Last nights Evening Standard had a letter on the British fighters in Syria, by Amandla Thomas-Johnson of Cage (formerly Cage Prisoners), which ended with the words "Listening to their views should be at the heart of forming policy".
I have no idea if the Evening Standard will print my reply, but this is what I sent them:
Amandla Thomas-Johnson of Cage takes an ahistorical approach to the question of British Muslims fighting in Syria (Letters, 4 February).
Combatants from earlier jihads litter high security prisons across the world, the most recent British example being Bosnian Mujahideen 'veteran' Babar Ahmad, who in December pleaded guilty to terrorism charges in the United States. The 7/7 bombings would arguably have been impossible but for the training two of the bombers had received at the camps of 'freedom fighters' in Kashmir.
By all means lets listen to the views of the Syrian fighters, but what we have heard so far sounds little different from those seeking Islamic utopias in earlier jihads. And those did not end well - for anyone.
Paul Stott, University of East Anglia.