More from Islamic State
I have a rule when talking about extremism in the name of Islam - it isn't. You can no more blame Muslims for Al Qaeda or IS than you can blame Christians for Hitler. So, if you are someone who thinks the solutions lie in British Muslims either apologizing for IS or having a duty to stand up and denounce IS simply because they both happen to follow the teachings of a chap called Muhammad, then your need to rethink. The only people to blame for the rise in extremism are the extremists who think that is the way to run a world.
The problem with the entire issue about IS (or ISIS or ISIL) is that none of us in the west really understand it at all. Not only is there a real threat, but the perceived threat can be greater still simply through ignorance. And our politicians are very good at using fear for their own ends (watch out for Theresa May's leadership bid if DC falls under the campaign bus - human rights are an unnecessary obstacle, she seems to believe.)
However, there are two possible developments for 2015.
Firstly there is the risk of the radicalization of westerners who go out to fight with or alongside IS and then return home. It is difficult to know how to deal with those who take such a course. If they return home and have no anger toward their home country do we treat them as we treated those British who fought in the Spanish Civil War? Or is that unrealistic and will they be radicalized to such a point that they are an automatic and genuine threat? I know which side the government will come down on.
The second development, though at least partially linked to the first, is if IS decide to pick up where Al Qaeda left off and take the fight to the hated west.
With any scenario, finance will be important. If IS have access to large funds then their scale of their enterprise and the scale of the problem will grow. If their funding is cut off, then that will not be an end to them, but they will be a lot more limited, especially when dealing out side their home territory.
From my point of view this is all guesswork, but my gut says the problem will get a whole lot worse before it gets better with no clear solution from our home front. There is the suspicion that getting involved will backfire on us ten fold. But are we again at the point where turning our back will cause the same problem? There may be no hiding place here.
Next: And Finally... »
- Alex Salmond and the English Vote
- Farage and the End of the World
- Miliband and Scotland
- EU Economy
- Sinking Feeling
- More from Islamic State
- And Finally...