Is it a crime to care for Gaza and Syria? Legally speaking, it isn't a crime to raise awareness of the human rights violations taking place, nor is it a crime to raise money and deliver humanitarian aid to those war-torn areas. Many non-Muslim human rights groups and charities engage in these actions, yet we do not hear of criminal prosecutions for their activism.
With the Middle East's biggest players coming together under the US-led campaign against ISIS, I couldn't help but draw comparisons to Marvel's Avengers Assemble. While Obama can justifiably play the lead role of Nick Fury, is ISIS on the other hand as formidable as Loki? With the military capability of the GCC and Egypt alone, what chance does ISIS really have against a unified effort by neighbouring states?
The recent migration of many jihadist organizations to social media reflects a desire to expand their targeted audience one step further. Password-protected forums - up until recently the main virtual gathering place for al-Qaeda supporters - made content particularly difficult to access for wannabe jihadists, while also representing a common target for the security services' disruption efforts.
We can, with our technology, our material and our enviable financial position, intervene on the right side. We can fight the aggressors, the fascists, and rescue Iraq from the scourge of Islamist violence. But this is only possible in coalition, in alliance. Leaving the Kurds to fight the Islamic State alone is immoral; abandoning Iraq is equally bad; and letting the United States shoulder the burdens of internationalism alone fails the very definition of the term.
If British foreign policy in the Muslim world can be seriously revised, and a genuine effort by the government not to modify Islam by funding embarrassingly unpopular 'Muslim' think-tanks and self-professed scholars, only then can Britain, as a nation, begin to work towards a practical solution in tackling extremism.