After the attacks that shocked the world for their brutality and coldly calculated effect, there is a dilemma for the leaders of the West, for Obama, Cameron, Hollande, Merkel, and all the other figureheads. But there is also a dilemma for the citizens of the Western nations, one which will have far larger consequences, the dilemma of the appropriate reaction. Barely twenty-four hours after the mass murders, there are already cries-from a bigoted and ignorant minority, but growing increasingly louder-against migrants and against Muslims.
Isil are not stupid. The attacks upon Russia and France show this. The bombing of a Russian plane in Egyptian soil was a killing of two birds with one stone for the terrorists, revenging Egypt for being the only Arab nation to issue a public support for Russian bombing in Syria and, and revenging Russia for said bombing.
They realise that with each attack, the ignorant in the nation will turn on all Muslims, attacking their property and their wellbeing. They know that it is precisely this social ostracisation that lures people into joining their cult, people who feel isolated and have nothing to lose.
Extremism must be cut off at the source, the isolation of Muslims and minorities must be addressed. It is important now more than ever that the world stands united, shoulder to shoulder against Isil. American with Briton with Frenchman with Lebanese, Christian with Muslim with Jew, we must show solidarity and remove the domestic threat before we deal with the international threat.
Standing united is crucial, and we must recognise that as Tolkein put so deftly in Lord of the Rings, “there is some good in this world and it’s worth fighting for”. That fight begins here and now, no matter what decision our leaders make, the citizens of the world must link arms and stand united; lest we fall divided.