It’s hard to appreciate the effect ISIS has had on ordinary Iraqis and Syrians who wanted nothing to do with the terror group.
There are cities in these countries that have been ruled by these monsters for several years. Monsters whose cruelty and depravity knows no bounds. Most people in the West can’t imagine what that must be like, because the vast majority of us have never lived under those conditions.
So what does happens to people who have been living under ISIS for so long?
Well, try to imagine what you would do if a bunch of lunatics had been running your community for several years. Imagine if they had cut you off from the outside world, tortured and killed family members and neighbors, sold female relatives into sexual slavery, and indoctrinated your children.
Some people manage to move on with their lives after those conditions pass. Others do not. In Iraq for instance, there are now vigilante groups that have risen in the wake of the Islamic State’s collapse, and they’re targeting members of ISIS, as well as their families.
Eleven suspected jihadists who were recently found blindfolded, bound and shot to death on the side of the road 20 miles south of Mosul are some of the victims of the group, which on its Facebook page tells supporters to ‘burn’ the families and homes of ISIS members.
The vigilante group, which has dubbed themselves the Hammam al-Alil Revolution, created a Facebook group to launch revenge on ISIS members in May. It now has 650 members.
‘Soon we will start our operation, we are now locating Deash families,’ read the first post on the page from May 28. ‘We will make them regret joining. Good luck everyone,’ it signs off.
This is what happens when law and order breaks down. People don’t just mete out justice. They are free to go on bloody rampages.
‘Today we targeted Mohammad Atrash, we threw two grenades and attacked the family with gunfire, as they did to us,’ the post said.
The Facebook page posts the addresses of dead and imprisoned ISIS fighters, encouraging its members to go after them and their families.
The group told its followers last month to ‘burn them and their families’.
One member of the group told The Telegraph that it was carrying out attacks as revenge after his cousin was killed by ISIS militants.
The man, only identified as Omar, said: ‘It’s a reciprocity. They hurt my family, now we will hurt theirs.’
So these people, who have had their families shattered by ISIS, are now doing the same thing to the noncombatant families of ISIS fighters. It reminds me of a famous quote from Friedrich Nietzsche. “Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster.”