JIHADISM and how it could be isolated, contained and defeated


I must start by saying that Jihadism is my necessary headline shorthand for violent Islamic fundamentalism in all of its manifestations. In this article I’m going to ask and offer answers to two main questions. The first is – Where does this madness come from? I mean what is it, really, that gives birth and life to violent Islamic fundamentalism?

In my analysis it is essentially the product of Muslim hurt, humiliation and anger plus, for many Muslims, the misery and despair of poverty (the absence of some or even all of the basic necessities for life with dignity).

In that light those of our so-called leaders who believe violent Islamic fundamentalism can be eradicated with bombs and bullets either lack commonsense or are stupid.

The hurt, humiliation and anger that gives birth and life to violent Islamic fundamentalism have two main causes.

One is the authoritarianism and corruption of regimes throughout the Arab and wider Muslim world plus their complicity by default in Zionism’s unending oppression of the Palestinians.

The other is the double-standard of American-led Western foreign policy; a double-standard that allows Israel to remain above the law and not be called to account for its crimes, including from time to time acts of state terrorism.

Put another way, there are a whole stack of Muslim grievances that have to be acknowledged and addressed if violent Islamic fundamentalism is to be isolated, contained and defeated.

In my book Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews I offered a 150-word explanation of how terrorism can be defeated, as follows.

Terrorists cannot operate, not for long, without the cover and the practical, emotional and moral support of the community of which they are a part. When that community perceives itself to be the victim of a massive injustice, and if that injustice is not addressed by political means, the community will cover, condone and even applaud the activities of those of its own who resort to terror as the only means of drawing attention to the injustice, to cause it to be addressed. It follows that the way to defeat terrorism – the only successful and actually proven way – is by addressing the genuine and legitimate grievances of the host community. The community will then withdraw its cover and support for its terrorists; and, if they continue to try to operate, the community will then oppose them by exposing them – reporting them to the authorities if reasoning fails.

I then presented the example of Northern Ireland to give some substance to my general point. The British army did not defeat Provisional IRA terrorism. The terrorists called off their campaign and went for negotiations only when they had no choice – because the Catholic host community would not cover and support them any longer. And that happened only because the British government summoned up the will, about half a century later than it should have done, to risk the wrath of Northern Ireland’s Protestant majority by insisting that the legitimate grievances of the Catholic minority be addressed.

Northern Ireland is not Iraq or Syria or any of the other territories where violent Islamic fundamentalism in one form or another is rearing its ugly head, but the principle outlined above still holds good. Addressing the grievances of the host communities is essential if Jihadism is be isolated, contained and eventually defeated.

Now to my second question for this article.

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