Jun. 1, 2017
- It’s a Delusion to Think that Terror Attacks Are about Foreign Policy – Jonathan Freedland
One camp argues that the root cause of terror attacks is Western foreign policy and our record of armed intervention in Muslim lands. But the link is not so simple or direct. Talk to those who devote their lives to the study of violent jihadism, reading ISIS propaganda and interviewing its devotees, and a different picture emerges.
For one thing, it’s not all about us. Most of jihadis’ victims are other Muslims, in the Arab world or in Africa. When they murder and maim Shia Muslims by the hundreds, they’re not doing that to punish Western foreign policy. When ISIS set about the massacre of Yazidi men and the enslavement and mass rape of Yazidi women and girls, it wasn’t revenge for Western meddling. It takes an oddly Eurocentric view of the world to decide that this is a phenomenon entirely of the West’s creation.
It’s not clear what a foreign policy designed to soothe rather than inflame jihadi opinion would look like – or that it would get you very far. Staying out of Muslim countries might seem like the obvious answer, but it offers no guarantees. Not against those who can regard an eight-year-old girl and her friends as “crusaders,” worthy of death for the sin of dancing in a “shameless concert arena.” (Guardian-UK)