James Renton: Europe’s undeclared war on Islam

In Middle East Monitor:

The ceasefire in Syria has not paused the war being waged by EU member states against Islamic State (IS) in that country. The air forces of France, Britain and the Netherlands have not been put on standby. They continue in their efforts to kill members of the group and destroy its resources and military infrastructure. At first sight, therefore, the war against IS appears to be a special case, something distinct from what is happening in Syria and indeed the wider Middle East. Is, though, the conflict against IS the only, or even the most significant, of Europe’s wars in the region that cannot be interrupted?

When François Hollande stood before the French parliament at Versailles after last November’s attacks in Paris and said, “France is at war,” which enemy did he have in mind? Who, exactly, is France at war with? Hollande did not tell us straight away; the enemy did not require immediate explanation, but he went on to set it out for us: the enemy, Hollande argued, is “jihadist terrorism” which threatens “the entire world.”

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About bengidley

Senior Lecturer at the School of Social Science, History and Philosophy at Birkbeck, University of London. View all posts by bengidley

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