WASHINGTON, October 16 (RIA Novosti) - The countries, forming the military coalition in the Middle East to combat the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria, will reinforce their public diplomacy coalition, stated Richard Stengel, US Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs.
"Me saying the ISIL is not the true face of Islam is not terribly persuasive. But having hundreds of clerks from around the world: from the Middle East, from Indonesia, from elsewhere, who have said that ISIL is not the true face of Islam, it's a perversion of Islam, it goes against everything the Prophet stood for - that is much more pervasive," said Stengel in his lecture "Why We Need To Harden Our Soft Power" at the University of Southern California.
Under Secretary, who heads anti-IS public diplomacy coalition said that the task of the US government is to help people fighting the Islamic State by providing them with a better platform, so that they could reach a larger audience.
"Obviously, the US government is not always the best messenger for our message. By the fact that it comes from the US government, people automatically interpret it as propaganda, automatically interpret it negatively. For me, it is more about the annunciation what our policy is. The other kind of concentric circle of public diplomacy is how do we empower and enable third parties to talk about these issues," Stengel explained.
The IS, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), has been fighting the Syrian government since 2012. In June 2014, the group extended its attacks to northern and western Iraq and declared an Islamic caliphate on the territories under its control. A US-led coalition is currently carrying out airstrikes against Islamic State positions in Syria and Iraq.