Victory over Terrorism is Key to Maintain Image of Islam as Religion of Peace: Former US Ambassador
Azerbaijan, Baku, 4 June / corr. Trend E. Tanriverdiyeva/ The victory over terrorism, especially over Al-Qaeda in Iraq, is important not for the United States, but for Muslims themselves in order maintain the image of Islam as a religion of peace, David Mack, the former US ambassador to Libya said. "Only Muslim governments and societies can succeed in this absolutely essential battle for the reputation and soul of Islam as a religion based on peace as well as on submission to the will of God," the Vice President of the Near East Institute (US) and ambassador Mack said to Trend via an electronic mail on 4 June.
The former coordinator of White House on counter- terrorism Richard Clerk stated that ideological war against Al-Qaeda should be launched after forces are withdrawn from Iraq, which will enable to win over the terrorists without using military force, the Turkish news agency TimeTurk reported on 1 June.
"Al-Qaeda never was very strong in Iraq, and it is clear that it attracted support from many Iraqis primarily because of their opposition to the US occupation and to the government which resulted from the US supervised elections of January 2005," Mack said.
"That government was under the domination of Shia religious parties and Kurdish parties. Once it became clear that US military forces were willing to cooperate in a tactical way with the Sunni militia groups associated with the reaction in their communities against the foreign fighters identified with Al-Qaeda, the psychological and public relations success of Al-Qaeda in the Muslim world was greatly reduced," the expert said.
According to Mack, the so-called "Al-Qaeda in Iraq" was widely criticized for killing fellow Muslims, just as it had been true when followers of Al-Qaeda did so in Saudi Arabia. "Provided that US troops withdraw in coming years in an orderly manner, I believe that the popularity of Al-Qaeda among Muslims will be greatly reduced," he said.
"The United States cannot be successful in "ideological war" against Islamic terrorist groups. The Americans best qualified to assist Muslim governments and societies in this battle are the millions of Muslim Americans who have flourished here in a country that respects their rights of worship and development in a free society," he said.
Al-Qaeda, an international terrorist organization, was established in Afghanistan in mid 1980 with the US support to fight against the soviet forces. After soviet forces withdrew from Afghanistan, Al-Qaeda began to fight back with United States, west countries and their supporters in Islam countries. The organization aims to overthrow secular regimes in Islam countries and to establish Great Islamic Caliphate. Al-Qaeda was announced the terrorist organization number one after explosions in the US Embassies in capital cities of Kenya and Tanzania in 1998.
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