By Majid Morceli
By Majid Morceli
San Francisco – Since the collapse of Syria, Moroccan security services have arrested several men who are recruiting fighters to join the ranks of various groups in Syria. They primarily recruited for Jabhat al-Nusra until the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), a terrorist group under the leadership Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Morocco has been a major recruitment source for ISIS. The Interior Ministry claims that 1,212 Moroccans are now fighting in Syria and Iraq. This number does not include Moroccans living in other countries who have joined ISIS.
The Moroccan government has also announced that they have dismantled several recruiting cells within the country. These recruits do not seem to be interested in carrying out jihad inside Morocco. After all, it seems that committing a terrorist act in Morocco would be much easier than traveling to an unfamiliar foreign country to commit their acts of terror. It turns out that ISIS’s mission is not based on convenience or opportunity, as is the case with Al Qaida.
We all remember the Argana Café bombing in Marrakesh, which left 17 people dead and 25 injured. A lone terrorist committed this heinous crime, and cowardly went into hiding. ISIS does not function is this manner: it wants everyone to know who they are and what their organization is about. By posting videos of their members beheading of Westerners, crucifying prisoners, and showing mass graves of Iraqi soldiers, they are sending a message not only to their enemies, but also to those who are seriously entertaining the thought of joining them, including many Moroccans.
ISIS’s fight is not based on some sort of vendetta, as was the case with Al Qaida, whose primary target is the Western world, particularly the United States. ISIS is based on an ancient ideology. Their members hold a belief that one Caliph should lead all the world’s Muslims. Its duty is to execute the laws of “real” Islamic sharia and convey the Islamic message to the rest of the world.
ISIS has a very different and far-reaching goal than Al Qaida. Its members and those who plan to join them believe it is more useful to fight for the organization’s ultimate goal, which is to turn every inch of this planet into Muslim territory under the command of a single Caliph. Fighting for other causes is a waste of valuable resources that ISIS cannot afford to lose if it hopes to maintain this so-called Caliphate.
In order for ISIS and its members to fulfill their dream of creating an Islamic Caliphate, they will eventually start sending these so-called Jihadists back to their home countries to carry out their jihad.
The question that begs itself, at least for us in Morocco, is: What are we doing to prevent this from taking place at home? We know that the Moroccan government toughened its anti-terror laws by adding penalties for those seeking to join extremist groups of up to 15 years in prison and a maximum fine of $58,000. Morocco has also reportedly asked Turkey to require an entry visa for any Moroccans intending to visit, and is also working with other countries, such as Spain, to share intelligence.
But would such measures deter those who plan to the join the ISIS? Can these terrorists ever be rehabilitated? If you ask any expert, the resounding answer is “no”. What should the Moroccan authorities do, besides the measures that have already been put into place?
The Moroccan government has claimed that over 200 Moroccans who fought with ISIS have been arrested upon their return home. This is a mistake. We should not let these people step foot back on Moroccan soil. We should implement a law that states the following: Join ISIS, you lose your Nationality. We should also tell these cowards who prey on innocent lives: if you chose to join ISIS, don’t bother coming back. We are choosing to never let you in, ever.
It simply does not make sense to re-admit a group of people whose goal in life is our destruction. As a matter of fact, all countries of the world should implement this law. It would be foolish to suspect that these terrorists have given up their dream. When we house and feed them, we are actually giving these barbaric monsters a place to gather and plan their next terrorist act.
It’s understandable that is not easy implement this law, but is allowing this evil back into the civilized world and giving it refuge the answer?
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy
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