You are here

Need to be realistic about Daesh

Apr 19,2015 - Last updated at Apr 19,2015

In a recent paper, “The ISIS [Daesh] Twitter census: Defining and describing the population of ISIS supporters on Twitter”, J.M. Berger and Jonathon Morgan analysed several essential issues regarding support for Daesh on Twitter, including where such users appear to be based.

Questions have been raised about support for Daesh on social networks. Attention should be given to whether supporters are geographically present in areas under Daesh control, such as Syria and Iraq, or whether they are spread across the region and the world, living amongst us and using technology to make it appear they are in Syria and Iraq.

This recent paper found evidence that the latter is the case, as “location-enabled users entered both time zones and locations that did not match their actual locations”.

Furthermore, according to the study, many users misrepresented their claimed location, which did not match with the location provided by GPS.

Another important factor that cannot be dismissed is that Arabic is the dominant language of Daesh supporters, rather than English and French.

One needs to be realistic about where Daesh supporters actually live. Jordan may have Daesh supporters; actually, there have been several reports that a reasonable number of Jordanians supports Daesh.

This then raises the question of whether we are in a military battle with Daesh or it is a deep cultural war.

While security measures may address the threats posed by this terrorist group, there is need of a strategy to deal with the issue.

The domination of a radical religious culture over many aspects of Jordanian life is one of the major challenges we must courageously face.

The political exploitation of religion, which hinders progress, is crippling our society and forms the biggest risk to our future.

One would be misguided to consider a religious reform process or even a cultural reform. What we need today is the political will to take serious steps to address the culture of hate and death.

We need legislative and regulatory changes that can impose the cultural changes our society needs.

Laws whose roots are based in radicalism and give privileges and protection to those who spread it in our society must be removed.

We must take important and difficult steps, including granting permission for the continuous building of new mosques, and identify what our cities actually need, such as libraries (to be run by the Ministry of Culture), playgrounds (to be run by a council of youth), for the betterment of the community, and theatres and other houses of culture (to be run by NGOs and the Ministry of Culture).

We must face radical thought in our society and face it now.

We need to use tools of enlightenment because it is a battle for our future.

Change will not be easy, but we must begin the process today, with serious and considered steps for concrete progression.


[email protected]

53 users have voted.


Get top stories and blog posts emailed to you each day.