Tackling the underlying jihadist ideology is the real battle

We need to address the ideological motive of why these jihadist terrorists are attacking and what it is they are trying to accomplish.

(This column originally appeared in the Toronto Sun)

By: Candice Malcolm

Returned ISIS militants pose a unique threat to the West — one than runs deeper than the daily threat of yet another deadly terrorist attack.

These returned ISIS terrorists are loyal to our enemies and devoted to an evil ideology that is completely at odds with our Western way of life. And yet, thanks to decades of careless immigration and integration policies, some of these foreign agents also happen to be Western citizens.

Because they are citizens, they take advantage of all the rights and privileges of citizenship.

They carry Canadian passports and demand access to our generous legal system. They use our Charter of Rights and Freedoms against us, by suing the government or relying on loopholes that prevent the government from throwing them in jail when they return home from foreign battlefields.  

There is no doubt that returned ISIS members are our enemies, and yet, they’ve disguised themselves amidst our population. They are enemy citizens, and they pose a unique threat to our safety, and ultimately, to our civilization.

For these extremists, terrorism is a tactic — a mechanism to advance their cause. And it’s the cause that should be even more alarming than the attacks themselves.

What could be more horrific than trained militants hijacking airplanes and crashing them into skyscrapers, or jihadists creating homemade bombs to blow up children at a pop concert or Christians praying in a church?

What could be worse than a jihadist driving a transport truck through a Christmas Market or summer parade, shooting up a gay night club, a holiday work party or a Parisian restaurant and murdering everyone in sight?

Jihadists use terrorism to advance their evil cause: destabilizing the West and spreading a fundamentalist doctrine of Islam. These jihadists are waging a war of civilizations, and ultimately, their goal is to destroy everything about our society in order to impose their version of political Islam.

They want our grandchildren in North America to live under their Islamic Caliphate. They want us all to submit to Islam — their harsh and medieval version of Islam — much like Yazidis and Christians in Iraq and Syria were forced to convert to Islam. Those who refused were either murdered, or sold into slavery.

The goal of these jihadists, as we’ve heard them say over and over, is to spread their faith across North America. In 2014, an ISIS propaganda video stated that ISIS will “raise the black flag of Allah in the White House.” They’ve made similar statements about Buckingham Palace and our Canadian Parliament Buildings.

“I say to America that the Islamic Caliphate has been established and we will not stop,” said an unknown ISIS militant.

Much of our focus when it comes to terrorism is on how to stop the endless string of attacks on innocent civilians. We’ve built a security apparatus to stop crazed madmen from strikes that devastate communities and lead the Western world into a state of fear and mistrust.

But we’re only scratching the surface when it comes to the war against jihadists.

In order to contemplate the larger struggle, we need to address the ideological motive of why these jihadist terrorists are attacking and what it is they are trying to accomplish.

The answers to these questions reveal that the problem isn’t just about our safety today, it’s about the preserving future of our country, protecting our way of life, and saving Western Civilization.