By Linda S. Heard
Weak-minded young Muslim men with western passports are attracted by the notion of an Islamic State. More than 1,500, including 500 Brits, eager to translate their video games into real life or infused with religious fervor or angered by US-led foreign policy missteps, have voted with their feet.
Many others, interviewed on the BBC and CNN, suggest they would go to join their brothers fighting in Syria and Iraq in a heartbeat, if not for fear of arrest or the thought their families might be detained and interrogated.
The surprise is this. Those recruits and wannabes are not motivated by poverty or marginalization, as used to be the thinking; most are sons of the educated middle classes. That’s a shocker because it’s hard to understand why any educated person could imagine the so-called Islamic State headed by a Rolex-wearing former secular Baathist Caliph, who’s been photographed with his arm around a scantily-clad young female in a former life, is the real deal.
Anyone with even a rudimentary knowledge of Islam knows that the faith equates the killing of one person unjustly with the killing of all mankind. The Qur’an also exhorts believers to respect the People of the Book (adherents to the monotheistic religions of Christianity and Judaism) and stresses that that there is no compulsion in religion. In this case, how can the hooded hordes terrorizing, beheading, crucifying, burying children alive, selling women in a slave market and forcing Christians to convert or die at the point of a gun, possibly be considered as Muslims? Those false Muslims are members of a death cult that misuses Islam to grab territory, natural resources, wealth and power. True Muslims don’t slaughter innocents indiscriminately or drive tens of thousands out of their homes to die of thirst in the desert. Those cultists do not distinguish between Sunnis, Shiites, Christians, Yezidis or Turkmen when it comes to selecting their victims. Anyone who disagrees with their pathology is fair game. Yet, for some strange reason, British men sporting beards, who claim to be devout Muslims, appear on our screens touting their allegiance to this Caliphate stained by rivers of blood and mountains of skulls.
Never mind that British imams have issued a fatwa prohibiting Muslims from joining the “oppressive and tyrannical” Islamist State” and ordering Muslims to oppose the promotion of its “poisonous ideology” in the UK. Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron has finally woken up to the danger IS presents to his own shores, which may be too little too late. On Friday, he raised the threat level from “substantial” to “severe” and announced a raft of measures to avert the threat from battle hardened Britons returning home, armed with bomb-making skills.
These include new laws facilitating the confiscation of passports, the beefing up of the police presence at entry points, greater powers to monitor phone calls and emails — and the possible reintroduction of control orders limiting the movements of suspects.
Cameron says the UK will no longer tolerate closed communities living separate lives and urges all British nationals to adhere to what he terms as “British values” and the rule of law. His sales pitch was badly conceived if he plans to bring Muslim communities on board. Rather than tout British values — whatever they are — he should have appealed to those communities to work with authorities in pinpointing radicals and youngsters vulnerable to indoctrination. This is an ideological battle that can only be won at a grassroots level in homes, schools, social clubs, universities and mosques. Cameron’s rejection that US/UK foreign policy blunders have had an impact on malleable minds is disingenuous and flatly untrue — and he knows it.
Conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya and Israel’s onslaught on Gaza do adversely impact idealistic youthful perceptions. Until now, President Obama has adopted a fairly laid-back approach; he has no immediate attention of heightening the threat level in the US and is still mulling whether to take his bombing campaign over the border into northern Syria. The FBI has warned him of threats from IS to bring death to American cities. One message, reportedly from IS, published in the Daily Mail, reads: “We are in your state…we are in your cities…you are our goals everywhere. But as yet, Obama only has his eye on the ball at the golf course. He caused a storm by admitting that he didn’t have a strategy to confront IS in Syria. He is, however, sending a delegation to the Middle East with a view to forming a coalition.
On Friday, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah warned of a global terror threat and called for a united response. “I am certain that after a month they will reach Europe and, after another month, America,” he told foreign ambassadors. “These terrorists do not know the name of humanity and you have witnessed them severing heads and giving them to children to walk with in the street,” he added.
It seems to me that even before Cameron’s ideological war can get off the ground, IS and its fake depiction of Islam must be erased from the earth; the remnants left to hide in their rat holes. Let’s see how many eager new recruits there’ll be queuing up then. Nobody likes losers. Take away their weapons, confiscate their cash-stuffed chests and burn their black flags and the battle is half-won.
(Courtesy: Arab News)