The ugly face of terrorism

But the sinister assault on innocent civilians in Paris after an airliner was brought down in Egypt and the Ankara, Suruc and Diyarbakır suicide bombings that are all linked to ISIS led world leaders to concur that these attacks are directed at all of humanity.

However, to deal with ISIS more effectively, President Bashar al-Assad’s brutal regime in Syria, the main culprit in the making of the Syrian civil war that has ushered in all kinds of jihadi outfits, has to be replaced. US Secretary of State John Kerry met with European and Middle Eastern diplomats last Sunday to discuss conditions for a cease-fire in the Syrian conflict and the future of Assad’s government. This was one of the topics in the private talks between Presidents Obama and Putin, who had differing views on many issues as well as the Syrian imbroglio.

Indeed, Mr. Putin boldly claimed that 40 states were financing ISIS, some of whom were members of the G-20.

Now that ISIS has proved its international reach, world leaders and their governments will fight terrorism more effectively because this organization, unlike any other, has its own agenda and is not going to serve the interests of proxy supporters.

ISIS — or in short the Islamic State, as it calls itself — has waged war on everything that is different to its liking and imagination but most of all on Europe as a whole. Europe is generally seen as the main reason for the woes of Islamic countries due to its colonial past. Many Muslims view Europe in particular and the West in general as an “evil empire.” Some who have learned to hate the West yearn to be cleansed of a contaminated past and freed from Western domination.

However, lamenting a defeated civilization has not led to developing the capacity to compete and surpass the West. The anger and wrath of being dominated and living under siege (as they perceive the relationship between Muslims and the West) has generated a destructive energy intent in destroying Western civilization as a whole. The easiest and most direct way to do so is violence in which militants turn themselves into weapons.

The Muslim youth who feel they have reached the end of meaning — that is, a meaningful life that can be carried further — fall under the spell of a better life in heaven. The radical doctrine that is spawned by mostly self-appointed clerics suggest that sacrificing one’s body for an exalted cause will elevate the soul to the heavens to be rewarded handsomely. This nihilistic doctrine that offers missed opportunities outside this world has turned thousands into cold-blooded murderers.

Their victims are appalled and angry. They mourn for their losses. However, governments show signs of closing their borders to refugees and tightening security measures. Center-right parties are on the rise. Europe soon may turn into a fortress.

It is obvious that ISIS is waging a war of civilizations, representing the one that has already lost. That is why the direction of migration has been from the East to the West. Now, increasingly threatened, Western countries want to take back control of their borders, undermining the solidarity of the European Union.

Finding out that most of the assailants were Muslim citizens of EU countries and one came from Syria with a forged passport, it is obvious that less Muslims will be accepted to the West and refugees who are fleeing to save their lives will be looked upon as intruders who have come to take lives. This fear may make Europe more authoritarian and less tolerant and xenophobic to outsiders.

If that happens, then Europe will be more like the fortress from which the crusades took off, a thesis expediently exploited by IS(IS).

SOURCE: TODAY’S ZAMAN