The headline above is the verbatim headline of today’s editorial in Aftonbladet, one of Sweden’s major national newspapers.
I could stop right there. But let’s take a look at the arguments presented. The Swedish article is based heavily on the ideas of French prefect Pierre N’Gahane, originally from Congo.
According to N’Gahane, the main reason for young muslims “going Jihad” is that they’re utter failures at life. Not having a father figure coupled with failures at petty crime make them vulnerable for recruitment to ISIS. Of course, poverty and social handicaps can be a contributing factor, but is not the main reason. Neither is religion (!) apparently.
Thus, the proper way to combat Jihadism is by assembling civil society to divert young men just starting out down the dark path, similar to how families can join forces to break impressionable youth away from loon cults. And in all fairness, this probably works in many cases. Half-hearted Jihadists-to-be mostly looking for attention just may pull back from the chasm if shown ample compassion and support.
The problem is when the soft approach is presented as the ONLY solution, as is being done here. It’s all silk gloves, with no iron fist to back it up when the soft approach has failed. Furthermore, recent acts of terror doesn’t jive with any of this. The Boston marathon bombing, the most lethal terrorist attack since 9/11, was carried out by a scholarship medical student with a bright future as a brain surgeon ahead of him for example. I doubt a “Jihadist defection hotline” would have done much good there.
“We must make these people a better offer than the Jihadists can.”
This article, being fed to a sizable percentage of the Swedish population, talks exclusively about the benefits of providing support and making a better offer than ISIS. It also praises the merits of giving preferential treatment to “reintegrated” ISIS fighters returning from the Syrian battlefields. Which is of course morally unpalatable (replace “fanatical ISIS butchers” with “fanatical Nazi SS butchers” and try it on for size) and directly counterproductive, since it merely makes a stint of ISIS-service a shrewd fast-track strategy for skipping to the front of the line for jobs and housing upon return.
Imagine being a member of the Christian minority having fled the massacres of Syria, made it to Sweden, and then seeing your brother’s killer not only being let back into the country, but getting rewarded for services rendered. This has been real in Sweden since 2013.
Giving radical islamists a blanket excuse with only pampering as the appropriate response is just as dumb as those who declare islam a “death cult” arguing they should all be executed for safety’s sake. All 1,6 billion of them. Yes, these fine specimens pop up occasionally in both the Twitter-flow and the comments inbox. Delete/Block. Kapow.
But seriously, is it really that difficult to grasp that extremism can’t be coddled into submission?