The terrorist attacks in Belgium have sent a wave of anger an outrage across the whole Middle East. Those attacks were condemned by both the Iraqi and Iranian presidents, the King of Saudi Arabia, the Foreign Ministers of Qatar, Algeria, Syria, Egypt, Algeria and other states.
“The blow to the heart of Europe”, “cowardly bombings in Europe” – such headlines covered the front pages of all of the local media sources in the region. The journalists underlined that such irrational hatred and violence affects the lives of common civilians regardless of their nationality.
The brutal massacre the responsibility for which was claimed by ISIS is putting the Arab and Muslim communities throughout Europe in peril, notes a number of Arab journalists. Countless Muslims have become hostages of such attacks, since they are going to be subjected to bigotry and hatred by the rapidly growing Islamophobic crowd in Europe.
A handful of closely related criminals and terrorists, says the Arab expert and journalist Rami Khouri, are going to operate more and more autonomously, which will make it a challenging task for the law enforcement forces to track them down and capture. Those felons see that their ISIS and Al-Qaeda leaders are being tracked and neutralized which forces them to scatter into small and virtually unrelated groups.
The Middle Eastern media circles seem to agree that ISIS is an internal phenomenon that was able to expand and gain influence due to the support of various external forces – both regional and global.
According to the Lebanese publicist Ragda Derham the foundation of ISIS was laid in Afghanistan due to the actions of the US, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. The “Jihad” was a political product of the CIA that was used against the Soviet Union in a bid to undermine it.
Then, once the USSR collapsed, the jihadists were completely abandoned by their former masters. They were to emerge once again on September 11, 2001 in the United States. Then, once the US invaded Iraq, they found a way to put their skills to “good use” in this oppressed state by joining the ranks of the newly born organization – ISIS.
The outbreak of terror in Belgium is being associated by a number of Middle East media sources with the wars in Syria and Iraq. According to the Lebanese Centre for Research and Consulting, once the scope of ISIS operations in the above mentioned countries narrowed, especially after the introduction of the truce in Syria, the terrorists decided to turn their attention to Europe.
The Tunisian newspaper “La Presse” is urging all the players involved in the region to announce the global war on terrorism. According to this media source, the existing double standards are only playing into the hands of terrorists. Western players have been supporting terrorists in Syria for a long while by providing them with weapons, resources and logistical support. But their former servants are now pursuing an agenda of their own, underlines the Tunisian newspaper.
Some commentators in the Middle East expressed thier hope that the terrorist attacks in Belgium would push politicians into uniting the international community in the fight against this evil.
According to the Iraqi journalist al-Abudi, Russia has been the only great power that has been declaring all along that there’s no good or bad terrorists. This position may serve a good example for other states.
Yuri Zinin, Leading Research Fellow at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.