The Muslim faith and the rest of the world have a radical Islam problem. Brussels is just the latest iteration of a worldwide Daesh (ISIS) plot. Seventy-five terrorist acts have been committed in 20 countries since they declared their caliphate in June 2014. That doesn’t count the multitude of attacks committed by other jihad groups over the past 60 years. In the West we mostly hear about the attacks in Western cities. The largest number of attacks, perpetrated in the Middle East and Northern Africa, barely register in Western media.
The cries to remember 9/11, 7/7, 11/13, and now 3/22 are just a few dates that victims have to choose from. Chances are any date you pick would be close to a day that is meaningful to someone who has been affected by a Daesh terrorist attack. The world seems befuddled in its attempts to stop them.
The root cause of the attacks is faith gone astray; something the leadership in the Muslim world has failed to acknowledge openly in the past. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the home of Mecca, Islam’s holiest location, has said as much by leading the Islamic Counter-terrorism Coalition. The coalition of thirty-four Muslim-majority nations established on December 15, 2015 has a stated goal to fight terrorism “by all means”.
Little has happened since the formation of the coalition. The leadership of the Muslim faith is the only place a true solution can happen. A person is easy to kill. A belief system is nearly impossible to kill. This is a fight that will only be won when the ideology behind the terror changes. The leaders of Islam who fanned the flames of jihad are the only ones who can put them out completely. When we do it, it’s like blowing out magic birthday candles, the flame just comes right back.
The immediate response to any terror attack is always guttural. The desire to lash out and end the problem with reciprocal violence is strong. The Daesh ideology thrives on those reciprocal responses and though some days it seems we’re slowing Daesh down, we will not achieve ultimate victory over Daesh or similar types of organizations without help from those within Islam. A coalition of Muslim nations fighting against Islamic terror is a start.
An organization in name only does no good. The proof will be in the actions in the months and years ahead. The proof will be in an outpouring of ideological support from the leadership of the faith that backs up the mantra that Islam is a religion of peace with both words and action.
Peaceful diplomacy is always the better route until it isn’t. Let’s hope the fight for Islam is won by those who oppose terror. The hawks are itching to get into this fight full scale. Only so much concern for the economy will hold them back. Before we can have a thriving economy we need to be secure. If our security is threatened any more than it already is, I’m afraid of what might happen to the world if the hawks are let loose again.
The world has absorbed terrorist actions with remarkable restraint. This restraint has limits and it is reaching its end. The time for the Islamic Counter-terrorist Coalition to make ardent strides towards peace is now. The alternative is finding peace on the other side of the next war.