Against the backdrop of the attack perpetrated by ISIS on May 26, 2017 in Egypt's Minya Governorate, in which about 30 Copts were killed, Jihad Al-Mansi, parliamentary affairs editor and columnist for the Jordanian daily Al-Ghad, decried the helplessness of Arab society in the face of the extremism spreading within it. Arguing that it is not enough to condemn terror instead of taking tangible measures to eradicate it, he urged the Arabs to stop being silent in the face of those who spread the culture of terror and hatred for the other, and to act against all elements that express sympathy for ISIS.
The following are translated excerpts from his article:
Jihad Al-Mansi (image: almayadeen.net)
"It is not enough to continue condemning the systematic murder perpetrated by the benighted extremist organizations in Egypt, such as the killing of the peaceful Copts and their children one day before the start of the month of Ramadan. It is not enough to keep silent about what those same Salafi terror organizations are doing in Syria and Iraq, in Manchester, Britain, and in other places. It is not enough to say that they do not represent Islam if not a single real step is being taken to confront the dimensions of the dereliction that is increasing and spreading before our eyes every day, [and] if we are not halting the hijacking of Islam by representatives of that same [extremist] group, as we allow them to wish [that Allah would bring] doom and disaster upon the Shi'ites, the Christians, and others.
"It's time to stop turning a blind eye to the deeds of those same murderers who aspire to instigate ethnic strife in Egypt, like the sectarian war that they instigated in Iraq and in Syria. It's also time to stop turning a blind eye to the extremist schools of thought whose existence everyone knows about as well as the fact that they shape the murderers' perceptions. Enough of focusing only on the crime and not on its causes and those who incite to it! In the same way, it is not enough to publish statements of condemnation without taking active steps to stop the propagation of those murderers, to uproot their incitement and nip it in the bud and reach those who finance and recruit these benighted people and spread them around the world to murder and sow division to their hearts' content.
"We must not continue burying our heads in the sand and believing the words uttered by certain countries, when we all know, secretly or openly, that they support extremist ideas, and know for certain that they sponsor the schools of thought that brought these murderers out of their holes and planted in their heads [the idea] that the Christian, the Copt, the Shi'ite, the 'Alawi, and anyone who disagrees with their opinions and ideas, even if he is a Sunni Muslim, should be killed.
"Everyone knows that there are still among us fundamentalist Salafi schools – upon which millions of dollars were lavished – that accuse everyone who disagrees with them of heresy, and yet we still insist on making do with declarations of condemnation, while refraining from calling a spade a spade. Let us say to these people: You support terror and extremism, you cultivate murderers and make their lives easier by means of those same fundamentalist schools of thought from which they draw their world view and their ideas, and which have no place in a modern world that strives for peace and stability.
"In this great homeland that stretches between the ocean and the gulf, we've had enough distortion of the facts, enough of keeping silent. Let us declare to these murderers and to those who stand behind them: Stop your sectarian and social incitement, stop the bloodshed [caused by] supporting extremism, stop thinking that it is permissible for a man to kill [another] man, stop taking women prisoner and robbing them of their rights, stop killing children, and stop destroying our Arab countries.
"We do not want to settle for the statement that they are distorting the religion [of Islam] and nothing more, [although] they are indeed doing that. We long for clear positions, an accurate [moral] compass, and the presentation of the true picture of Islam – the religion that we all know and not the religion of those who would like to set us back hundreds of years. Those are the people who perceive a woman [as an object] for their pleasure and no more than that, and a Christian as a target for their lust for murder. We have had enough of silence. Let us search the books studied by all circles to find those who wish to sow [within us] the seeds of division. Let us review our television [channels and] examine them one by one to learn which among them sow seeds of hatred and extremism. Let us remember that some time ago a preacher said that '99% of his brothers (and not our brothers) in ISIS are faithful Muslim believers' [the preacher referred to is 'Adnan Al-'Ar'our, a Syrian living in Saudi Arabia, who said this in an interview with a Syrian opposition TV channel in January, 2014]. People like these are still allowed to be present in the Arab milieu, via various TV channels [that provide them with a] platform from which they address young Arabs and spread their ideas, vision, and world view. And then we say that we want to fight terrorism and ISIS.
"It is impossible to fight terrorism and extremism so long as there is even one person who is allowed to disseminate his poisons and his extremist ideas in the Arab region and is granted the right to influence our sons and daughters and to recruit them in the guise of religion and of defending the religion [of Islam]."
 Al-Ghad (Jordan), May 29, 2017.