A large area of the Middle East has been declared a Caliphate – a Muslim state – and the leaders of this organisation allegedly have plans to extend this into other areas, including countries where the Muslim faith is in the minority. The leader has called for non-military assistance in the formation of this “state” – which you can read about here.

It sounds like a work of fiction, a throwback to more ancient times of conquest or an ambitious computer game. However, this is very real. People are dying. Normal people who just want to live their lives: go to school, learn, work, have families, die gracefully. We see it on the television and in the newspapers and it’s like watching a film or playing a strategy game on Playstation. The people involved can’t switch it off. They’re not graphics or actors – they’re people, just like you.

What’s it got to do with the West? This is very much our problem as some of these fighters, these enablers, come from where you live. They appear to be normal people that live in the house next to you. Their families say they are horrified and astonished that their sons have gone off to fight in this conflict. Where were they? Where were their parenting skills? Their religious leaders, the ones that go to the same Asda as you on a Saturday afternoon, are quick to point out that they didn’t encourage it, that they don’t condone it, that it’s nothing to do with them. It’s very much to do with them. It’s very much to do with us all.

There’s an enormous contrast between ISIS and their brutal murderous conquest methodology and of the developed West and their determination not to offend anyone and their political correctness. In the UK, it’s likely any returning fighters would be subject to some kind of criminal proceedings but that would likely be hard to prove and more importantly, hard to even identify. These Jihadis have the same passports as you do. There’s the horrendous cost of monitoring them and the likely failures in trying to do that. We know that it’s unlikely a person will go through a God appointed religious war and then come back and stack shelves in Tesco when it’s finished. There’s no way back to normal for them. They’re not going to get friends and family around and show them a slideshow of what they did that summer.

Ideological wars can’t end unless there’s complete defeat or the ideology is successfully implemented. If you feel empowered by God and compelled to act, you’re unlikely to downsize your thinking  from bombings and murder to leafleting.

So why do young people, growing up in Western society suddenly take up arms and want to install what is effectively a new society? From a Western perspective, Sharia law is very harsh, although very likely to have been demonised in the media. Why would someone want to completely change the way their own society works? They must judge it as broken, something they can no longer live within. People convince them that change is possible. The excitement of making these changes, with your soul underwritten by God Himself, is a very powerful argument for the disillusioned.

Society should provide for future generations – this is how the human race evolves and what we should aspire to. One day an event will wipe out Earth as we know it – be it an asteroid or plague. To survive, we must have developed sufficiently to colonise the stars. Young people today are thrown into an increasingly competitive and global world where success is hard to achieve. Success is also defined by the media and the definition is unrealistic and supported by glossy pictures and sensational statistics. Most people will struggle to find what they’ve been told is a dull job. In today’s internet world of “now” this is not enough. They’ll never attain the levels that they read about and will consider themselves as failures. With information so readily available, this defined failure is inevitable.

Today, a lot of people will not get to this part of the Blog – they want Tweets – everything quickly and in small easy-to-process chunks. They want a better life for themselves, they want it now. Fighting an ideological war powered by sheer faith is a way to get it quickly. It’s also fast and exciting, just like a movie. If you believe the media, it’s quite easy to get to Syria through Turkey. The internet makes the world smaller. You can communicate with people all across the world in seconds and set up meetings and groups. It’s too fast and our foot is jammed on the accelerator. The car will run out of gas or it will crash.

We’re so concerned about infringing personal freedoms and allowing the individual to express him or herself that we risk our own freedom to do it. When these fighters are defeated – and they will be – and they come home to your Western country – which they will do – and continue their Jihad – which they will do – the cosseted way they are treated will cost you your freedom. Tell me how free you are when your arms and legs are blown off at the train station on your way home from work. A fairer solution is to be proactive and not reactive in response to their actions.

Consider the Emperor’s New Clothes. We are too busy telling each other how free we are, how fair we are and how great that is whilst the shadow spreads towards us from the corner. Society is where society is. We don’t owe anyone the effort of rehabilitation once they cross that line and reject it. The cost of this folly will be large but people see it as possible. Potential new recruits need to know what the penalties are before they go, not that they can come home and be welcomed back.

Providing youth centres and job opportunities and the like is not enough – it won’t solve the problem. Religious leaders telling their followers not to follow this path is not going to work either. Other people are offering a more interesting and fast acting message to the bored and the restless. The recent footage of three UK teenagers that have gone to fight Jihad left their parents and local Mosque individuals stunned and shocked. If they didn’t even know their sons were radicalised then what chance do we have? Were they blind? The internet is blamed as an easy-to-use medium for spreading the word. Can we stop that? No. One said he will return and finish his study to become a doctor. Do you want a man with blood on his hands working in a hospital or as a GP?

The internet is a Petri dish and the Jihadist word spreads like an articulate virus. Do you or can you reason with a virus? No. You have to provide harsh conditions so that it cannot survive. Not doing this allows and encourages the virus to multiply quickly. Soon it escapes the dish and is on your hand. Then it’s too late.

Empires rise and fall. Religions grow and religions diminish. The historical precedent suggests otherwise but the only way that society can develop is by respecting others and their faith (all of them) and not forcing your views and behaviour on other people. The vast majority of society does this and multi-cultural societies are rich and humanity should be proud of its diversity. However, the meek will not inherit the earth.