Isil Hates Us For Who We Are And Everything We Stand For

Writing in Sunday Telegraph on Sunday 22nd November 2015, Dr Liam Fox MP wrote

The most worrying aspect of the horrific events in Paris is that they are likely to be repeated. They represent the endpoint in a chain of thought and behaviour that defines Islamist jihad. Understanding their poisonous mindset is crucial if we are to grasp what we are up against. Islamic Jihad is part religious fundamentalism, and part violent anti-western political ideology. The recipe for it goes like this: “First take an extreme version of the religion; the most rigid, the most hard-line, the most inflexible. Then dehumanize your opponents, remembering that the enemy is not only non-Muslims but Muslims who don't agree with your specific version of the religion. They are heretics, they are apostates and you must get rid of them. Next, understand that this is God's work; it is his divine will to see the killing of his enemies; and then understand that are you are God's instrument, you have been chosen for this work and you will be rewarded for carrying it out. Accept no borders. In fact, don't accept any international law or agreement whatsoever. Use all means necessary to carry out your task, including the indiscriminate use of violence, and if necessary the slaughter of the innocent.”

In understanding how they think, we also need to remember that these people hate us not because of what we do, but because of who we are, what we stand for, our history and our values. They will try to harm us when they can, testing our resolve and probing our security measures for any weakness.

They also exploit the divisions inherent in our democratic systems, seeing them as yet another area of vulnerability. This brings us to our current dilemma about Isil in Syria, which is both political and military. The aim has been to degrade and contain Isil, but events in Paris and the region itself clearly show they are not contained.

We have seen what they are capable of and we know that they will inflict carnage upon the British people if they can. We know the territory they inhabit and where their command and control centres are. We also know that they will use this territory as a base to export terror abroad. We are bombing them in neighbouring Iraq but we refuse to do so across what is an invisible border with Syria.

Our American and French allies are unable to fathom why Britain is absent from the coalition in Syria and our indecision makes it more difficult to persuade others to continue their efforts. Reports suggest that the UAE has not carried out airstrikes since March, Jordan has been absent since August and Saudi Arabia since September.

There is no doubt that Britain’s international standing is being damaged when we correctly assess the nature and scale of the threat but claim we lack the parliamentary authority for the government to act. This must be reversed and quickly.

The Prime Minister is right that we need to attack Isil on multiple fronts. If we are correct in our analysis about the jihadist threat posed by Isil, then we should leave no stone unturned to defeat and destroy them in their current incarnation.

 

But we must be realistic; no military conflict is ever won from the air alone. We may still require an international coalition on the ground, similar to that which forced Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait. There are difficult political and military choices ahead but we will do our national security no good by choosing to avoid them.