Turkey has a serious problem with its international image. An increasing number of people around the world see the country as a breeding ground and facilitator of Islamic terrorism. They also see it as a violent place where visitors have to be ready for all eventualities. The notion that Turkish officials aided radical Islamists in Syria in one way or another has stuck and refuses to go away.
As hundreds of millions of young Arabs watch the world around them, they see the Saudis ordering a thousand lashes and ten years in prison for a blogger who encouraged online debate about religious and political issues... They see a mass murderer running what little is left of Syria, using barrel bombs and chemical weapons against his own people. And what are the Western powers doing? Next to nothing.
We have a problem—not a problem from hell, but one that claims to come from heaven. That problem is sometimes called radical, or fundamentalist, Islam, and the self-styled Islamic State is just its latest iteration. But no one really understands it. In the summer of 2014, Major General Michael Nagata, the commander of U.S. special operations forces in the Middle East, admitted as much when talking about the Islamic State, or ISIS. “We do not understand the movement,” he said. “And until we do, we are not going to defeat it.”
U.N.: A military defeat of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq could scatter extremists around the globe. Would the world be a safer place if the United States and its allies were to defeat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria? Not necessarily, according to a senior U.N. counterterrorism official. Extremist fighters have proven remarkably adept over the past three decades at transforming themselves at the close of battles.
Pope Francis called upon the world to help defend and stop violence against Christians.
The “soft power” of religious opinion makers is an important factor. In fact, some have argued as Amb. Charles Freeman (USFS, ret.) has that “only a coalition with a strong Muslim identity can hope to contain” the terrorists.
Music- and art-based outreach programs have been successful in combating extremism in cities like Minneapolis, but they're facing a roadblock. Stringent visa standards from the State Department are blocking many foreign artists from entering the country, and harming communities that need these programs the most.