Thursday 24th March
After every terrorist atrocity Politicians declare that the Terrorists will not win. Unfortunately the Terrorists are winning, and will not be defeated; at least not by drones and bombs and targeted executions, or soldiers with machine guns on the street. And least of all by Politicians condemning the Terrorists; they laugh at our condemnation, they invite it and they positively love it when Terrorists are gunned down by the Police, the more Martyrs the better.
Until we begin to understand just what the ‘philosophy’ or ‘mindset’ of these people is, we will not even start to defeat them. In fact maybe all that will ever be possible may be containment and some sort of dialogue with them. Looked at from an unemotional dispassionate viewpoint, why do we not simply carve out a bit of the Middle East so that they can have their Islamic State, with all its barbarity and cruelty. But of course that is never going to happen; after all the poor Palestinians have been fighting for their tiny bit of land for over sixty years. We may one day actually militarily defeat them, but we will not kill their ideas, or the threat they pose to our freedoms. And I completely understand and support the various Governments in Europe trying to protect their people; after all I am one of them. But do not even begin to imagine that we are defeating the Terrorists. We may make life harder for them, but of course every restriction made in the name of Security affects us as well as them, and our own freedoms which we treasure and are hated by the fanatics are likewise compromised. So, even then the Terrorists win.
And we must also remember this, that they have time on their side. Most children of Muslims grow up to be Muslims too, and some of those will always be prey to fanaticism. For the Jihadists it matters not whether they will ever live to see their goals accomplished; if it takes a thousand years to accomplish, then fine – that is how long it takes. Unfortunately there really is no solution, or no easy one that doesn’t involve a lot of patience and maybe a lot of setbacks too. Discussion and Education, Understanding and actually Listening may in the long run have more chance of success than Condemnation and Declarations that the Terrorists will never win. They may never win ultimately, but most probably neither will we.