More than 70 pct worldwide think violent extremism is solvable, CSIS research reveals
by Merve Aydoğan
ISTANBULOct 21, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Merve Aydoğan
Oct 21, 2016 12:00 am
Turkish people indicated that terrorism is the number one challenge facing their country while corruption was top on the agenda for many including Egypt, India and Indonesia, and the economy was the top response from U.K. participants, followed, according to the U.S.-based think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) research. The research was made using 8,000 participants in eight countries including Turkey to investigate global perceptions of violent extremism.
According CSIS's overall findings, the regional instability throughout the Middle East peaked with the U.S. invasion of Iraq, which was subsequently followed by a series of events including the Arab Spring, a coup d'état in Egypt as well as the ongoing Syria crisis, eventually then leading to further radicalism and rise of various terror groups like Daesh and al-Nusra. As a result of flawed policies in the region, then came the rise of radicalism that led to global terrorism affecting the lives of people worldwide.
The "Countering Violent Extremism" survey, which was conducted over Aug. 12-29 through online methods by the global research consultancy National Research Group (NRG) for CSIS research throughout eight countries including China, Egypt, France, India, Indonesia, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States, saw participants being asked 65 questions about violent extremism, motivations and drivers as well as responses to the threat, and effective strategies to combat terrorism. Terrorism tops the list as a key issue according to the survey's findings in Turkey and France at a national level, while it is the second issue for the U.S. and India.
Except in China, nearly 75 percent of the participants stated that they expect a terrorist attack in the next year as in France, 60 percent think this is very likely and 45-50 percent in Turkey, Indonesia and the United States. Though the research findings revealed that "73 percent of respondents believe that the challenge of violent extremism is solvable," regardless of the rising widespread concerns of terror threats, 73 percent globally also feel that terror groups are likely to use weapons of mass destruction. Istanbul's main Atatürk Airport experienced a triple suicide bombing and gun attack in late June resulting in 45 people dead and more than 200 injured, which had many similari
ties with the deadly attacks carried out in Brussels in March. Despite such a recent terror attack by Daesh during last summer, only 37 percent of the survey participants from Turkey stated they fear going to airports.
As the West fails to make the differentiation between Islam and violent terrorism, which leads to rising Islamophobia and xenophobia, the survey also reveals that Western countries along with India and China as well feel that "radical Islamic fundamentalists are the primary driver of violent extremism." On the contrary, respondents from Muslim-majority countries including Turkey, Egypt and Indonesia stressed that violent extremism is primarily the work of "those who want to make Islam look bad." With the continuing Operation Euphrates Shield as well as the recently launched Mosul operation against region's terror groups, military and economic actions were primarily chosen as the most effective tactics to counter violent extremism. According to the survey, requiring all citizens and visitors to have ID cards as well as teaching why violent extremism is wrong throughout all schools is viewed as the most effective measure that respondents from Turkey indicated. Furthermore, 75 percent of survey participants think that social media platforms can be used effectively to amplify positive messages and 80 percent indicated that religious schools are an important part of the solution to radicalization.