If ISIS is not decisively defeated, the dangers for Europe will only escalate. If the Russian involvement in the area signifies something negative for the Islamic State, there is no reason for concern in the West. The fate of Syria's Assad is not currently the focus.
Reported US concerns about a possible Russian military build-up in Syria are hardly justified. After three years of military conflict in the area, nothing is clear. Thousands of refugees are flooding western European borders daily, while ISIS strongmen terrorize people and destroy Greco-Roman heritage sites in Palmyra. The bombing campaign has done nothing up to now to prevent humanitarian disaster or put a stop to Islamist barbarians’ rampant frenzy to destroy all remnants of human civilization. If Russia aims to push back the Islamic State, I cannot see why anyone would object.
The cry of “Hijrah” resonates deeply in the hearts and minds of ordinary Muslims. It signifies the beginning of Islam and refers to the Prophet Muhammed’s flight as a refugee fr om Mecca -- to save himself from his enemies -- to Medina and the work he did there so that he could conquer the city (then called Yathrib) and to spread Islam afterwards everywhere. “Hijrah” is found in 91 verses of the Koran, and calls all Muslims to imitate the Prophet and follow his example, with the aim of imposing Islam on other societies. Such a Muslim “flight,” under the banner of refugees or migrants, shows the ways in which sharia law can ultimately be imposed on societies of a different faith. From the Salafi violence to the democratic norms and Western tolerance that the Muslim Brotherhood and the followers of the Hizb ut-Tahrir are employing, there are clear references to all religious texts. To what extent, therefore, is the human flood, which has overwhelmed the Greek islands and the rest of Europe, a product of genuine refugee outflow or the result of a planned -- usually violently engineered -- Islamic infiltration (For more information, see the book by Sam Solomon and E. Al Maqdisi “Modern Day Trojan Horse: Al-Hijra, the Islamic Doctrine of Immigration, Accepting Freedom or Imposing Islam?” Advancing Native Missions, 2009).
Looking at the photos and the videos of migrants arriving at the Greek islands and at train stations in Budapest, Vienna and Munich as well as at the Hungary - Austria and Germany - Denmark crossing points, you notice (despite the efforts of TV reporting to show women and small children) that 8 out of 10 migrants are young men aged 20 and above. Among those tens of thousands of “refugees,” wh ere are the many women, the infants, the sick and the elderly? Are they not in danger from civil strife, the wars and the barbarism of the ISIS jihadists? Something does not sound right in this whole affair. It is very strange that there is no speculation around this issue.
It is also difficult to comprehend why those who are fleeing Syria are heading to the West, avoiding many wealthy Muslim countries, which are situated much closer. Not a single refugee has been relocated to countries such as Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates or Saudi Arabia, while a large number of migrants have been allowed into some countries that are already economically stressed and cannot easily sustain them (Turkey − 1.8 million people, Lebanon − 1.2 million, Jordan − 628,000, Egypt − 133,000). Most of these people will necessarily try to leave for Greece and move further into Europe. The crucial question is why the wealthy Arab countries are totally absent from this tragic scene? They could provide permanent shelter to almost everyone. They are nevertheless standing aside in the completely dramatic affair.
Could it be that the new “flight” to the West is the issue at hand? Several months earlier, the Islamic State had threatened the West with the possibility of unleashing a wave of 500,000 refugees to Europe, who, according to teachings of the Prophet, would erode societies from the inside, spreading their fanaticism with the ultimate goal of imposing sharia law. ISIS’ plan appears to be coming close to success, with Europe suffocating under the weight of tens of thousands of Islamic refugees.
The issue has nothing to do with racism, since nationality and the color of the migrants is of no significance. Value conflict, however, is of paramount importance. Western societies are built on the acceptance of difference, tolerance and mutual respect. These are the principles that are at odds with radical Islamism. The two cultures' values are not compatible. In the inevitable conflict that looms in the future, who will come out on top?
Europe's leaders continue to keep their eyes firmly shut to reality and dangers. If ISIS is not decisively defeated, the dangers for Europe will only escalate. If the Russian involvement in the area signifies something negative for the Islamic State, there is no reason for concern in the West. The fate of Syria's Assad is not currently the focus.
Andreas Andrianopoulos is Director of the Institute of Diplomacy and Global Affairs, American College of Greece. He is the author of “In the Heart of Islam: From the Steppes of Central Asia to Afghanistan” (2001) and more recently –“The Anger of Islam and the Jihad Fanatics” (2015) in Greek.
Views expressed are of individual Members and Contributors, rather than the Club's, unless explicitly stated otherwise.