TEHRAN (Tasnim) – An American political analyst is of the opinion that the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group launched the Paris attacks on November 13 in the hope of creating division between Muslims and Western Christians.
“While it is certainly true that such attacks contribute to the growth of Islamophobia, the ambition of the terrorists is to create division and polarization between Muslims and non-Muslims, with the hope that this polarization will fuel the growth of radicalism among Muslims, and increase the degree sympathy for the Daesh among Muslim communities. While the growth of Islamophobia is certainly not in the interests of Muslims, the Daesh ironically benefit from the rise of Islamophobia because of its potential effect of driving young Muslims towards radicalism of the kind the Daesh represent,” Keith Preston, the chief editor and director of attackthesystem.com, told the Tasnim news agency in an interview.
The following is the full text of the interview.
Q: Why did France become a target of terrorist attacks?
A: The Daesh have claimed responsibility for the attacks in France on November 13. There are likely multiple reasons for these attacks. One of the most obvious is that France is one of the nations participating in the US-led international coalition against the Daesh in Syria, and France had recently carried out a series of air strikes against the Daesh.
The terrorist attacks were likely intended as retaliation for France’s participation in the war against the Islamic State (ISIL Takfiri group).
There are additional factors why the Daesh would have a great deal of hostility to France. There is a perception by many conservative Muslims that France is a nation that is hostile to Islam. One of these issues involves the perceived blasphemous images displayed in the Charlie Hebdo magazine, which as we know was a factor in a previous terrorist incident. Other issues include the French ban on the wearing of the burqa, the ban on the wearing of headscarves by public sector employees in France, and the banning of religious dress in French schools.
There is also the growing popularity in France of Marine Le Pen and the Frente Nacional, which regards the restriction of Muslim immigration to be one of its primary objectives. For these reasons and numerous others, the Daesh consider France to be an anti-Muslim nation.
Q: Who or what group is benefiting from these attacks?
A: The Daesh have as their stated purpose the creation of an Islamic caliphate that includes all Muslims throughout the world, and regard themselves as the true representatives of Islam. They consider themselves to be at war with the Western world, and regard this war as continuation of the wars with the Crusaders originating from Europe during the European Middle Ages. While it is certainly true that such attacks contribute to the growth of Islamophobia, the ambition of the terrorists is to create division and polarization between Muslims and non-Muslims, with the hope that this polarization will fuel the growth of radicalism among Muslims, and increase the degree sympathy for the Daesh among Muslim communities. While the growth of Islamophobia is certainly not in the interests of Muslims, the Daesh ironically benefit from the rise of Islamophobia because of its potential effect of driving young Muslims towards radicalism of the kind the Daesh represent. Therefore, the terrorism of groups such as the Daesh is helpful to their recruiting efforts even if it is quite harmful to Muslim communities generally.
Q: In the past week, two deadly incidents took place in Beirut and France, respectively. World did not get as much attention when it came to what happened in Beirut, whilst we do know that Daesh perpetrated both of these attacks. What is your take on this?
A: It is obviously true that the attack in Beirut received far less coverage in the mainstream media than the attack in Paris. The reason for this is that the international mainstream media is dominated by the Western media, and maintains a very strong Western bias. Therefore, terrorist attacks that are carried out in a Western nation are regarded as very profound incidents, while similar terrorist attacks in other parts of the world are regarded as incidents of less significance. There is also a very common Western perception that terrorist attacks are a routine activity in predominantly Islamic nations, and this has the effect of trivializing such incidents in the Western media.
Q: Do you believe there is a connection between the Paris attacks and the ongoing crisis in Syria?
A: Yes, the Paris attacks are an outgrowth of the rise of the Islamic State in the Levant and the escalation of the civil war in Syria. The West has engaged in a military response to the growth of the Daesh by forming a 60-nation multinational coalition against the Daesh. France is one of the participating nations in this coalition. Therefore, the Daesh are at war with France and many other nations and non-state actors simultaneously, including not only the multinational coalition led by the United States, of which France is a part, but also Russia, Iran, Hezbollah, and the forces that comprise the Resistance Block.
The Daesh represent an extremist insurgency not only in Syria specifically and the Levant generally, but an insurgency which also wishes to export its efforts into nations that the Daesh regards as their enemies.
The attacks in Paris and Beirut were carried out on the same day and for the same reasons. France is a nation that is part of the anti-Daesh Western-led military coalition. Likewise, France has provided Lebanon with $3 billion in military assistance as part of a Saudi-financed effort to fight Sunni extremists. Saudi Arabia has likewise provided Lebanon with $1 billion in military assistance towards this end. Iran has also promised military aid to Lebanon. Both Lebanese troops and Hezbollah fighters have been engaged in combat with the Daesh both inside and outside of Lebanon.