The rise of Islamic State has paralysed the West, leaving it “unable to act in a coherent and effective fashion” according to a blog by Rev Nadim Nassar in The Tablet.

The latest shock to the world is the capture by ISIS of Palmyra, an ancient city in the Syrian desert that is mentioned in the Bible Old Testament book of Chronicles.

Palmyra saw the rise and fall of many empires and civilisations around it, says the Church of England’s only Syrian priest, “yet now it seems that we may be the ones to witness its fall”.

The world does not grasp the vastness of the resources available to IS, he added. “The only way even to start to defeat ISIS is by cutting off their external resources, and preventing them from recruiting impressionable young Muslim men and women.”