Tag Archives: Islamism

Katie Hopkins and Nigel Farage Tell America That Britain Is Scared and Divided – We Are Not

For some people, these islands seem just too small to satisfy their ambitions. Not content with Britain, many want to be known around the world; they want to be famous in a new and different way. Continue reading

The Sieges of Syria and History

Earlier this month in Syria, a siege was broken. Rebels in Aleppo, aided by more religiously extreme elements and passively supported by humanitarians the world over, succeeded in meeting – ceremoniously shaking hands, like the Allies during the Second World War at the river Elbe in 1945 – by breaking the lines of those troops loyal to the Assad regime and its foreign backers. Continue reading

Necessary History

Review – Salafi-Jihadism: The History of an Idea by Shiraz Maher

The advent of the Islamic State (IS) took much of the world by surprise.  The suddenness of that group’s appearance, coupled with the rapid growth of territory under its control, was a shocking development. In addition, the brutality of IS, and the extent to which it revelled in cruelty which was invariably described as ‘medieval’, meant that it was, in many ways, an organisation which defied easy description. Continue reading

Syria’s Holy War

Review – The Syrian Jihad: Al-Qaeda, the Islamic State and the Evolution of an Insurgency

Jihadism is in many ways the perfect enemy. It insists upon and mandates self-abnegation – even, in some instances, self-destruction; it despises much of what we consider essential for a just and free society; and it is ever planning and ever plotting to wrest many of civilisation’s most enduring accomplishments from our hands. The fact that its credo is often violent in nature is the icing on the cake. Because it is a perfect adversary, one which remains useful for caricaturists and demagogues, understanding this phenomenon is often perceived to be unimportant; extirpation, and the total destruction of its capacity for harm, is more likely to be the order of the day. Continue reading

The Failure of Obama’s ‘Liberal Realism’‏

The world owes a great debt to Jeffrey Goldberg. His new contribution to the understanding of foreign policy is a vast and wide-ranging interview, published in The Atlantic, with US President Barack Obama. It is an undertaking which allows the president, soon to be out of office, to explain at length his views on foreign affairs and his programme for the world at large. This setting out of the ‘Obama Doctrine’ is both fascinating and salutary. Continue reading

Europe’s Perception Problem

Security forces gunning down peaceful protesters on the streets of Homs. Regime helicopters bombarding whole neighbourhoods of Aleppo with indiscriminate barrel bombs. The Islamic State storming through the desert, executing all those who don’t adhere to their radical ideology along the way. Massive car bombs ripping through the heart of Damascus. A toddler lying dead on a Mediterranean beach. These are the images that have become both iconic and all too commonplace during five years of war in Syria. Continue reading