Jabhat al-Nusra 'terrorists' say they're just misunderstood
Jabhat al-Nusra (Photo courtesy of AFP)
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Jabhat al-Nusra are known as fierce opposition fighters by some and terrorists by others but the gunmen say really they're just misunderstood.
But despite being officially declared a 'terrorist organization' by the US,these feared fighters remain adamant that their views are far from extreme.
In an exclusive interview, a 21-year-old fighter and self-professed "sheikh" known as Brother Huthaifa, tells American public radio network, NPR, that the group are not religious extremists but "Mujahedeen" (fighters of God).
However, the former sharia (Islamic law) student from Libya whose religious beliefs drove him to Syria six months ago, goes on to tell a far from moderate tale of the group's ambitions.
"We believe in the prophecy of implementing an Islamic state," the young militant says, alluding to the possibility of implementing Al-Hudud (Islamic punishments for serious crimes).
The 'misunderstood ' soldier explains that in the Islamic state, "preserving the Muslim society," is to be of the upmost importance.
"Prevention is the best treatment. What makes people commit sin is viewing porn films, listening to songs that provoke desire," he says.
Offering a unique insight into the mindset of the militant group, Brother Huthaifa explains why it is so important for women to cover: "If I gave someone two lollipops ... one is covered and the other is not. Where will the germs and the bacteria go? To the uncovered one. And the same with the woman; if she is uncovered, the rotten one, who will the men chase? While if the woman is covered, even the most beautiful one, they will not chase her."
Comparing women to lollipops and men to germs might be an unusual analogy but for the soldier of fortune it helps encapsulate his views on life.
However, despite his best efforts, much of the international community still dismiss Nusra fighters as terrorists and with their flair for bombings and alleged involvement in mass executions, that won't be changing any time soon.
What do you think of Jabhat al-Nusra? Do you agree with the group's 'terrorist' status? Share your comments with us below!