Iraqi Christians ask the international community for help as they are facing annihilation by Islamic State. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Christians demonstrate in front of the UN office in Erbil, northern Iraq, in August 2015 (Photo: World Watch Monitor)

The Islamic State group may have been defeated on the battlefield, but the West has allowed its ideology to “percolate” and in that case it won, writes Seth J. Frantzman for the Jerusalem Post.

“[ISIS] won in Iraq and Syria by destroying minority communities. It won because today the international community is not funding those communities or rebuilding their areas. It won in the West because it was allowed to percolate up and then quietly go away without any real desire to confront it,” Frantzman says.

Drawing parallels with other destructive ideologies, such as those of the Nazis or KKK, Frantzman says those groups’ racism and intolerance was confronted head-on. Not so, he says, with IS, and that’s why its ideology persists.

“In 2014, ISIS was open about its goals. It said, ‘We are going to kill the kuffar,’ the word for ‘non-Muslims’ or ‘infidels’. On social media, hundreds of thousands of accounts shared ISIS videos of executions, beheadings, machine-gunning people into mass graves. It looked like the Holocaust, as though you could have watched the Einsatzgruppen [Nazi death squads] in real time. Yet almost nothing was done in 2014 to prevent thousands of people from joining ISIS. Instead, all that was done was a concerted media campaign to claim that ISIS was ‘violent extremists’ and ‘militants’ and ‘insurgents’ – a whole conveyor belt of terms designed to make us think ISIS isn’t like the Nazis, it’s something else.

“The 50,000 foreigners from all over the world who travelled to Iraq and Syria … bragged online about rape and genocide. These were the SS members of our era, if the SS members had Twitter and Facebook to talk about how much they couldn’t wait to get to Poland to create Lebensraum [space in which to live],” Frantzman says.

New audio footage purportedly of the IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was released yesterday, in which the speaker called for patience, perseverance and continued jihad and also referenced the dispute between the US and Turkey over the continued detention of pastor Andrew Brunson.