Could it be that we are our happiest in the toughest times? That when the going gets rough, we band together and find comfort in others? One of my favourite films is Silver Linings Playbook (not just because of the bipolar element). The overall message of the film, unsurprisingly, is that if you work your hardest, you have a shot at a silver lining.
Just after dawn prayers, my Twitter newsfeed was filled with breaking headlines confirming that the US along with its Arab allies had begun airstrikes against ISIS in the Syrian city of Raqqa. Both the Assad regime and the Obama administration have denied any collusion regarding this military offensive but if you scratch beneath the surface, it becomes relatively clear that there was a lot more collaboration behind closed doors than most would think.
For the West to acknowledge that there are at least two prominent enemies to freedom and stability in the Middle East would be a start. But by embracing one and opposing the other the West may disrupt the current flow of violence, but it will never halt the growth of extremism. As long as a Shiite theocracy remains in place in Iran, new Sunni extremists will always stand ready to compete with it for control over the soul of the Muslim world.