Let’s get real:
In an earlier article I mentioned how it is becoming increasingly common for individuals to formulate mitigating circumstances for terrorist violence, to rationalise the actions of the perpetrators by attributing them to foreign-policy/ interventionist grievances.
When confronted with the latest revelations pertaining to the extent of ISIS’ sheer malevolence, very few people will have the stomach to obfuscate or engage in whataboutery this time. There comes a time where we just have to confront evil for what it is. Namely, evil. No more asking people to check their privilege before making moral judgements please. Let us just call a spade a spade.
If someone cannot be held fully accountable for the rape of female captives, then there is truly nothing at all they can be held accountable for. I, for one, don’t believe that Bush and Blair are ultimately responsible for the sexual abuse of hostages and slaves committed by self-styled caliph and leader of the Islamic-State, Abu-Bakr al-Baghdadi, according to recent reports corroborated by a fourteen year-old Yazidi escapee.
Among Baghdadi’s personal ‘possessions’ was American hostage Kayla Mueller, purportedly (and presumably, inadvertently) killed in a Jordanian airstrike earlier this year; who before her death smuggled an emotional letter out to her family, where she insisted that she was being treated well and with ‘respect’.
What makes this piece of news so surprising is not the degree of ISIS’ moral depravity, but the fact that it is largely unprecedented for a leader of a nefarious movement to participate in the atrocities personally, as opposed to ordering them. Hitler never gassed any Jews. Stalin never abducted anyone in the middle of the night and executed them.
Whether you think ISIS has nothing to do with Islam, whether you think that they are the purest manifestation of Islam, or whether you think that they are Mossad in disguise is ultimately irrelevant. What is important is for you to recognise that our generation is facing an entirely new dimension of evil.