‘Impossible’ to beat Islamic State online
I hope this doesn’t sound too pessimistic and doom-laden, but I don’t there’s anything we can do to defeat Islamic State online (‘Question of the Fortnight’, Issue 503). The movement is simply too large, and the barbarity of its members so ingrained, to be challenged by anti-jihadist adverts from Western governments. It’s an impossible task.
We have to take a step back and ask not whether they can be beaten online, but why their sick ideology exists in the first place, and that’s a complex question with no simple answer. I fear it will take decades for Islamic State’s hatred of the West to subside. More moderate generations will need to oust the extremists. Until that happens, the terrorists will use the most modern technology available to spread their evil propaganda. At the moment that’s the internet. In 20 years, they may be using something else.