Daesh Making, Daesh-ism, and Daesh-phobia in Iran’s Peripheral Regions

Friday, October 2, 2015

Behzad Khoshandam
Ph.D. in International Relations & Expert on International Issues

Daesh-making and Daesh-ism as a way of thinking represent an extremist way of thinking, which has a desecuritizing effect and whose ensuing risks pose growing threats to international and regional security day after day. The effects of this way of thinking have influenced remarkable structures, actors, players, governance spheres, as well as political, racial and identity frontiers in international arena.

By the middle of 2015, this way of thinking is having serious impact on a vast geographical expanse from North Africa, and Middle East to South Asia, Central Asia and Caucasus, and is the foremost threat posed to these security complexes, and even geopolitical domain of the West, where it effects become more serious. The refugee crisis in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and Europe is one of the serious consequences of the rise and expression of this way of thinking as well as military and nonmilitary measures taken by Daesh and those supporting it. Daesh-ist way of thinking and special strategic, tactical and operational practices of Daesh group stand at loggerheads with Iran’s strategic interests and the covert sense of belonging in the country’s foreign policy and diplomacy.

The Daesh-ist way of thinking is neither an eastern phenomenon, nor a western phenomenon, but represents an old ideology wrapped in a new appearance. One of the main reasons behind the rise of Daesh was the existence of a politico-ideological suppressive system in Arab and non-Arab countries around Iran. On the other hand, for many long years, the United States and Europe have directly or indirectly helped the rise of such extremist groups by lending their support to political regimes in these countries and refraining from serious criticism of such closed political structures. Under its new and emerging conditions, this ideology has provided grounds for separatist, secessionist, racist, and anti-identity developments, leading to profound geopolitical and strategic changes.

As put by famous Middle East researcher, Graham Fuller, the emergence of Daesh in this region was the result of military policies and a turn toward terrorism of secessionist identities in the region by transregional actors, including the United States. Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has already explained in her book, Hard Choices, about the effective role played by the United States in the emergence of Daesh group.

Therefore, the Western-led coalition against Daesh group is just a temporary remedy of dealing with an age-old problem in peripheral regions of Iran. Daesh is an effect of developments that have taken place in regional and international relations during the past decades, not their cause. The militant, extremist and threat-creating reading of Islam by Daesh is at odds with realistic, pacifist and moderate reading of Islam by Iran. The “World Against Violence and Extremism (WAVE)” initiative offered by Iran’s President Dr. Hassan Rouhani during the United Nations General Assembly meeting in 2013, is a realistic plan based on international realities and literature, and is one of the messages for the correct implementation of the laws of Islam by Iran, which can draw serious international attention to fighting against Daesh and all other forms of future extremism.

Iran’s foreign policy and national interests have spent a lot of energy on fighting extremist ideologies during past century. Czarism, Marxism, Leninism, Stalinism, Nazism, extremist Arabism, materialism, Baathism, Talibanism, Turanism, pan-Kurdism, Nasserism, Pashtunism, pan-Slavism, and Zionism were just examples of these extremist ideologies, which have seriously victimized Iran’s national interests during the past century. During past century’s developments, the abovementioned ideologies have had a strong effect on Iran’s moderate, midway, and humanitarian approach to national, regional and international management. Lack of political renovation, weakness of nation-state building process, failure of governments and absence of social, racial and identity integration in peripheral regions of Iran have continuously led to reproduction of these extremist ideologies in the periphery of Iran during the past century.

Under present circumstances, both Daesh-making and Daesh-ist way of thinking in peripheral regions of Iran represent a phenomenon guided by Iranophobic transregional structures and actors and warmongering circles. However, basic costs of fighting Daesh-making and Daesh-ist efforts are being paid by such important regional actors as Iran and its strategic allies in the region. In terms of international and regional realities, the soft and smart Iranophile and Daesh-ophobic way of thinking in recent developments in peripheral regions and spheres of Iran’s influence has been on the rise.

Civilizational and civil background of Iran as well as the country’s experiences and strategic influence for containment of extremism, violence and warmongering can be considered a remarkable international relative advantage in the face of the Daesh-making and Daesh-ist way of thinking. Focusing on a military coalition, proxy wars or pressure on some actors in MENA region, does not provide a long-term, profound and lasting solution for dealing with the Daesh-ist way of thinking. The best solution to fight Daesh should be sought in indigenous structures in MENA and through focus on regional ideas, norms, values and means as well as lasting, trustworthy, and experienced international allies like Iran. This is true because Iran is capable of being a trustworthy and secure ally for the Western front in confrontation and dealing with such extremist currents in future scene of Syria and Iraq and other critical regions, and it is not like some regional states, which are, on the one hand, member of Western security mechanisms, while on the other hand and behind the scenes and covertly, provide such currents with substantial support across the world either through religious and official teachings in their countries, or through unofficial financial and human aid.

Key Words: Daesh Making, Daesh-ism, Daesh-Phobia, Iran, MENA Region Czarism, Marxism, Leninism, Stalinism, Nazism, Extremist Arabism, Materialism, Baathism, Talibanism, Turanism, Pan-Kurdism, Nasserism, Pashtunism, Pan-Slavism, Zionism, Western Front, Best Solution, Khoshandam

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*Photo Credit: Wikipedia