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Keeping Our Freedoms Will Defeat Islamic State

27/03/2016 19:26 | Updated 27 March 2016

The recent terrorist attacks in Brussels are an unnecessary reminder of what the self proclaimed Islamic State are capable of. Their acts of murder and terror cause waves of media coverage reflecting the sadness: fears and defiance of those effected. Governments are holding emergency meetings and new security measures are no doubt being considered.

Alongside these concerns western governments are worried about their own Muslim citizens going to fight with IS in Syria and Iraq and then coming back and launching terror attacks in the UK. Given that the public expect governments to prevent these acts of violence - this concern is understandable.

However I think Islamic State is already defeated - it has taken on a fight it cannot win. It appears that this violent and sadistic organisation has the stated aim of clearing away obstacles to 'Gods rule on earth' and wants an 'end of days' confrontation between Muslims and US led forces to bring this about. But how are they likely to do?

IS does have tens of thousands of combatants in the Middle East - and as we know significant numbers of smaller groups in various parts of the world but this is an incredibly small number out of the 1.6billion Muslims in the World. The numbers of IS fighters is even very small compared to the estimated 2.7million Muslims living in the UK.

In simple terms - if their aim is to cause conflict between Muslims and the Western World then so far they are doing very badly. They have failed to engage around 1.6billion Muslims in their cause.

Is this very surprising considering what they are offering? Societies run by brutal religious police - public beatings and beheadings - no free press - slavery and sexual abuse of women - a desperate life of fear and death and oppression. No wonder around 1.6billion Muslims are declining their offer.

The violent and sadistic men of Islamic State appear to be the product of the years of conflict in Iraq and Syria - the are brutalised beyond redemption and appear to have no other purpose but killing or being killed in the name of what is clearly a perverted version of a religion.

In a sense (a very violent sense) IS are standing on the world stage arguing for support - or votes - from other Muslims. They look doomed to failure because their manifesto offers nothing more than suffering and oppression.

Almost all people - of all faiths - want the opposite to what IS offer - they prefer freedom and as much autonomy as they can get. They want to be able to express their opinions and have food on the table and a safe place to live. These are things that Western countries can offer as can many countries throughout the world - and that is why IS will fail in the end.

All IS can do is to try to provoke the West into more aggressive acts and panic governments into stricter security measures involving the taking away of civil liberties.

The UK and the US and other allies are guilty of many things - of launching military actions for political aims - of killing innocent people whilst fighting our enemies - but their offer is still better than that of IS.

It would be a far better - and safer - world if the death of a child in Yemen or Iraq through an act of violence meant as much to us as the death of a French child or a Belgium child. It would be better if we were quicker to help other people and slower to bomb them and we should not be spying of children in the UK.

But still - Western nations - and all those other countries in the world offering the opposite to what IS are peddling should continue to protect their way of life - to be as tolerant as they can and, sometimes, risk security in order to preserve freedoms and that, in the end, that will defeat IS.

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