European lawmakers are divided on the issue of how to appropriately deal with Islamic radicals returning home from the Middle East. Since the defeat of Daesh (ISIS) in Syria and Iraq, thousands of militants are returning to their homes in Europe which they had left during the peak of the Syrian Civil War. Liberal and Left-wing parties, accompanied by NGOs, are of the opinion that these fighters must be reintegrated into European society, taking a leaf out of Canadian PM Justin Trudeau’s plan of ‘assimilating’ jihadis back into Canadian society. There are several security related concerns surrounding this plan, and the threat has various aspects that aren’t as obvious as they may seem.
Apart from the obvious threat that these fighters are radicalised jihadis that are taught to despise the West and Western ideals, the little known fact is that they are, more often than not, accompanied by wives and children. This is where the real issue lies- when children that have been brought up in a radical Islamic society, and hence accordingly indoctrinated, come to a new ultra-liberal environment. Such a contrasting environment is bound to create friction and emanate a negative reaction. “We see the threat of children, socialized by Islamists, and thus accordingly indoctrinated, returning to Germany from a war zone. I fear the possibility that a new generation of jihadis is being created,” Hans-Georg Maassen, President of Germany’s Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution said.
These fighters, coupled with their children, have been indoctrinated with Salafist or Wahhabist ideology, and welcoming them back home could be equivalent to striking the hammer on one’s own foot. It is no secret that most of the terror attacks that Europe has witnessed have been planned on European soil itself. Sleeper terror cells exist throughout the relatively liberal nations of Belgium, France and Germany. Expecting returning Jihadis to give up on their ideology and readily becoming law abiding citizens might be too big a risk as these returning fighters could land up bolstering the ranks of the rapidly growing terror cells across the continent.
Many view the debate on refugees as a futile one, and the Right Wing across Europe is staunchly in opposition to the intake of refugees from war torn regions. For them, the prospect of taking in fighters from the very same regions that they oppose taking in refugees from would seem rather preposterous. Several Right of Center European lawmakers have suggested that these returning fighters be regularly monitored by anti-terror groups, since lack of evidence could make the process of prosecuting these individuals upon their arrival an uphill task.
Europe is on the brink of a cultural and civilizational war, and the step to reintegrate returning jihadis will only quicken the process. Legal migration into highly developed European nations has already morphed the demographics of the regions beyond the point of return. The subsequent intake of illegal migrants and refugees has resulted in a direct spike in crimes like rape and murder, while migrant gangs continue to terrorize pedestrians in France and Germany. A decision to reintegrate returning jihadis into society would only be taken for appeasement purposes, and such an irresponsible step could make Europe a hotbed for home grown terrorism. The authorities in these nations are already too skeptical of targeting one community, and going by the demographic trends, their task will only become more difficult in effectively tackling terrorism on European soil.
Western Europe should serve as a stern warning to liberals here in India as to the disastrous consequences of liberal and so called ‘humanitarian‘ policies. Individuals that lack humanity cannot be given humane treatment, irrespective of the circumstances.