I strongly believe that the majority of the women and men in the Arab World are against ISIS.
How can they support ISIS when they learn that this barbaric group of thugs are kidnapping women, enslaving them, raping them, and then selling them?
How can they support ISIS when these bloodthirsty savages kill and cut the throats of innocent individuals?
How can they support these criminals when they know that their young daughters are preys for these monsters?
The more the women and the moderate men of the Arab world learn about ISIS the more they become against them. However, I also strongly believe that the silent majority of the Arab world is terrorized by ISIS and is afraid to voice its opposition, particularly those individuals who live in or alongside the territories that ISIS occupies. ISIS has been brutal in dealing with opposition. It is clear that ISIS has given ultimatums to the minority populations, either to convert to Islam or die, and it is also clear that they have given ultimatums to the Muslim populations to obey or else.
I think defeating ISIS is an absolute necessity. It is a noble cause. To do that several strategic approaches are needed, some are short term and others are long term. Even though the short-term strategies are needed immediately and might produce some of the intended results, the long-term strategies are equally important to sustain the intended results. These strategic approaches should include:
The governments of the US and other European countries as well as moderate Middle Eastern, African, and Asian governments should not militarily, politically, or developmentally support those governments that deny or abuse the basic human rights of their peoples including minorities. Women and girls in particular must be protected. If they are not protected, that would be the first indication that those countries are fertile ground for extremist groups to flourish. When curriculums do not teach tolerance and respect for religious minorities and for women, an enabling environment for extremists is created.
Short-term strategies to ending and dismantling ISIS are absolutely needed now, and long-term strategies to prevent extremism are equally and absolutely needed.
The long-term strategies should focus on the coalition of cooperating countries to base their diplomatic and developmental support on agreements that governments of countries where these extremists exist have to ensure on one hand that their educational systems erase from their curriculum hatred for the other, and embrace the concepts of tolerance and respect for diversity; and on the other hand that women are empowered within the educational system as well as within the labor force, and that their path to leadership within the public and private sectors is facilitated.
ISIS, and extremists groups like ISIS, will begin to shrink only when the moderate majority within Arab and Muslim countries is empowered, and only when this moderate majority is backed internally and externally. Peace can be reached with such strategies.