The decision to begin airstrikes in Syria will not be enough to defeat an ideology that is breeding hysteria and religious persecution within our own borders

 

The fight against ISIS was not too long ago described as the ‘struggle of our generation’ by Cameron as he took to the stage to urge everyone to ‘step up and do more’. This was then followed by the revelation that Britain would, unsurprisingly, join in US-led air strikes over Syria, despite the rejection of such actions by MPs, voting in 2013. This was all back in July.

ISIS is an inhumane creation, a set of con artists who prey on the innocent and vulnerable, and I also firmly believe that there is a dire need for global unification against ISIS and their extreme and barbaric ideology. However, I holy disagree with the way in which this fight is being fought. You cannot simply fight fire with fire, a lesson that many, especially the Prime Minister should have learnt following historic events such as the war in Iraq. The Iraq War was a catalytic war which undoubtedly played its part in the extreme terrorism unfolding before us today. The ironically named ‘War on Terrorism’ led to the deaths of an estimated 500,000 civilians, and although I can agree that to some extent there was an argument for America’s participation, where was the concrete justification for Britain’s involvement? There was none, other than the blatant and embarrassing parodying of America — a sight that is now being repeated.

Cameron’s attempt at a patriotic boost, for me personally, is worthless and almost laughable. If Cameron and his government cared about the young British Muslims who are falling victim to ISIS propaganda, a minority I’ll also add, then they would be his first priority, not the opportunity to place his and our nose that little bit further up Obama’s, respectable derrière. Instead, his first response has been to effectively target Syria. As I have stated already, you cannot fight fire with fire and expect not to be scorched — a simple realization that many within our society have yet to realize or care for.

Along with the airstrikes, other measures have also been emphasised, such as parents of British Muslims being able to confiscate their passports if they have reason to believe they will be travelling to join ISIS. Once again, this is Dave displaying his exceptional personal people skills. I’m sure that by taking these passports, the fundamental and rooted issues that lead to such British Muslims travelling to join ISIS will magically vanish; well done Dave, who knew that all it will take is a little border control.

Along with the rise in extreme terrorism, a rise in prejudiced attitudes has also ensued. Take Britain for example, it has become increasingly evident and painstakingly apparent that, scarily it is now many members of society who are ignorantly and dangerously categorizing all Muslims as extremists, despite only a small minority of them having engaged in terrorist activities. To put this into perspective, it is estimated that in England alone there are over 2.7 million Muslims and of this 2.7 million, it is believed that only up to 600 have left to join ISIS. Although this number is still shocking and unnerving, it is a clear minority in relation to the overall population. If we are to group all terrorists as Muslims then surely we should also group all white people as members of the KKK? Or every person aged 14-19 as part of a violent and uneducated mob. Sounds absurd doesn’t it? And yes, it is.

I may only be 19 years of age but history has always been at the forefront of my academic interests. Through such studies, like many others, I have acquired irreplaceable skills, one of them being having a deeper and wider understanding of our current issues, along with the ability to be able to find correlations between past and present events.  I am able to realize the barbarity and danger that arises from the categorization of a group of people, whether it be based on race, religion or gender — a tendency that given the current sociopolitical climate is increasingly becoming more pronounced.

The fight against ISIS requires the unification of all, but it should not be fought with fire — or more specifically airstrikes that can and will most likely cause more damage than good. The segregation witnessed within society is a fight within itself. If the war against ISIS is to be fought behind the foolish powers that be, who will run in all guns blazing at the heels of America, coupled with the ignorant stereotyping of all Muslims as terrorists, how can people be surprised that young and impressionable British Muslims are suddenly succumbing to extreme Islamic propaganda? And this especially at a time when ALL of the young people in our country seem to be placed directly in the center of the dartboard when it comes to the unprovoked firing of Cameron and his government.

These young people need to be the government’s first priority instead of fighting violence with violence — actions that only provide a platform for ISIS to conduct their ideological propaganda. Ultimately, alongside the reality of an unquestionable terror threat, there also exists the ignorant and quite frankly dangerous identification of a moderate religion with an extreme offshoot. This is an issue that lies much closer to home; the battle against ISIS needs to be fought as much at home as it does on a foreign and global level and once people start to realize this, the real fight against ISIS can begin.