman, Mohamed Alabbar, added to Ghandour's comments with his belief that unmonitored religious studies misguide youth to extremism rather than poor economies of countries.

He used developing countries with a large Muslim population such as India as an example. "India has 200 million Muslims and I don't know how many people from India are part of Daesh. Why? Yes, it has to do with economic opportunities, but I think it goes back to education and religious education," said Alabbar.

"Religious education is an influence based on who's teaching what subject. What's a big concern is spreading hatred and spreading the right or wrong message. So, please think about the 200 million Indian Muslims - why are they not participating in Daesh? The economic part has an effect, but look at people of the villages in Egypt. I do business in Egypt and we go to all of these little villages, but we don't have these people turning that way. Economic factors are an issue, but I really believe it's religious education that drives people in to that direction."


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