Counter-Terrorism: Radicals In Search Of A Cause


August 25, 2014: A recent survey of European nations to discover support for ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) resulted in some surprising results. In Germany two percent of the adults supported ISIL, while in Britain it was seven percent and in France 15 percent. While many of these supporters are Moslems, only 4.6 percent of Germans, five percent of Britons and 7.5 percent of the French are Moslems. Thus there is support from non-Moslems and a closer look at the data shows that ISIL support is higher among the young and falls sharply among older people. Many of the ISIL supporters are actually angry at their own government for various reasons. Still, the ISIL support is part of the overall support (or tolerance) for Islamic radicalism in the West and the recent growth of European anti-Semitism.

There is more, but not much more, support for ISIL in countries with Moslem majority populations. Most Saudi Arabians oppose ISIL but among those that do back Islamic terrorism there are many who are very active in their support. Saudi Arabia is the original source of nearly all current Islamic terrorism and is still the source of most recruits and financial supports for these groups. Because of that, and growing foreign criticism over the issue, in early 2014 the Saudis made it illegal for Saudi citizens to join ISIL. In typical Saudi fashion they waited a while before strictly enforcing the new law. The Saudis have a hard time punishing fellow Saudis for being Islamic radicalism, in large part because Arabia was where Islamic radicalism was invented and is still highly respected and practiced despite all the Islamic terrorism..

Despite what the United States and the West wants, events in Arabia follow a different rhythm. Right now the local support for ISIL is just not there, but the Islamic radicalism that created centuries of Islamic terrorism outbreaks survives and will keep providing headlines for the rest of the world. Many Westerners don’t appreciate the details of Middle Eastern history that cause Islamic terrorism to return again and again and simply see the fanatical Islamic terrorists as revolutionaries worthy of emulation. In the two centuries European countries have had to deal with home grown radicalism (republicanism, anarchism, radical socialism) and despite its alien origins Islamic terrorism now appeals to young Europeans who miss the communists, Nazis, anarchists and radical republicans of the past.



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