John Moneir

ISIS: A common enemy – For how long?

John Moneir looks at how the world has a gained a strange peace waging war against ISIS, but sees that removing ISIS doesn’t remove the problem.


I suppose in ordinary discourse, it isn’t customary to suggest that ISIS, that most wretched hive of scum and villainy, could be any more useful than an air conditioner in Antarctica.

Having said that, it is true that the threat of their savagery expanding to the rest of the world has caused many nations to unite in their desire to conduct airstrikes and…well…we don’t know from there do we? Russia and France are coordinating with each other, the US has been operating for some time and China is also against ISIS in principle. All of these events could be interpreted as a possible instigator for international cooperation and the setting aside of geopolitical interests.

There is something poetic about the notion of enemies or hostile acquaintances setting aside their differences for the common good. But that is as far as the principle can be drawn, for I believe that history suggests such a union is only temporary. Russia allied with “The West” to defeat the Germans and, as we know, the Cold War followed. Let’s not forget that there is still the fighting in Ukraine, and US Vice President Joe Biden is keen to announce to Kiev that US-Russia relations are not exactly warming up.

But there is a collateral, unintended benefit that ISIS has provided. Many commentators are beginning to acknowledge that ISIS’ ideology is not particularly new or unique. ISIS didn’t just create some view of radical Islam that allowed it to gain the support of thousands of foreign fighters. One would be exhibiting a metaphysical disregard for reality if we think ISIS has infiltrated mosques and their ideas have been accepted in the last four or five years.

No, if you take a quick look at Google or Google News and type in things like “Saudi Arabia and ISIS” or “Wahhabi Islam and ISIS” you will begin to see the links. ISIS are simply the inheritors of a particular form of Islam that has arisen from Saudi Arabia, who are able to export their beliefs with their oil because of their monstrous amounts of money. ISIS has revealed that there are radicals like them everywhere waiting for the next caliphate.

It seems so fantastically sinister that our leaders deem it just to wage war against the barbarism of ISIS and yet have no qualms about hosting and complimenting the king of Saudi Arabia, a country who exercises a form of oppressive Islam very similar to ISIS, albeit with some differences. This is the same country who has executed at least 150 people in 2015 and who has various arms deals with Western countries and is apparently helping us in the war on terror. Oh and they are also on the UN Human Rights Council.

Somewhere in Saudi Arabia, where exorbitant wealth meets equally exorbitant wickedness, are rich Saudi men who conspire with megalomaniacal Wahhabi preachers, exporting their ideas as well as their oil.

Perhaps this is done by accepting zero refugees and instead offering to build 200 mosques in Germany, which undoubtedly would be under the benevolent guidance of educated and tolerant Wahhabism.

Is ISIS good for international cooperation amongst typically hostile nations? Perhaps for a time. But blowing your nose incessantly does not cure the cold, and continually bombing the various manifestations of radical Islam will not solve any problems, no matter how “united” we are. Western countries seldom attack Saudi Arabia so the ISIS crisis has provided another benefit: Our leaders are not as serious about tackling terrorism as they would have us believe. With great oil comes great responsibility.


John Moneir

John is a simple Law/Arts student and a cheeky member of his beloved Coptic Orthodox Church. While he'll agree to disagree about most things but if you do not like the Lord of the Rings and/or Harry Potter, He will at best, consider you with the utmost suspicion, and at worst a certified traitor of the entire human race.

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