Within the span of few days we have seen the horrible tragedies of bombing of Russian airplane, Beirut bombing and now Paris suicidal attacks. How to eradicate the menace of this extremism? It seems, we are at a loss and at a dead-end to find some credible solution. The natural instinct to use ruthless force to destroy the existing menace, also sows the seeds for the emergence of next monster even more ruthless and merciless. Invasion of Iraq lead to the creation of ISIS.
With current carnage in Paris, there may be now overwhelming military response by the West and goal of destruction of ISIS may be achieved, but it will not be possible without even a larger scale death, destruction and human dislocation. But then what is next? Who will fill the vacuum? Both Syria and Iraq are in civil war and thousands of refugees fleeing to Europe. The Kurds will expand somewhat their own territory for Independent Kurdistan but they do not have the capacity to go much beyond their own borders. Any Kurdish expansion will also invite furious response from Turkey. The currently held territory by ISIS cannot be managed by weakened Syria or Iraq embroiled in civil war. Naturally it will get occupied by other extremists groups who will try to outdo each other.
Apart from use of force, withering attacks on radical Islamist ideology in particular and Islam in general, has not done much either to combat extremism, rather on the contrary it is creating an atmosphere of Islamophobia in the West which is helping create further alienated Muslim youths who are being discriminated against for just external appearance and Muslim names. It is not now uncommon, especially in Europe, for being fired or refused to be hired because of external appearance and a Muslim name. It no longer matters whether someone is a mainstream moderate Muslim or even Muslim atheist, external appearance and Muslim name is enough to deny your civil rights. These alienated young Muslim youths are the natural target of recruiting efforts by the extremist groups like ISIS.
Muslims themselves are also the target of these extremist groups and bombing of the mosques and other soft targets is a daily occurrence in many Muslim lands. The West has not been able to get the support of these targeted moderate Muslims either because of the mistrust of the West in the face of withering attacks on Islam in general and Islamophobia in Western lands.
Islam is in the middle of a civil war both Shia vs Sunni and extreme vs moderate Islamic ideology. This ideological civil war is further complicated by the masses’ desire to get rid of dictators and monarchs. The West is injecting itself in this civil war to protect its economic and politico geographic interests. It has prompted the Russia to enter the race also. By injecting itself in this civil war, both West and Russia has changed the civil war into extremists vs West and Russia. The ISIS has fired back at both.
There are no good options but outside involvement has never done any good in these Muslim lands and it may make it worse. Let Muslim lands fight it out themselves and West and Russia should get out of the way. If countries like Turkey, Iran, Jordan, Egypt and Gulf states are not willing to fight for their own survival and take the lead, then why West should get in the middle and become the target from all the sides.