Those who have chosen to side with IS will smear opponents whatever we do
As MPs returned to Parliament last week to overwhelmingly approve escalating British involvement in the US-led campaign against Islamic State (IS) militants in Iraq and Syria, a predictable backlash has emerged. Blaming the West for the ongoing conflict in the Middle East, this narrative urges against intervention, maintaining it will exacerbate violence and alienate the UK’s Muslim population – furthering fears of a Western ‘War on Islam’.
The Stop the War Coalition has led this charge with claims that “western military action of any kind only serves to kill innocents, destroy infrastructure and inflame violence”.
It has been joined by those on the more extreme end of the spectrum who declare the West’s actions are responsible for blood spilled on our streets by terrorists, and issue what amount to veiled threats that any intervention will lead to further attacks.
Putting aside the victim-blaming inherent in these excuses – which echo the domestic abusers’ protestations that his partner ‘asked for it – it is surely comforting to imagine that by standing aside the UK can ensure its actions do not fuel resentment, and that this will see a decline in the threat it faces.
The problem is though that the appeasement of Islamist violence inherent to this position fails to appreciate that these extremists have no intention of changing their opinion of us, and will seek to frame any action by the West as evidence of its hatred for Muslims…
Not a right-wing rant: from a site that says of itself: “Left Foot Forward is a political blog for progressives.”