THE terrorist outrage in Berlin illustrates yet again the depths to which the Islamic State (Isis) death cult will sink.
It confirms the need to wipe out this anti-human organisation and its so-called “soldiers.”
Hopefully, 2017 will see its anti-Islamic “caliphate” extinguished in Iraq and Syria, to the relief of Muslims, Christians and people everywhere of any religious faith or none.
The danger is that defeat at the hands of people with the weapons to fight back will drive the Isis sociopaths to commit even more atrocities elsewhere. Their targets will tend be crowds of civilians attending sporting, cultural and political events or simply shopping.
Thus the authorities in Britain and elsewhere must do everything possible to minimise the possibility of such attacks recurring.
That does not mean curbing people’s democratic liberties to express and mobilise around a wide range of political and religious views that pose no threat to innocent civilians.
Yet even the highest degree of vigilance is unlikely to eliminate the risk of further outrages altogether.
The source of such murderous terrorism must be accurately identified and addressed.
In that respect, recent outbursts from the likes of Nigel Farage and his best buddy, US president-elect Donald Trump, are worse than useless.
Curbing immigration, however drastically, will not prevent the most skilful and determined terrorists from getting into Britain, Germany or elsewhere.
They have international networks of supporters who are equally prepared to assist in acts of mass murder.
These collaborators have to be rooted out and put somewhere where they can do no harm.
But the would-be killers can still come here as family members, students or tourists as well as refugees.
Short of banning all people from entering Britain, tighter immigration controls — as distinct from more rigorous but selective entry checks — are unlikely to reduce the risk of terrorists attacks to any significant extent.
Nor would they reduce the inclination of home-based fanatics to take up the gun and the bomb in an effort to slaughter their fellow citizens.
Which is where Trump’s proposal to ban all Muslims from entering the US is as dangerous as it is inhumane.
Such a policy, or even a milder version of it, seems almost calculated to drive Muslims already in the country into the arms of those fanatics who falsely claim to represent them in a holy war against the West.
In the US, Britain and Germany it would stigmatise Muslim fellow citizens as the “enemy within,” giving the green light to far-right politicians, fascists and racists to launch a pogrom.
Apart from trashing international and humanitarian law, it would also lend credence to Isis and sow the seeds of civil war.
The progressive, civilised alternative is to uphold the banner of democratic freedoms. We should use more of Britain’s enormous wealth to assist refugees at home and abroad who are genuinely fleeing war and persecution.
But we must also face up to the awful reality that Western imperialist policy in the Middle East, sub-continental Asia and Africa has spawned catastrophic consequences.
Military intervention to achieve regime change in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria — even to the extent of backing warlords and Islamist fundamentalists — has created the conditions in which Isis has festered.