How dangerous is global jihad to the U.S., Israel and the rest of the world— and how should we deal with this threat?
Terrorist groups ISIS (the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria), Hamas, al Qaeda and Boko Haram have in common their disdain for Western values, their murderous disregard for human life and their goals of conquering vast lands in the name of Islam. Because they consider jihad a divine mission, they refuse to surrender or negotiate peace.
What are the facts?
ISIS, the latest, most brutal and militarily successful Islamist terror group, grew as an offshoot of al Qaeda in Syria. The group now controls huge swaths of territory in Syria and Iraq, massive stores of armaments, some 15,000 soldiers and billions of dollars in assets. ISIS's avowed goal is to create an Islamic caliphate—empire—consisting of land it perceives to belong to Islam, hundreds of other terrorist acts, killing thousands of innocent civilians. Boko Haram has distinguished itself by murdering some 5,000 citizens, including 2,000 in 2014 alone, kidnapping 300 Christian schoolgirls and driving 650,000 Nigerians from their homes.
While most of the world's nations agree that the global Islamist jihad must be stopped, its perpetrators have implacably refused to surrender or negotiate a peace. All remain unconditionally committed to the defeat of Islam's "infidel" enemies and colonizing their lands. Even Hamas in its recent conflict with Israel broke all 11 ceasefire agreements, rendering peace talks impossible and subjecting Palestinian citizens to more suffering.
While no Western nation seeks another war in the Middle East or Africa, we must ask how long these terrorist aggressors should be permitted to kill and expel civilian populations and conquer others' territories. Indeed, since these groups show no signs of relenting their murderous terror campaigns, responsible Western nations, led by the United States, should consider urgent action for stopping them. While Israel is helping to fight Hamas—in fact is compelled to do so since Hamas attacks its citizens daily— Israel cannot hold back the jihadi tide by itself. It needs the unalloyed support of the West for its fight. But even more, the world needs Western nations to defeat the global jihad . . . before these terror groups swallow more territory, enslave more people and strike our homeland once again.
Global jihadi groups—ISIS, Hamas, al Qaeda and Boko Haram—share the same oppressive Islamist ideology, the same drive to conquer others' lands and people, the same barbaric tactics and disrespect for human life, and they raise the same increasingly dire threat to the U.S. and our allies. Isn't it time for a U.S.-led coalition to oppose the black flag of jihad with moral determination, courage and all necessary force?
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Gerardo Joffe, President