A Message to President Obama
from a Former Muslim
We met for the first time here in New York exactly a year ago to join together to halt the advance of the terror group ISIS. Over 60 states have joined the alliance. The Arab states of the region in particular have taken on a leading role and made it clear that this is first and foremost their fight against those who are misusing their religion to justify terrorism and oppression.
There has been real progress in some areas: Peshmerga forces have retaken large parts of northern Iraq, in part thanks to German support. The attack on Kobani was stopped. Now ISIS can export practically no oil. The air attacks have greatly restricted the ISIS forces’ freedom of movement.
It is also true, however, that ISIS is far from defeated. But it was clear to us from the outset that we were in for the long run in this struggle. The breeding ground for the cancer that is ISIS grew up over many years as a result of failing states, ethnic-religious conflicts and anarchy, and cannot be removed overnight.
The priority now is to win back the confidence and support of the people in those areas that have been retaken from ISIS. This means restoring not only public security but also water supplies, hospitals and schools as quickly as possible. That is why we, along with the United Arab Emirates, set up the Stabilisation Working Group. Germany alone has made available over 20 million euros for this. However, long-term success against ISIS demands above all a political perspective for establishing peaceful coexistence in future.