It is still unclear how many members of the Islamic State Arin Mirkan killed when she ran towards an IS position in the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobane on Sunday night and blew herself up with a hand grenade. Some say 27. Others say 10. But in a sense it doesn’t matter. For the real import of Mirkan’s heroic act was not its physical impact on the conflict consuming Syria and Iraq, but its psychological impact. Through her brave and exemplary behaviour, Mirkan has demonstrated that the willingness to make sacrifices, the willingness to put your life on the line for what you believe in, is not the sole preserve of the Islamic State after all. She has shown that there are people outside of the Islamist fold, people with far better ideals and visions than IS’s, who are also willing to stare risk square in the face and give themselves up for a greater cause.