In this opinion piece, we look at the IRA of old and compare its bombings to the current Islamist attacks in a bid understand what Western states can learn.
7/7/05 is a day etched in the collective memory of the British. (Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=215746)
The first time I was invited to Belfast I have to admit I was terrified. After a lull with relatively few bombings in the 80’s the 90’s there was a resurgence of bombing campaigns. I was travelling in the wake of a double bombing in London in several other places on mainland Britain. At the time the Irish population in England was forced to live in the shadows. The Irish communities came under enormous amounts of surveillance and Irish residents were viewed with the same suspicion.
The United Kingdom was not bound by the constraints of political correctness and threats from the Irish community. The government was concerned with the safety and security of its citizens. That’s not to say Britain did not make mistakes. Many were made but Britain recognized the problems and dealt with them.
So what changed?
On July 7, 2005 a series of deadly bombings hit London. ‘Traditional terrorism’ died and radical Islam took up the terror reigns.
(This video looks at that fateful day🙂
There are many differences between the terrorism of the IRA and today’s radical Islamists. Let’s not fool ourselves, both are cruel and heartless with no respect for human life. But the Irish conflict itself was stalled by a peace initiative. The IRA stopped the bombing, even the splinter groups have been relatively quiet for 15 years.
Let’s put one myth to bed. Islamist extremism has no political or religious agenda. It is about world domination under a man-made system of laws perverting the religion of Islam to suit their own means.
They kill without prejudice. Men, women, children of all nationalities and all religions, even Islam, are targeted. They do not bomb to force a political process they bomb to dominate.
It is not just the terror that is forcing Britain to its knees but the hyper-successful way Islamists have penetrated the government, intelligentsia and liberal elite controlling political correctness to breed a generation of apologists. Schools, municipalities, government officials and influencers all willingly feed on their Islamist agenda.
In the wake of the attacks by ISIS in France and Belgium, Britain needs to wake up. David Cameron, the UK’s prime minister, is among the few with the guts to speak out. Britain needs to decide what is more important, protecting the people, cultural identity and the rule of law or appeasing radical Islam and just giving up.
Make no mistake, Islamist extremism is also alive and well across the Atlantic. In fact it’s a global problem.
Oh, and by the way, it’s time the U.S. admitted there is a problem, joined the dots and make sure it doesn’t repeat the same mistakes as the United Kingdom.
JC Dash is a commentator on European affairs for Clarion Project.