The IRA and ISIL


There is a legitimate parallel to be drawn between the IRA and ISIL (or ISIS, or Daesh, or whatever we’re calling it this week). Indeed I have cited the parallel myself.   We should be careful to recognise that while most IRA terrorists were Irish Catholics, they represented only a tiny percentage of the Irish Catholic community, most of whom rejected violence.  It was vitally important not to stereotype all Irish Catholics as terrorists.

The same is true of ISIL.  The great majority of British Muslims are decent law-abiding people, who are appalled by the violence in Manchester and more recently in London.  We can and must condemn the terrorists and their fellow-travellers while taking care not to stereotype the whole Muslim community.

But at one point the parallel breaks down.  The objective of the IRA was essentially political.  They were not fighting for their religion.  They were fighting for a united Ireland.  Now I personally reject that objective for a number of reasons – and I absolutely reject and repudiate the IRA’s abhorrent methods.  But I can at least recognise that Irish unification is a reasonable and legitimate objective for an Irish nationalist, provided it is pursued through a peaceful political process.

But this is not the case with ISIL.  Admittedly it is difficult to get a clear and coherent statement of ISIL’s objectives, and difficult to see how mowing down civilians with a hired van, or stabbing people at random, could serve such objectives.

However we can reasonably say that their objective is to impose their own Mediæval interpretation of Islam on the whole world, by force.  In the process they are happy to kill and torture and behead their opponents on an industrial scale  They will cheerfully kill any non-believer, but they are especially keen to kill apostates, blasphemers, Coptic Christians and homosexuals.  And they want to lock women into subservience to (Muslim) men, denying them their fundamental rights.

They want a global Caliphate.  This is not a political objective – or to the extent that it could be, it is not a legitimate political objective. It harks back to the early days of Islam, when it was imposed by fire and the sword.  In the case of the IRA, we could oppose the terrorists without setting ourselves against Catholicism.  But to oppose ISIL, we must be prepared to condemn not the Muslim faith as a whole, but at least this version of it – a version which is surreptitiously promoted in mosques and madrassas in the UK.

Earlier today I Tweeted: “It is quite wrong to stereotype all Muslims as terrorists. But it is equally wrong to deny that ISIL is inspired by Islam”.  In half an hour it had had forty re-Tweets and 4,000 views.  I’ve also taken the usual stick from the usual trolls, but I stand by the Tweet.

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15 Responses to The IRA and ISIL

  1. tapestory says:

    1400 years of massacres of christians and other kaffirs. The supposed terror is all home made nothing to do with Islam, all to do with stopping Corbyn.

  2. ISIL is inspired by mohamed. By the deeds of mohamed, and by his words (which are supposedly recorded in the quran, and supposedly come from ‘Allah’, through mo.)

    In addition to the quran we have the sira, the tafsir and the hadith, all of which make up islamic scripture. mohamed of course is THE messenger, for THE God, and this does not allow for other interpretations.

    You may not like any of this Roger (I don’t either), but islam isn’t interested in your interpretation of what you would like islam to be. It isn’t just a ‘religion’ either it is also extreme politics, and more besides. And so, like the IRA, islam is following a political objective and a political ideology, and this does, in fact, apply to all of islam, (although all followers of mohamed may not be following it as they are commanded, and required to do.)….Even though the IRA’s politics may not have been followed by all Roman Catholics, as you say. You are in error, if you think islam can be viewed in the same way.

  3. George Morley says:

    I am sympathetic to your view of the current probIem with the foIIowers of islam Roger but cannot heIp but feeI that fenbeagIebIog has it right, more’s the pity.
    I don’t put islam in the same category as a reIigion anyway aIthough they wouId cIaim it to be so it is just a cuIt that has to be deaIt with Iike any other.
    It has no pIace in the 21st century and Sharia Iaw can go with it aIong with the burqa which shouId be banned as we have equaI rights for women and they know it to be so.
    They are to trying to impose their interpretation which wiII never work in any democratic society.
    AII Governments must see it for what it is and bring down the iaw of the Iand that they may not recognise but wiII have to abide by if wishing to Iive in any democraticaIIy run country.
    Their choice but onIy if we aIIow them in, in the first pIace which is where the EU were at fauIt and the UK Government faiIed to act and cIose the borders over which the EU shouId have no authority.

  4. Dung says:


    I am afraid that I also agree with Fenbeagle although I do not have his knowledge of Islam.
    Details have yet to be disclosed but so far nothing has been said about any previous police knowledge of last night’s attackers but some people have expressed incredulity that these nice neighbours could have been involved in such an attack. This to me is the problem; people who are described as peace loving suddenly become radicalised and start killing us. We are told that this is not real Islam but a perverted form of Islam however it seems to me that no Islam means no perverted Islam?
    The whole of Islam is the problem not just so called radicalised Muslims.

  5. HUGH ROSE says:

     Roger There was more of a similarity between the two conflicts than you suggest and you understate the support there was for the terrorists in Ireland. Terrorists are “fish who require water in which to swim”. The Irish Catholic population was overwhelmingly nationalist and while many did indeed deplore the IRA’s excesses, many even most supported the concept of force to obtain their ends. Very few were prepared to denounce or work against the terrorists (and not only out of fear of retribution). I am afraid a similar attitude was demonstrated by many RC priests to the Moslem imams: many were openly hostile to the Crown and supportive of terrorism and the remainder seldom condemned the pursuit of unification through violence and made little positive effort to reduce terrorism or influence their flocks away from supporting the terrorists. Radical Islam is an idea and as such can never be ‘defeated’ – why do so many stupid politicians constantly make such calls? It is merely an extreme interpretation of the Koran – much the same as the Catholic Inquisition or Protestant extremism of the Middle Ages.  All we can do is outlaw and fight against those who are identified as following its warped creed and distance ourselves intellectually and more important physically and geographically from those who will not openly condemn all the tenets of the evil idea. There is no compromise possible. Yours Hugh

    From: Roger Helmer MEP To: Sent: Sunday, 4 June 2017, 14:39 Subject: [New post] The IRA and ISIL #yiv1752903125 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv1752903125 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv1752903125 a.yiv1752903125primaryactionlink:link, #yiv1752903125 a.yiv1752903125primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv1752903125 a.yiv1752903125primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv1752903125 a.yiv1752903125primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv1752903125 | rogeroffice posted: “There is a legitimate parallel to be drawn between the IRA and ISIL (or ISIS, or Daesh, or whatever we’re calling it this week). Indeed I have cited the parallel myself.   We should be careful to recognise that while most IRA terrorists were Irish Catho” | |

  6. falcons1988 says:

    There is only one version of Islam – the shahada “There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger.” 4:65 of the Quran makes it clear that Muhammed (the Quran) is judge jury and executioner in all disputes.

    • I look forward to Rogers rebutal. (He likes straight talking). There wont be a twist or turn in his reply. And he’ll make it a point of honour to reply, as he does with other subjects.

  7. Richard111 says:

    I note there is no mention of sharia law in this discussion. The media informs me there are attempts to impose this ‘law’ in areas of the UK with large muslim populations.
    The majority of peaceful muslims in the UK have no option but to agree with that.
    Their own religion does not allow them to disobey. That ‘law’ is very explicit.
    It has no parallel with UK Law.

  8. bumper says:

    Sharia Law drives a coach and horses through our liberal beliefs. It should be banned and the perpetrators jailed. Treating females as second class citizens has no place in 21st century Britain.

  9. Dung says:


    In your article here you state ” The great majority of British Muslims are decent law-abiding people, who are appalled by the violence” and yet in your earlier piece ‘Islam is a religion of Peace’, you quote research that almost says the opposite.
    For excample:
    “In a 2015 poll for Survation, 39% of Muslims think the police and MI5 contribute to the radicalisation of young Muslims. 28% sympathise with young Muslims who leave the UK to fight in Syria. And a massive 40% do not think that Muslims have any obligation to condemn acts of terrorism carried out in the name of Islam.”
    You also say words to the effect that we should not make the mistake of thinking all Muslims are terrorists however I think it might be right to say that all Muslims are potential terrorists and certainly that they wish to subvert our way of life.

  10. Julie Steadman says:

    There are some similarities between the IRA and Islam however this is where it breaks down. The IRA did not defend their actions from the bible.

    ISIS do defend their actions from the Quran. In deed there are over 100 killing verses about what should be done to the Infidel. (see web page below)

    I have been trying to get to the bottom of this for a while. Was the killing a cultural interpretation of their religion or were they doing what the Quran says. Like loads of killing has been done in the name of Christianity but quite difficult to get that from Jesus teachings. You need to add on bits from the Old Testament which is an Old Covenant about bringing Gods kingdom to earth (similar to Islam) except that Jesus changed it by saying that his kingdom is not of this world so violence is not to be used etc etc

    In the end I have been very influenced by a book called Islam and Terrorism by a former Egyptian Islamic professor Mark Gabriel. He lists all the verses and goes into the various interpretations.

    This and debating with Muslims on line, not one of them have come up with an honest explanation as to why these verses don’t mean what they say. They try and say they were used in self-defence but they were not as they were written when Muhammad was in Medina and had power etc.

    Interestingly they usually defend their violence by saying that other religions are no better. There is hardly ever an explanation as to why killing is wrong. From their perspective God has told them to bring in Gods kingdom to earth and they do that by killing the non-believer because they are Idolaters and therefore against God.

    The trouble is, will we have a blood bath if this becomes widely known. Many Muslims are not following the Quran.

    Maybe out of the EU we will be able to deal with this issue better by more easily expelling the perpetrators.

  11. Richard111 says:

    As for the religion of peace; have a look at some history.

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