No matter why groups like Al-Qaeda and ISIS target the West, their actions are unforgivable. When a group of people hates you this much, though, it’s worth asking why.
How can they justify this? What are these people trying to achieve? They’re questions we often ask, but that we rarely try to answer. The motives of terrorists, though, aren’t a secret. They tell us why they’re doing it every chance they get—and understanding them just might be the key to defeating the ideas behind Islamic terrorism.
10The Sykes-Picot Agreement
Photo credit: Royal Geographical Society
In a propaganda video, ISIS called for the “end of Sykes-Picot.” For ISIS, these words were a rallying call, two words that summed up everything wrong with the West.
And yet, most of us don’t even know what the words mean.
The Sykes-Picot Agreement was signed in 1916, after the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire. When it fell, the Western powers were worried about what would happen in the Middle East.
So, they created the Sykes-Picot Agreement—a treaty that sliced up the Middle East between England, France, and Russia, setting up governments that would ensure the Middle East stayed under the influence of the Western world.
This was a secret agreement—a conspiracy behind closed doors—until Russian Bolsheviks exposed it to the world. But that doesn’t mean it went away.
Even after it was revealed, the West still divided the Middle East by their own country lines, without regard for the people who lived there, and filled their new countries with leaders that they could control.