Seeking Understanding

Some people will say that Muslims are terrorists, or have the potential to be terrorists. They will say ‘once again no one will do anything and this will happen again! Ban Muslims from the country, deport them!’ But these people have no long-term ideas, no actual answers to the extremely complicated issues that surround IS and their attacks. Both Britain and the USA sell weapons to countries like Saudi Arabia, which uses these weapons to perpetuate the refugee crisis. The failure to have any clear and coherent exit strategy after the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have created voids for IS and their ilk to thrive. Whether we care to acknowledge it or not, the refugee crisis owes a lot to our actions.

It’s also strange that people cry out for members of the Muslim faith to condemn these attacks, yet when they do, the reporting falls strangely silent. It isn’t newsworthy – it doesn’t sell papers, least of all rags like The Sun and The Daily Mail, who thrive on ignorance and hate. Yet believe it or not, there are many Muslims who actively protest the actions of IS, and for further, oft-unreported irony, it is often Muslims who are targeted by IS.

There is more to this than simply religious beliefs. And Islam is not the only religion that has fundamentalists that kill. People have used religion, culture and politics as excuses for violence and war throughout history. Should we have banned Catholics in the UK because of the IRA? Obviously the answer would be no. Looking beyond the simplistic explanations, we have a tangled web with a lot of bitter history, and yes, there are religious influences involved, but targeting ála Trump an entire faith of one billion people (who obviously aren’t all out to kill non-Muslims, otherwise we’d see a lot more bloodshed) is exactly what IS want. They need us to drive a wedge between ourselves and moderate Muslims, so they can radicalise more. There are no easy solutions to this, but let’s not turn to giving IS what they want.