Summary account by Marilyn Stern, Communications Coordinator for the Middle East Forum.
The terror attacks in the run-up to the British elections were not the only factor behind the elections' surprise outcome. Brexit, austerity politics, and religious divisions within British society played a key role in the Conservatives' loss of parliamentary majority, leaving Theresa May's coalition government vulnerable to Labor and its reinvigorated leader Jeremy Corbyn, with his long history of pandering to Islamist terror groups and sponsors, notably Hezbollah, Hamas, and Iran.
In these circumstances, Mrs. May's pledge that "enough is enough" remains hollow so long as it is not followed with concrete steps. She proffers an ambitious four-pronged approach to fighting lone wolf jihadism that consists of defeating the ideology, regulating the cyberspace, destroying ISIS, and developing a counterterrorism strategy. Yet when she was Home Secretary, her preventive and investigative measures were confined to social media censorship, which, while producing some tactical successes, failed to stop jihadist ideology from flourishing.
Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn (left) has a long history of pandering to Islamist terror groups, while Conservative leader Theresa May (right) has pledged "enough is enough."
Nor has Mrs. May addressed the flow of funds from the Arab monarchies of the Gulf to Islamist British institutions, the Salafi radicalization in the prison system, and the role of taxpayer money in funding British schools under the sway of Islamists, thus showing a lack of seriousness about tackling both jihadist terrorism and the radicalization of Western Muslim communities by non-violent Islamists.
Absent the will, credibility, and political capital to initiate substantive reforms for curbing Islamist ideology, the recent reprisal attack against a London mosque might herald a white working-class violent backlash that can easily deteriorate to targeting the Jewish community, hated by both extremes. Unfortunately, while recognizing the Islamist danger attending the influx of Middle Eastern and North African migrants into Europe, Mrs. May (like her EU counterparts) prefers to look the other side, focusing on ISIS and online propaganda as the main threats.
The British predicament is emblematic of Europe's wider extremism problem and offers a foretaste of what lies in stock for America. Unless the European governments meet the Islamist challenge head on, their fast-growing Muslim populations will remain susceptible to its radicalizing influence, which bodes ill for the continent's future.