Where are the Muslim foreign fighters against ISIS?

I know for a fact, oft repeated with media friendly abhorrent characters such as Jihadi John, and my fellow French nationals whose Ipods have ran out of batteries, that there are thousands of foreign fighters, old school Muslim, recent converts, and nutjobs of all walks of life, fueling ISIS and their oil infused marauding.

I know for a fact that all manners of non-Muslim westerners are joining the Peshmerga, PKK, YPG and other Kurdish units to crush the aberration that is ISIS, from Dutch biker gangs, to Canadian military and Israeli female volunteers. A veritable smorgasbord of freedom fighters.

And the Kurds, like Saladin fourteen hundred years ago, are proving to be what Muslims worldwide should be most proud of, because while the Muslim world shares not in my name hashtags, the Kurds are trading not in my name bullets.

But, there is no mention of Muslim foreign fighters travelling to Iraq and Syria to fight against ISIS, or so little it hardly matters.

There are European Muslims, Western Muslims fighting against ISIS: there’s a fairly large mobilization by Kurds to facilitate fighting in Syria and Iraq against ISIS.

Nowhere have I found an article talking about Western Muslim fighters as non-jihadists.

Strange isn’t it? I’m not a conspiracy theorist, well, within reasonable limits, but the same way Kurds are never painted by a Muslim brush but always by a secular pro-western brush, foreign Muslim fighters only fall under one category, the jihadist angle.

I would appreciate nuance here, because, the media narrative is one of crazy western Muslims in a war against the world worthy of old piracy, and western non-Muslims protecting the world against radical Muslims.

Muslims are the terrorists. Muslims are the noxious weed you need to root out at home. Muslims are not the defenders of secularism and universal values, non-Muslim westerners are.

Gimme a break.

Those fighters are out there, with 1.6 billion Muslims it’s a statistical aberration to suggest that they are not. The media narrative needs to move from feeding the world a Hungtintonian clash of civilizations worldview and playing into hate politics, to doing its job and fostering a better understanding of the reality on the ground, and the reality of our western societies.

Anyway, next time you wonder why Islam worries you so much, turn off the television.

About the Author
Mame Bougouma Diene is a civil servant on permanent vacation even when he works 70 hours a week, who also blogs for the Times of Israel in French. He's French-Senegalese American, loves Israel and the Middle East, would really like to see an end to this intractable mess in his lifetime.