A Baghdad Bombing by the Islamic State features thirty-eight-year-old Abu Jassim, an Iraqi interviewed in 2017 in Baghdad prison by Anne Speckhard and Ardian Shajkovci and edited by our ICSVE video editors. It highlights how ISIS, and groups like ISIS, are proclaiming over the Internet and through face-to-face recruitment that violence and terrorist attacks can bring rights to Sunni Iraqis.
As the father of six children, Abu Jassim became convinced that ISIS could restore Sunni dominance in Iraq and agreed to serve the group. They called upon him to drive two suicide bombers into central Baghdad where they exploded themselves after he had driven away. Abu Jassim did not think much at the time about the acts he was involving himself in, but now that he is in prison serving a life sentence he has had time to reflect.
Now, Abu Jassim regrets his actions and wishes he had not left his wife and children without their father. He begs her forgiveness. He also fears that Allah may never forgive him, although he prays daily for forgiveness. He fears that he may be ultimately cast into hell.
Abu Jassim advises his own children, as well as other Iraqi and international youth, to avoid networks of hate that are active on the social media platforms of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Telegram. He also advises them to avoid “bad friends” and those that would bring trouble into their lives.
We learn in Abu Jassim’s story how experiencing real, or perceived, sectarian oppression can drive a person into violence if a terrorist group is active spreading promises of hope and offering the opportunity to take action. Abu Jassim says he did it partly for money, but more out of religious beliefs that were manipulated by the group. Now with time to reflect, he admits that the Islam of ISIS is not what it should be and that killing innocents is not part of his religion. He also states that he joined the group partly out of the overwhelming pressures he was feeling in his life. His words underline the importance of government’s responsibility to not let ethnic or sectarian segregation and oppression spread in the country and for religious leaders to counter religious claims of “martyrdom”, jihad, and so on that manipulate some into participating in terrorist violence thinking it is a legitimate way to struggle for political rights.
The next wave – How to beat future pandemics
A new report by UNEP and The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) considers the root causes of the emergence and spread of COVID-19 and other zoonoses. Zoonoses are diseases that originate in animals and are transferred to humans.
The report offers a set of practical recommendations that can help policymakers prevent and respond to future disease outbreaks. Read related report here
Regional Development in Sri Lanka : Hambantota Your next investment location
HAMBANTOTA district located 240 km south east of Colombo consists of 2,622 sq. km land area representing six per cent of the country’s land mass. The district with economic growth of five per cent sustained by vibrant private sector activity has been strategic trading location between the Middle East and Far East. It was ideal strategic location for development In 2005 the new visionary plan of H.E Mahinda Rajapaksa improved infrastructure facilities of the southern district. This required development of infrastructure facilities such as ports, expressways, water supply . The Hambantota port had the potential to become a important transshipment hub in the region . The southern expressway was extended upto Hambantota. In addition a rail link was extended up to Beliatta. The new port district received a new sports and convention centre. Under the Uma Oya Project water was diverted to the district . Today Hambantota offers one of the most business friendly environments in Sri Lanka
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