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DOSSIER – Pop jihadism

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Tens of thousands of civilian lives are being systematically and intentionally wiped out year after year by combat operations that are part of an undeclared yet ongoing war in many countries in the Middle East and Central Asia that have now become nothing more than battlefields. Iraq, 15,000 civilian casualties on average a year. Pakistan, an average of 4,000.

These are just two countries in which mercenaries with no particular political leaning – who proclaim themselves jihadists – exercise violence with the primary goal of guaranteeing their own survival as organisations, tribes, states. In these war zones, Westerners are put on display while Middle Eastern nationals are cannon fodder. The show must go on, in an eerie crescendo which sees violence being used as a marketing tool at bargain prices to attract further acolytes from all over the world.

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