Iraqi priest: pandemic is sinking the economy but helping the Islamic State
The weakening economy increases poverty which works in favour of jihadist recruitment.
Fr Samir Youssef, the parish priest in Enishke, Diocese of Amadiya, Iraqi Kurdistan, told AsiaNews that the virus of hunger could be worse than COVID-19 and the economic crisis is favouring terrorist groups by giving them a new impetus in strengthening their positions in Iraq.
According to the priest the recruiting of young people who lost their jobs or have no vision of the future may have already begun.
“In the Middle East, Africa or elsewhere in the world, extremist groups, from IS to al-Qaeda, are looking for social and economic weakness to attack,” Fr Youssef says, adding that “it is no coincidence that a dozen soldiers near Kirkuk were killed recently during an attack by a local IS cell.”
The Church’s help and support has also been affected by the novel coronavirus pandemic. “For some time, with the banks closed, no aid could arrive,” said Fr Youssef. “Now we can count on food donations that we have distributed to the neediest families,” he concluded.
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