ISIS as a symptom

If ISIS is eliminated, the ideology will still be there and this is the point that everybody seems to ignore.

Gábor Somlai

OpEds Gabor Somlai
Gabor Somlai

In October 2003 a Palestinian terrorist suicide bomber in Haifa killed 21 Israelis. During that same month a Flash Eurobarometer survey was carried out which revealed that around 60% of the citizens of the 15 EU member states believed that Israel posed the biggest threat to world peace.

12 years have passed, meanwhile Spain, England and now France have witnessed Islamic terror, Northern Africa and the Middle East is on fire and despite the current wave of terror, Israel is still an island of freedom and stability. Some may hope the world is waking up after the latest tragic events in Paris and recognizing that the real threat is not Israel. Sorry to disappoint them, but the world is still asleep. And not just asleep but living in the same ignorance as it was in 12 years ago.

How do we know? Very simple: Those who have an opinion about the situation with Islamic terrorism can be divided into 2 groups.

1. Many people propagate that Israel is the cause of instability and terror.

2. The others are pointing at ISIS.

Both of them are wrong. So we may ask: why do so many blame ISIS? Because it’s 2015 and in the West people only care about news and issues that have an impact on the West or Westerners.

In 2001, John Walker Lindh, a U.S. citizen and a convert to Islam, fighting on the side of the Taliban, was captured by the Allied Forces in Afghanistan. His story made it into the headlines because the fact that a man who was born in the West chose to fight against the ideology and system he had been living in, was unbelievable and shocking.

The story of Omar Hammami is similar. He is also known as Abu Mansoor al Amriki, a U.S. citizen who joined Al Shabaab in Somalia. He was one of the first Western terrorists, who, with the help of Youtube clips, inspired many others to leave their comfortable lives behind and choose Jihad as the alternative.

Ironically these individual stories do not make it to the headlines anymore because today there are thousands of European Muslims, men, women and even teenagers, who have joined ISIS, which is the #1 terrorist organization because they invest a lot into online presence and they are very successful in recruiting Westerners. So this makes ISIS different from Boko Haram, Al Shabaab or Al Qaeda.

But what many still do not understand is that ISIS is not the root cause but a symptom and to deal with a problem, we have to deal with the root cause.

David Cameron is urging British MP-s to join airstrikes against ISIS and France already decided to directly intervene in Syria. Angela Merkel is also considering supporting the airstrikes with 1200 German soldiers.

It seems that the politicians and the public are naive enough to believe that bombing ISIS will reduce the chance of terror in Europe and that eliminating ISIS will bring peace.

However, just as Israeli airstrikes couldn’t defeat Hezbollah and cannot defeat Hamas, bombing Syria will not defeat ISIS. But since any European politician deploying soldiers to Syria will receive back hundreds of coffins and lose the following elections, there will be no ground troops, at least not from Europe. But let’s imagine there was and ISIS is eliminated. And then what?

If ISIS was eliminated, the ideology will still be there and this is the point that everybody seems to ignore.

An article was published on Arutz Sheva on 12 November 2015 by Dr. Mordechai Kedar titled: “There is no radical Islam and there is also no moderate Islam”. As a matter of fact, from a political point of view, there is - and the difference is very simple to define:

Radical Islam wants to eliminate everything that is not radical Islam while moderate Islam wants to eliminate only Israel and Judaism.

Therefore those who consider themselves part of moderate Islam will be very quick to upload photos onto social media saying “Not in my name” when an Islamic terrorist act is committed against Western citizens. but will quickly justify (or deny) terrorism against Jews.

In reality, it is the same issue: People shouting Allahu Akbar are killing people who don’t shout Allahu Akbar and until the world stops continuing to ignore this and for as long as it continues to differentiate between terrorism in Israel and in the West, we are far from defeating Islamic terrorism.