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High-Level Reading Comprehension: Set – 47
Directions:(1-10) Read the passage carefully and answer the questions given below it. Certain words/ phrases are given in bold to help you locate them while answering some of the questions.
The Islamic State (IS), which has morphed from ISIS or ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant), which in turn morphed from al-Qaeda, is a dangerous and worrisome phenomenon, with the potential of changing the political and geographical map of West Asia. The entire international community, not just America and the West, ought to be concerned and join forces to combat this menace.
Much of the world, including many in India, ascribes most of the ills afflicting the region of West Asia today to the United States. There is justification for this belief to some extent. In particular, it can be asserted, with reasonable objectivity, that the illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003 by the George W Bush administration on the most egregious excuse of non-existent weapons of mass destruction is largely responsible for the chaotic and explosive situation in West Asia. That single misadventure cost America more than 4,500 lives and $1 trillion, but the cost being borne by the region and its people, as well as by people beyond the region, is incalculable in terms of instability, growth of terrorism and the sectarian strife that it ignited.
The motivation of the Bush administration was a mix of oil and Israeli pressure. It deflected attention and resources from what was then a winnable war on al-Qaeda. But that is all history. There is also the gross mishandling of the Syrian situation by the West, which has made possible the emergence of phenomena such as Jabhat al-Nusra and the IS. However, now is not the time to apportion blame or responsibility; there will be time enough for that. Hillary Clinton, who has already launched her presidential campaign in anticipation of the Democratic Party’s nomination, has openly criticised her former boss, President Barack Obama, for lack of firmness in dealing with the Bashar al-Assad regime. The priority ought to be to collectively deliberate on how to confront the present and clear danger posed by the IS.
The IS is a bigger threat than its progenitor, al-Qaeda. It has by far more funds than al-Qaeda; indeed, it is the richest terrorist organisation in the world. It has modern weaponry, including tanks and anti-aircraft missiles, looted from the Iraqi army that was equipped by the Americans, as well as from the Assad regime. It has a force of more than 10,000 fighters capable of waging set-piece battles. It is tech-savvy and uses social media most effectively, not only in Arabic but also in several European and Asian languages. It collects taxes and imposes its brand of law and order. It calls itself a Khilafat or caliphate, and its CEO calls himself the Amir; he is both the secular and religious leader. The IS has the ideology that appeals to Muslim youth across the world. All in all, the IS is a deadly entity and should be treated as such. The geographical map of the region has already changed and will change further. The boundary between Iraq and Syria has been obliterated for all practical purposes, with IS fighters operating freely on both sides. Indeed, the capital of this Islamic state is in Raqqa in Syria. It has also captured at least one village in Lebanon. It will no doubt manage to add to the instability in Jordan. If Jordan gets infected, can Saudi Arabia remain immune for long?
1.Which of the following is primarily responsible for the chaotic and explosive situation in West Asia?
A. The origin and expansion of al-Qaeda
B. The illegal invasion of Iraq by the George W Bush administration on the excuse of non-existent weapons of mass destruction
C. The gross mishandling of the Syrian situation by the West
D. The emergence of phenomena such as Jabhat-al-Nusra and the IS
E. All the above
2.What has/have been suggested by the author to combat the dangerous and worrisome phenomenon of the Islamic State (IS)?
(A) Syria and Iraq must come together and fight unitedly against the IS.
(B) America and the West should join forces and attack the Islamic state.
(C) The entire international community ought to join forces to combat the IS.
A. All (A), (B) and (C)
B. Only (A) and (B)
C. Only (A) and (C)
D. Only (B)
E. Only (C)
3.What has been the repercussion of the invasion of Iraq by America in 2003?
A. More than 4500 Americans lost their lives.
B. It costs America $1 trillion.
C. Growth of terrorism in Iraq and its surrounding regions
D. Emergence of sectarian strife in Iraq
E. All the above
4.Find the incorrect statement on the basis of the given passage.
A. The IS is the richest terrorist organisation in the world.
B. The IS is tech-savvy and uses social media in Arabic, European and Asian languages.
C. The ideology of the IS appeals to Muslim youths across the world.
D. The IS has failed to capture any part of Lebanon till date.
E. The IS has successfully destroyed the boundary between Iraq and Syria.
5.Why has Hillary Clinton openly criticised President Barack Obama? Answer in the context of the passage.
(A) Because President Barack Obama did not deal firmly with the Bashar al-Assad regime.
(B) Because President Barack Obama did nothing to stop the growth of al-Qaeda.
(C) Because President Barack Obama is not competent enough to handle such a grave situation as has emerged in the West Asia.
A. Only (A)
B. Only (B)
C. Only (C)
D. Only (A) and (B)
E. Only (B) and (C)
6.Choose the word/group of words which is MOST SIMILAR in meaning to the word/ group of words printed in bold as used in the passage. Egregious
7.Choose the word/group of words which is MOST SIMILAR in meaning to the word/ group of words printed in bold as used in the passage. Confront
8.Choose the word/group of words which is MOST SIMILAR in meaning to the word/ group of words printed in bold as used in the passage. Obliterated
9.Choose the word/group of words which is MOST OPPOSITE in meaning of the word/ group of words printed in bold as used in the passage. Afflicting
10. Choose the word/group of words which is MOST OPPOSITE in meaning of the word/ group of words printed in bold as used in the passage. Ignited
B. put out
C. flared up