Sunday 28 May 2017

No easy answers in the fight against Islamic terrorism

It's been an incredibly sad and emotional week for the city Manchester and the rest of country following the bombing at the Manchester arena.

The two main feelings that I felt was firstly what an awful waste of life to so many innocent people who went out to enjoy themselves at a music concert. The second feeling I had and one which I always feel with such attacks is: What do these people (the terrorists) actually want?

I grew up in the 80s and 90s when IRA terrorism was still prominent throughout the UK and Ireland. I never supported their acts of violence but I understood they had a political objective which was a united Ireland.

What is the political objective of ISIS and Islamic terrorism in general? There isn't one. They simply hate who we are and our way of life. It's this that I find difficult to understand. There is no ultimate objective, so in theory we could never sit down with these terrorists and reach some sort of peace agreement.

I certainly don't agree with Jeremy Corbyn and the Left's view point that British Foreign policy is somehow to blame for these attacks. That argument falls down when you consider we've had attacks in Sweden and Belgium, two countries that were not involved in Iraq, Libya or Syria. Besides Islamic fundamentalists groups have been around for decades with some groups beginning life in the 50s and 60s.

This form of Islam hates Western values and ultimately has a nihilistic mentality that wants to do harm to us simply for the sake of it. All we can do is continue with our security efforts to prevent future attacks but just as important is to find ways to stop British born or raised Muslims from turning to extremism.

At the weekend when I was out with my sister in a bar where we ended up in a slightly heated conversation with a guy who is a friend of some friends. He was drunkenly saying: "Something needs to be done about the Muslims" before talking about how we need to go in and 'wipe out' the terrorists.

My sister and I pointed out that there is a difference between Islamic terrorism and the wider Muslim community and that going into the Middle East and 'wiping out hundreds of 'jihadists' is unlikely to permanently kill off this form of terrorism.

For our thoughts we were both labelled as Lefties!

Ultimately there are no easy answers and solutions to these terrorist attacks and this is what makes the challenge so difficult.

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