Beliefnet
L'Ordre

paris attacks

A recent coordinated murder spree occurred in Paris, most probably by a group from ISIL, the so-called Islamic State (you may know it just as IS or ISIS), who call themselves soldiers but are only brave enough to kill unarmed people.

The greatest “victories” of ISIL consist of executions of captured journalists with their hands tied behind their backs. Now, they target unarmed civilians in the streets. People who probably knew nothing about ISIL and didn’t care. The worst part of it is that they claim it is revenge for the deaths of their fighters in Syria and Iraq.

In the mind of these militants, everyone in the world has already been judged guilty for not being part of their small group of “true believers”, and is bound for hell. It is with this psychology that the killers believe they are justified in targeting and murdering random people.

It is my view that ISIL are not a military opponent comparable with others faced by states in recent history. Executioners who parade around the world demonstrating they want to kill everyone who isn’t in their small group of some thousands of militants cannot be bargained with. The cruelty of ISIL is the reason the world has vowed to destroy them, therefore their goal of avoiding destruction by perpetrating even more cruelty as they did in Paris will fail.

I don’t normally barge into news events with my own analysis while the events are still trending in social media, but this one needed to be promptly addressed at a blog such as this.

While my first instinct is much like everyone else, to say I think ISIL needs to be bombed more heavily, I also want to point out that Western governments made serious errors. The errors are so grave that I can’t believe they made them unwittingly.

We have governments like the US, who are so concerned with screening people in Syria to make sure they are not a terrorist, that they ultimately admit to finding barely 50-60 rebels who share Western democratic values in Syria. This happened when trying to locate so-called “moderates” to arm against ISIL in Syria. Yet the same governments rushed to allow asylum seekers from Syria into Europe indiscriminately, with no screening of any kind. All they had to do was claim to be from the war zone, and they would be allowed into Europe.

We were all upset by the image of the drowned child Aylan Kurdi, washed up on a beach dead after failing to flee across the Mediterranean to Europe. But isn’t the point to be rescuing the right people? Often, in the West’s zeal not to appear discriminatory, it will wantonly endanger its own citizens, and this is why the Paris attacks occurred. Painting all asylum seekers with the same brush, saying they are all the same as Aylan Kurdi, is absurd. An oversimplification, which can have horrific consequences. There is no doubt that some asylum applicants are actually terrorists.

I think the problem could be that the West has substituted one patronising view of immigrants as criminals for another – that they are all victims and oppressed people. Immigrants don’t even hold this view of one another. The persecuted minorities fleeing Syria do not want to be joined by the very same majority that has been persecuting them, all the way into Europe. But in that context, our desire not to discriminate is going to hamper our ability to provide asylum to the immigrants who do want us to discriminate in their favour.

What good is it to allow the persecuted Yazidi minority into Europe (if they should ask, although I am unaware of any such asylum seekers), or allow Kurdish refugees into Europe, if we still can’t tell the difference between them and the terrorists they are trying to flee? The solution is simple. Grant asylum to all persecuted sects, and grant asylum to women and children of any background, but refuse fighting age males from the Sunni majority (from which ISIL draws its recruits) asylum unless they submit to security screening. The security screening should be carried out by people from the persecuted minorities. Since the object is mainly to protect the persecuted minorities, they should be granted special status.

It is prejudicial and destructively myopic to throw all immigrants together as persecuted people because they look Middle Eastern to us, and proceed to let them all into Europe. It is a fact that letting in everyone from a war zone indiscriminately will also let the war in. That’s already how the war “spilled over” into neighbouring Iraq and Lebanon. The spillover is going further now because of the intentionally dumb asylum policy of profusely compassionate and idealistic lawmakers. The Syrian war has come to the streets of Paris because of it.

hjb signature new opaque 2