I live near London Bridge and Borough Market.
Last night there was a terrorist attack here, and at least seven people are dead. This just after the Manchester Arena bombing, and before that Westminster Bridge.
What the hell are they trying to achieve?
ISIS, in their online magazine, have explained that their strategy is to eliminate the 'grey-zone'. They quote Bin Laden approvingly (who himself cites no less an Islamic authority than George W Bush):
“The world today is divided into two camps. Bush spoke the truth when he said, ‘Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists.’ Meaning, either you are with the crusade or you are with Islam”
The grey-zone is the inconvenient fact that both Bush and Bin Laden were talking bollocks. Most Muslims are neither with the crusaders nor with the terrorists. But what ISIS want is to change that reality. And their strategy is to ensure that the institutions and governments of the west are the main agents of that change. Their plan is to compel "the crusaders to actively destroy the grayzone themselves". And this will happen because:
"Muslims in the crusader countries will find themselves driven to abandon their homes for a place to live in the Caliphate, as the crusaders increase persecution against Muslims living in Western lands so as to force them into a tolerable sect of apostasy in the name of “Islam” before forcing them into blatant Christianity and democracy"
Thankfully, in general, there are many people - both Muslim and non-muslim - who understand that the persecution of Muslims would be to fall into a stupid trap, and there are strong and effective voices who are helping us avoid it. Sadiq Kahn, London's Mayor, is one of the more important, but everyone whose speech or action reminds us that ISIS is a common threat regardless of religion helps us to avoid playing their game.
Still, there are also many who are working to achieve ISIS's tactical aims, whose public platforms are used to attack the grey-zone. For example Katie Hopkins has, as part of her campaign against the grey-zone, called for a 'final solution'. She does not realise it, but she is a primary ISIS asset. Right now she is tweeting that no-one wants to hear Sadiq Kahn, and that we must not stand united with Muslims against these horrors. But we do want to. And we need to. Or ISIS is winning.