Mosques launch anti-ISIS Twitter offensive

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Dutch mosques are going to take to social media in an effort to counter the flood of muslim youths being recruited by terrorist organization IS. Young islamists are being encouraged to offer counter-discussions about the negatives of IS on the internet, to engage sympathizers to turn away from extremism, the Algemeen Dagblad reports.  Yassin Elforkani of the Contact Institution Muslims and Government (CMO) tells the AD that Imams from a total of 380 mosques in The Netherlands have agreed to enforce this measure, to fight IS on its own battleground and in that way hope to recover it. Currently, social media is being used as a base point from which propaganda about IS is beamed out to the entire online world. A continuous stream of extremist recruitment rhetoric holds strongly to the internet as its main communication center. This exercise hopes to recover that online ground back from IS. Last week, tweeters rejoiced at the beheading of captured journalist James Foley, the paper writes. The new counter-action hopes to offer a space for muslims to react with arguments against this kind of extremist action, and arguments that show this action as being against Islam itself, as Elforkani emphasizes. The CMO made a statement after Foley's killing, saying that the violence of IS is "in no way justifiable."

The CMO member tells the AD that mosques will send out a message that speaks of IS as not belonging to Islam. "That is already happening, but I would like to see many more youths link up to let themselves be heard." Moreover, Elforkani argues that there is a lack of understanding of the principles of Islam, which he believes is the root behind the mass show of support for IS amongst muslim communities, such as the Schilderswijk in The Hague. He wants to organize a meeting of parents in mosques. "If they raise their children with the religion, the children will become resilient. Then they will know that it doesn't work, if violence is glorified."