Fear and anger is causing the wrong political actions from the world’s leading countries. Entering the realm of religious intolerance, only pushes people towards that point of no return


A woman on a French beach wearing a ‘burkini‘ (a hybrid of ‘burka’ and ‘bikini’ signifying Muslim women’s’ beach attire) was harassed by police and forced to remove it in public. This was followed by French President, François Hollande, doing exactly the wrong thing and doubling down.

Whether he was refusing to admit he was wrong or simply didn’t believe the police had done anything irregular, the event and it’s reverberations were felt across the world. If we wanted to convince any fence-sitting Syrians that the West doesn’t hate Islam, we’re going the wrong way about it.

Adding to the festering tension, a delightful YouGov poll has now revealed that the British public support a full burka ban, with a horrifying 57 per cent majority. Only 25 per cent were against this while the remaining 18 per cent were satisfied with being ‘good men who do nothing’.

I don’t want to overstate things. But ISIS is having immeasurably more success at radicalising people, based on the brutal and senseless campaigns carried out by countries like France, the UK, and particularly Russia and the US.

Of course, the burkini incident comes nowhere near to the unsparing murder of countless civilians. But it is evidence of a pattern that has, most notably, developed over the course of the Syrian debacle. To take the perspective of a Syrian civilian for a moment, this is what they see ….

The West drops bombs, destroys hospitals, kills children. People see their families burn, their way of life destroyed. ISIS is much the same. After their homes have been destroyed they flee to other countries looking for aid. Places like the UK take in paltry numbers of refugees and local councils object even to that. Then demagogues like Donald Trump arise, with their populist hatred and complete lack of knowledge of the situation. They gather steam, and a major political party from one of the world’s biggest superpowers begins to support the idea of preventing Muslims from so much as entering their country.

Picture being bombarded by hatred and violence on all sides; and then, one side offers a way out. Offers inclusion, offers the opportunity not to be powerless as lives are being blown apart.

The opportunity to fight a world that hates you for no good reason.

What choice do these people have?

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