Europe Must Fight Islamism Without Fighting Islam

In response to recent terrorist attacks, France and Austria have stepped up their efforts to combat Islamic radicalism. Ed Husain praises their leaders for doing so, while encouraging them to remain sensitive to an important distinction:

The danger is not from the elderly Muslim gentleman with a beautiful beard, nor the lady who wishes to cover her hair out of religious observation. Religious conservatism is not a national-security concern. The threat can come from a clean-shaven, suit-wearing, smart-talking Islamist activist. This danger of political Islamism is not about appearance, but a sophisticated and suave ideological enemy who hides behind false claims of representing the [Muslim] “community.”

To target Islamists and their narrative, as France and Austria have done, is not racist or Islamophobic. Just as targeting Nazis is not anti-German, identifying Islamists and their support for terrorism is not anti-Muslim.

From this basic conviction, we build policies to advance the interests of Europe. . . . Why are Islamists a danger to Europe today? Because the very foundations of European society and prosperity are under direct assault from an ideology and a narrative that only becomes violent because it seeks to end the nation state, remove secular governments, deprive women of their rights, destroy Israel and kill Jews, execute gay people, and force innocent Muslims to live under Islamist rule.

Why is open support for Hamas and Hizballah allowed in European cities? Why were there vast crowds in London gathering to mourn the elimination of Iran’s top terror mastermind, Qassem Suleimani? If Europe’s politicians do not respond with unison and success, far-right political parties will.

Read more at Al Arabiya

More about: Austria, European Islam, France, Islamism, Terrorism

Iran’s Options for Revenge on Israel

On April 1, an Israeli airstrike on Damascus killed three Iranian generals, one of whom was the seniormost Iranian commander in the region. The IDF has been targeting Iranian personnel and weaponry in Syria for over a decade, but the killing of such a high-ranking figure raises the stakes significantly. In the past several days, Israelis have received a number of warnings both from the press and from the home-front command to ready themselves for retaliatory attacks. Jonathan Spyer considers what shape that attack might take:

Tehran has essentially four broad options. It could hit an Israeli or Jewish facility overseas using either Iranian state forces (option one), or proxies (option two). . . . Then there’s the third option: Tehran could also direct its proxies to strike Israel directly. . . . Finally, Iran could strike Israeli soil directly (option four). It is the riskiest option for Tehran, and would be likely to precipitate open war between the regime and Israel.

Tehran will consider all four options carefully. It has failed to retaliate in kind for a number of high-profile assassinations of its operatives in recent years. . . . A failure to respond, or staging too small a response, risks conveying a message of weakness. Iran usually favors using proxies over staging direct attacks. In an unkind formulation common in Israel, Tehran is prepared to “fight to the last Arab.”

Read more at Spectator

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Syria