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tv   Ali Velshi on Target  Al Jazeera  November 18, 2015 1:00am-1:31am EST

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and we show you like no-one else can. this is our american story. this is america tonight. i'm ali velshi "on target" from istanbul. i.s.i.l. exposed. what it wants and more importantly, how it can be defeated for good. welcome to istanbul turkey. tonight the fight against i.s.i.l. after the paris attacks. we need to figure out what i.s.i.l. wants and why and more importantly, how to defeat it. first secretary of state kerry is in paris today. he was talking with francois
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hollande. they were atalking of ramping up pressure on i.s.i.l. >> we have to step up our efforts to hit them owe core where they're-- them they core where they're planning thugs things and obviously do more in borders and the movement of people. the level of cooperation could not be higher. we've agreed even to exchange more information and i'm convinced that over the course of the next weeks d.a.e.s.h. will feel even greater pressure. they're feeling it today, they felt it yesterday and in the past weeks now you heard him use the term d.a.e.s.h. that is an arabic word, the term that many people use for i.s.i.l. it is an acronym in are abic and it means a lot of thing. it's the ago nipple for islamic state in iraq and the levant. i.s.i.l. itself does not like the terminology. they don't like being called d.a.e.s.h. i.s.i.l. is actually according
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to some press reports threatened to cut the tongues of people out who use it. that's because it can be seen to be a disrespectful term. it sounds like other arabic words that can be disrespectful. you will hear john kerry calling it d.a.e.s.h. while obama refers to it as i.s.i.l. some people call it i.s.i.s. and some call it the islamic state. whatever you call it, you need to understand what motivates it. if you don't understand that, it's impossible to defeat >> reporter: i.s.i.l. is annoy synonymous with its brutal attacks like the ones in paris, salveage beheadings of people. the majority of muslims around the world denounce. while the group's threat commands global attention, it was only in january of 2014 when president obama referred to
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i.s.i.l. as a jv meaning junior varsity team compared to al-qaeda. the president insisted the u.s. is not underestimated the threat posed today by i.s.i.l. >> understand that one of the challenges we have in this situation is that you have a hand full of people who don't mind dying, they can kill a lot of people. that's one of the challenges of terrorism. >> reporter: he said 65 countries have joined forces to fight i.s.i.l. with 8,000 air strikes targeting the group. in the last two weeks alone i.s.i.l. has claimed responsibility for the downing of a russian airliner over egypt. the attacks in paris and last week's suicide bombings in beirut that killed more than 40 people. air strikes have intensified targeting i.s.i.l.'s strong hold in raqqa, syria.
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it is part of the territory syria and iraq under its control. the group was born in the aftermath of the iraq water. sunn sunnis had been factional identified. they had ties with al-qaeda but split. in 2014 it declared itself an caliphat as one leaders and no national boundaries. it has used media to spread around the globe. how many members there are is unknown, but estimates range from 30 to 100,000. they bank rolled themselves by seizing oil and natural gas fields in iraq and syria and have made millions in ransom money from kidnappings. the question is how to crush them. mary snow i want to talk more about the motivations of i.s.i.l.
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graham wood is a fellow with the council on foreign relations also a contributing editor to the at lon kick. hall did atlantic. he wrote an article called what i.s.i.s. really wants. i have re-tweeted the article, post on media, facebook. you have taken a good amount of criticism for this article. i've even taken criticism for posting the article on your behalf, but i think it's important that people read it because you deal? of the theological underpinnings of i.s.i.l. i want to talk about the apocolyptic nature of the organizations. you criticise them for the idea that you think i.s.i.l. should be seen to be a real and legitimate form of islam because of some of the things it does and professes can be found in carnic text. others argue you can pined the
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same in other religions. it doesn't make if legitimate if it's written in a book. >> there are different ways to be christian and jewish. if you look into christian or jewish texts you find practices like slavery, like killing adulteroys that you find in muslim texts. the fact that you can find in texts ways to be muslim that lead you to be like i.s.i.s., doesn't mean it's the only way to be muslim. it's chosen by very few worldwide. there's no question that the people who follow i.s.i.s. who think that they are on the right track, that they're reaching into the islamic tradition, that they look at the same text but draw different conclusions. when i say i.s.i.s. is islamic, i'm trying to say that it's from a broad diverse even contradictory tradition and that is called islam you actually take issue with the fact that if people say that i.s.i.s. is un-islamic, if muslims say that is not their
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faith, we're missing the point and we will not successfully defeat the ideology because we're not acknowledging its legitimacy. is fay fair? -- that fair >> muslims do say it's not their religion, what they consider is the right form of islam. when they say it's not islam at all, i think oftentimes their reacting-- they're reacting sometimes very emotionally and sometimes-- emotionally and without knowledge of how they draw on the same texts and traditions. we need to is to differentiate clearly between what eyise believes and what other muslims believe. that means looking carefully at what they say and what they think and how they use those texts because if you just say they're not islamic, they have nothing to do with us, then i think you're leaving too much space for them to make arguments that they're right within those same traditions. you want to make very clear what
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the differences are and why the vast majority of the world's muslims choose a different way to be muslim one of the things you've done in your article which i recommend people read is you have pointed to texts and historic muslim texts, religious texts which justify some of the things that i.s.i.l. professes. at the same time those who have criticised it have said that you haven't shown the texts that actually counter what they do. there are things in islam that are specifically forbidden that i.s.i.l. does. why did you choose to point out the ones that i.s.i.l. follows and not the ones that i.s.i.l. contradicts? >> i actually do go to some lengths to speak to muslim scholars, to speak to american and american imam in particular who opposes i.s.i.s. on the basis of the same texts. i actually go to some length to make sure that it's clear that
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there are other ways to read those texts ores otherwise. i think it's important to show that when i.s.i.s. practices ask sex slavery when it stones adulters, when cruci ferrics ies people, that's taken out of the texts as well. to say that they have no connection at all, base i.s.i.s. will point to those texts and they will point to a lot of people by the virtue of their being able to say it says it here, execution, it says stoning. they're on the right track they will say. what you will need to do is that other imam who did, who i proceed filed in the article, show the ways that you can interpret things in different ways and live in completely peaceful friendly way one of the things in your article that you go into some length to describe it the apocolyptic nature of i.s.i.l. they sort of believe in their
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mission that there will be a fight here where the last caliphate was, abdomen then it will-- and thenned it will end up in jerusalem at the end of days and jesus christ will come back. it sounds fantastical, but it plays into their mission and what they're trying to accomplish which makes it important for us to understand how to defeat that. >> yeah. they look back into again some of the same texts. these are starts stories that offise limb. they think these things are happening really soon, that is the end of the world is happening soon and they're taking it apart from bringing it about. as recently as when they issued the statement taking credit for the downing of the russian airliner, they talked about it. geographically particular places in syria where they were
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expecting to fight crusader armys. when we look at what they're doing and having guesses on going forward, we might take into account their propoganda they take serious what do you do about it? how is this meant to inform the battle against i.s.i.l.? >> well, the first thing it does is it tells us what i.s.i.s./i.s.i.l. fighters are told to believe once they arrive there. they go through a kind of brain washing boot camps that they imbin this kind of theory-- imbibe this theory. we really want to be sure that we understand what is it that is motivating people to go over there. what is the story that's being told to them before they go. i think once we understand that, we have a chance of diverting some of the people who would be otherwise going over there.
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on top of that, this is a military organizations, a terrorist organizations. it's also an organizations with ideas and ideals, a sense of eutopia and they spend a lot of effort projecting a particular image to the muslim world in particular, and fighting them requires more than military assault. we have to react to the kinds of appeal that they generate to outsiders who they're trying to recruit to their cause. you can't do that unless you understand who they are and what they think graham, thanks very much. thanks for getting me into so much trouble for posting your article, but i think it's worthwhile that people read it. it's in the atlantic, what i.s.i.l. really wants. when we come back, i will talk to somebody else who shares a lot of the same analysis but comes to a very different conclusion about the best way
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>> our american story is written everyday. it's not always pretty, but it's real... and we show you like no-one else can. this is our american story. this is america tonight. welcome back. you heard my conversation with graham wood. earlier today i had a
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conversation with another man. you may know this man, a columnist who writes for the international new york times. not accept any syrian refugees. he does not want to put the people there in the slightest possible risk of an attack. the governor of michigan said that his state will no longer accept any syrian refugees. just a short time ago the governor of texas sent the government a letter saying that syrian refugees would not be welcome in that state either. we go to mike viqueira, who join us from atalya, turkey, the president said that this is not the right values, and these refugees are the most vulnerable and we should continue to welcome them into this country after they have been vetted. >> slamming the door in their face says president obama is not who we are as americans, as a people. that is echoing what we've heard over the course of the last few days from presidential aids who are here in
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antayli a, turkey. if this becomes a christians versus islam or christian versus muslim dynamic here in the united states or elsewhere, it feeds into the narrative that isil is trying to propagate. it might enhance the recruitment. and white house officials will tell you as military progress is made on the ground in syria and isil, then you're going to see isil striking out in western europe or whatever targets they can find. the president very careful on that point and very clear that he does not want that dynamic to start to take hold. >> mike viqueira reporting from turkey, mike, thank you. that is our coverage of the world's response to the paris attacks. president obama saying he will stay the course with his strategy in syria. thanks for watching. i'm stephanie sy. stay with us. the news
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continues next live from doha on the paris attacks. 0
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