The growing threat of radical groups has created an environment of fear across the world. The so called Islamic state (ISIS) succeeded this year in terrorising many countries through several attacks in Turkey, Belgium, Germany, France the US aside from the atrocities it caused in Syria and Iraq. In Bahrain and the region many people realise that radical ideologies should be challenged to prevent the threat of terrorist groups, as some GCC countries have suffered from several attacks on mosques. Bahrain is a nation known for its diversity and tolerance, and the spread of terrorism and extremism across the world has its effect on every country. Below are some Bahraini views on the growing threat of ISIS.

“Acknowledging the growing threat”

“ ISIS is a growing threat that needs to be acknowledged and dealt with, especially when theres a video of terrorists calling on attacks in Bahrain going around. We fear any attack that can cause further damage to our society and economy. We are trying to move forward as a country and the last thing we need in Bahrain is a growth in radicalisation or terrorist attacks” Maryam 32, Manama 

“ People need to understand what threat ISIS and other radical groups are. Its certainly a great danger to Bahrain and other countries but the younger don’t realise their responsibility in fighting such mindsets that could ruin the country” Noor 28, Saar

“ We need to build awareness on what ISIS is and what it stands for, theres a lack of awareness and knowledge of radicalisation in our society. When people watch images of warn torn Iraq and Syria and the atrocities caused by ISIS and others, its quiet hard to believe that this is real. It seems like a lot to absorb for a person living a normal peaceful life in Bahrain” Ali 30, Isa Town

“A security threat to everyone”

“I think most people don’t realize how much of a threat ISIS really is to the region. My friends and I were in Istanbul for New Years during the sad shootings and it was incredible to see the fear and panic these radicals caused. This affects not just the nation itself, but also visitors from around the world.”  Yousif 33, Isa Town

“ISIS is a threat to everyone on this island, we need to move forward with reforms and address the challenges faced by youth in order to minimise the risks of radicalisation. As it can be seen that the radicalised are usually the most disadvantaged and poorest individuals across societies” Khalid 37, Riffa

“ The authorities are are carrying out a very difficult task of keeping Bahrain safe and secure. We are under the threat of ISIS, Hezbollah and others. Many of us fail to realise that the government’s security measures are keeping us safe and that we also need to give back to our country by challenging extremist views and fighting these mindsets that could lead to disasters” Hamad 32, Budaiya

“Radicals sympathetic to ISIS: a minority in Bahrain”

“ I don’t believe that ISIS is a threat to Bahrain at the moment, however it could be a threat in the future if we do not take the issue seriously and start challenging extremism. It would be fair to say that extremists who are sympathetic to ISIS in Bahrain are a very low minority, but minorities can grow and spread their poison if they’re not identified and stopped” Ahmed 33, Muharraq

“ Despite the fact that we do have extremists in Bahrain and several incidents linked to different terrorist organisations have taken place in the country, i still find it very difficult to believe that any Bahraini could carry out an attack against another Bahraini. This is alien to our society, yes we do have criminals and people who are brainwashed, however we could work together on bringing an end to extremist behaviours and avoid this fear” Fatima 35, Riffa

“Challenging radical groups”

“ We need to challenge extremism and stand up to ISIS. It is us muslims who have a greater responsibility than others to be outspoken against extremist elements in our societies as we have a better understanding for the situation in our countries” Sara 26, Manama 

“ We face a major security challenge, these radical groups such as Hezbollah and ISIS are very well organised and quiet capable of brainwashing and recruiting people. As a society we need to work with our government to overcome our security challenges by reaching out to communities where people could be radicalised easily” Mahmood 30, Saar

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