Muscat: While foreign fighters from Muslim countries and around the world continue to join the Daesh terror group, no Omanis have been known to join, according to a monitoring group.
A report titled Who Inspires the Syrian Foreign Fighters by the UK-based International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence (ICSR) said that most of the Daesh affiliates are from Arab countries, showing that more than 21,000 people travelled to Syria and Iraq to join Daesh.
Observers believe that Daesh recruitment is expected to increase, taking into account the group’s advances in Iraq and Syria as well as mass recruitment abroad.
An Omani government official confirmed that no Omani national has joined Daesh so far, thanks to the Omani government’s efforts as well as the awareness of the nationals.
“Omani people are very peaceful and tolerance is a part of the identity of Omani people”, the official said.
The official added that the Omani government keeps a close eye and monitors the situation amid the escalating tension in the region.
Moreover, Saif Al Maskari, the former Deputy Secretary General of Political Affairs at the Gulf Cooperation Council, said that Oman puts in place strict regulations and laws regarding anything related to extremism and sectarian intolerance.
“Omani nationals avoid such terrorism and extremism by themselves, starting from the mosque, which is a great school for tolerance and harmony, that brings peace and stability for the whole nation”, Al Maskari said.
In the Global Terrorism Index 2014 by the Institute of Economics and Peace, Oman ranked 124, the lowest likelihood for terrorism, and had a score of zero.
Khalid Al Malwali, chairman of the Majlis Al Shura, said that it was not a surprise as Oman enjoys stability in the wise wisdom and vision of Sultan Qaboos.
Al Mawali added that Omanis by nature renounce anything related to extremism and that all sects in Oman live in harmony.
Commenting on attacks on Shiite mosques in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia that claimed dozens of lives, Oman’s Grand Mufti Shaikh Ahmad Al Khalili said that the criminal acts that target mosques and prayers show the perpetrators’ “ignorance of Islam and hearts devoid of faith”.
Al Khalili stressed the need to value innocent lives “as Islam came to save souls and innocent people”.
“The calamity that befell the Islamic community is due to the ignorance and emptiness of faith, as real faith is a mercy”, said Al Khalili.
Omani law stipulates that anyone involved in terrorism and extremism acts will be jailed for at least ten years.
Saudi nationals top the list with an estimated 3,000 fighters in Daesh, followed by Kuwait with an estimated 70, 15 from Qatar and 12 from Bahrain.