The Rojava Report

News from the Revolution in Rojava and Wider Kurdistan

ISIS And The West



The following article – “IŞİD ve Batı” – was written by Metin Yeğin and appeared in Özgür Gündem. It has been translated into English below.

The West’s share of responsibility in the emergence of ISIS is not only in the occupation of Iraq and its operations in Syria. There are many foreigners in ISIS and the fact that an important segment have come from the West requires a different analysis. In particular, the increasing lack of social and community security in the West as a result of post-industrial and neo-liberal policies have had their biggest effect on immigrants. Immigrants have often been first to have their unemployment aid and social welfare benefits cut. In parallel with this immigrants, and in particular Muslims, have also been made the primary target of social exclusion and mass hatred. [These states] have been cutting off the support given to the Afghans, Pakistanis, Bosnians, Caucasians, Algerians, Moroccans, Egyptians, Palestinians, Arabs, Turks, Kurds and all the others who left their countries and now fill the back streets of the West!

And now because they are unable to find work or to find housing with their reduced social benefits, and because their working conditions have grown worse and their wages have fallen they have become just like those ‘immigrants’ to which these powers are always gesturing. Once more the Muslims – ‘potential terrorists’ who might fill the empty slot slated for the enemy following the breakup of the Soviet Union – have drawn the most attention in these ghettos, which were once poor but solidarist neighborhoods for different subcultures but which have been transformed into criminalized ghetto spaces with the implementation of neoliberal urbanization policies. As a result of this the ‘ameliorization’ efforts of the ‘welfare’ state and the aid the of social state have been replaced with a policy of ‘punishment.’

This is to say that now these ‘districts of misery’ that were born together with the trimming back of social rights have been subjected to the ‘prison regime.’ In such a way these places have become ghettoized spaces created by overlapping spatial dimensions of race, class and state intervention. Those who joined ISIS and carried out those executions with their perfect English are without a doubt children of this discrimination. And what is more the intelligence agencies which are aware of their departures –  however true this might be –  are pleased by their remigration.  Everything else aside the dangerous elements of the criminalized ghettos of the prison regime are leaving the country.

My writing about the subject of the ISIS war economy last week and social exclusion within ghettos in West today is not simply an academic analysis, nor is it at all meant to argue that we must “take into consideration the conditions under which ISIS has emerged.” I want to stress the results created by overlapping spatial dimensions of the war economy, ethnicity, class and the state. Because the same spatial dimensions can be found in Istanbul, Izmir and everywhere else. And this certainly applies to Amed (Diyarbakir) as well and therefore the results are the same. And the police bill that they are attempting to pass into law is also another part of this prison regime. And so in Rojava, the world’s point zero, where on one side of the ongoing war we have an economy of murder, and on the other a right to housing, a four-hour workday, a woman’s republic, that is to say a resistance whose magical potion is Equality and Freedom…

For this reason all those who say “communities, cooperatives, and collectives are beautiful but not possible now” – and who are generally out standing on top of jeeps and watching Kobanê from Suruç through binoculars – are ‘patriotic’ contractors and however big and expensive their binoculars they won’t be able to understand that Rojava is a revolution which aims to bring down the overlapping spatial dimensions of race, class and state intervention.

2 comments on “ISIS And The West

  1. kimball
    October 31, 2014

    There are a lot of elegant words here and “pretended” anger, I am surprised really, you blame “the West” for secterian wars in the Islamic World??

  2. Katie
    May 25, 2015

    I’d like to point out that according to recent UK government figures, my country has spent £118 billion on supporting non-EU migrants, mostly Muslims, & in addition, despite the austerity cuts forced on the entire population, ring-fenced its foreign aid budget. We also send additional aid on an emergency basis, e.g. to Nepal.

    And far from the UK adherents of Da’esh being discriminated against, many of them were housed, fed, clothed, kept healthy, and educated at public expense, just like their indigenous counterparts. Others have come from wealthy families, and were educated at important schools and universities. It was a British-trained doctor who blew up a Scottish airport. And many Muslims, because of their beliefs, not because of anything Britain has done, refuse to live with anyone who doesn’t comply with Islam. Their grievance is only that Britain is not yet an Islamic State.

    Please don’t make lazy generalisations. They do not contribute to international understanding. Many of us in the UK sent money and campaigned for Kobane, and admire the Rojava canton structure. We ourselves are trying to develop sustainable agriculture and consumption patterns, but it’s hard when we take 300,000 immigrants a year, all of whom have equal rights in law to the benefits indigenous people have worked hard for. If Brits can recognise that not all Muslims think the same way, then you should be able to acknowledge that that’s true for others, too.

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This entry was posted on October 30, 2014 by in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , .

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