Hénin was chained together in underground cells by ISIS in Syria for 10 months as a hostage alongside US journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff (both of whom were later beheaded), has since his release not only revealed his brutal and gruesome ordeal at hands of terror group, but also given the rest of us pointers on how not to help the jihadists:
- Welcoming refugees is the best strategy against ISIS
- Airstrikes against Syria are a trap
- Jihadists want the West to kill Muslims to justify their terror
- Terrorists can be defeated
Let’s look at each point uniquely.
When it comes to migrants, Hénin insists:
“Welcoming refugees is not a terror threat to our countries; it’s like a vaccine to protect us from terrorism, because the more interactions we have between societies, between communities, the less there will be tensions. The Islamic State believes in a global confrontation. What they want eventually is civil war in our countries, or at least large unrest, and in the Middle East, a large-scale war. This is what they look for. This is what they struggle for. So we have to kill their narrative and actually to welcome refugees, totally destroy their narrative.”
Similarly, he warns us against airstrikes in Syria.
“Airstrikes in Syria, the way they are done, are a mistake… All of these bombings have a terrible side effect. And basically, we—Westerners, but not only Westerners, also the Russians, also the regime—are pushing the Syrian people into the hands of ISIS. We are working for them. We are recruiting for them.”
All of this hate toward Muslims also help ISIS recruit.
In an op-ed for The Guardian, Hénin explains:
“With their news and social media interest, they will be noting everything that follows their murderous assault on Paris, and my guess is that right now the chant among them will be “We are winning”. They will be heartened by every sign of overreaction, of division, of fear, of racism, of xenophobia; they will be drawn to any examples of ugliness on social media.
“Central to their world view is the belief that communities cannot live together with Muslims, and every day their antennae will be tuned towards finding supporting evidence. The pictures from Germany of people welcoming migrants will have been particularly troubling to them. Cohesion, tolerance – it is not what they want to see.
“Canada withdrew from the air war after the election of Justin Trudeau. I desperately want France to do the same, and rationality tells me it could happen. But pragmatism tells me it won’t. The fact is we are trapped: ISIS has trapped us. They came to Paris with Kalashnikovs, claiming that they wanted to stop the bombing, but knowing all too well that the attack would force us to keep bombing or even to intensify these counterproductive attacks. That is what is happening.”
And in a column for the International Business Times, Hénin made a very compelling case for why we must not overreact to the acts of terrorism:
Let’s start by asking ourselves, what does our enemy want us to do? What reaction would make them happy? The answer is that the Paris attacks were committed because ISIS wants to see us kill Muslims. They want to provoke military escalation in Syria. They want to provoke unrest. They want to provoke confrontations with Muslims from the Western world.
In closing, consider these following words on how we can overcome ISIS:
“The winner of this war will not be the party that has the newest, the most expensive or the most sophisticated weaponry, but the party that manages to win over people.”