Dealing with Terrorism

By James Lu

The West must wake up to the threat of Islamic Terrorism and deal with the problem.

There have been 13 terror attacks in France since 20 December 2014. The November 2015 Paris attacks constitute the most fatal event on French soil since World War II.

The perpetrators of the attacks in Tours, Dijon, and Nantes responded to a video posted by ISIS calling on French Muslims to commit acts of terrorism against non-Muslims using vehicles. ISIS claimed responsibility for three attacks, two had links to ISIS and the remainder were committed by radicalised Muslims with suspected links to mainstream terrorist groups and/or ISIS. One thing links all of these otherwise unrelated attacks, Islam.

Globally, there have been 245 Islamist terrorist attacks since 2010 – 36 occurred this year, 117 occurred last year – far more than the total number of attacks from 1980-2009. These figures should be alarming. Yet, Western leaders have failed to stem the tide of radicalisation and appear to suffer from verbal diarrhoea when it comes to condemning Islamic extremism. President Obama called the Paris attacks “an attack on all of humanity”, short of condemning the Brussels attacks he “pledge[d] support to the Belgian people”, and, more recently, he condemned “in the strongest terms what appears to be a horrific terrorist attack” (It was a terror attack). Far from being condemnatory language, his words appear empty and ring without conviction being little more than tokenistic tributes to the dead. Whilst French Prime Minister Manuel Valls linked the Nice attacks to Islamic extremism he later had the audacity to suggest that “France is going to have to live with terrorism”.

Instead, this wake-up call is coming from within the Muslim community. Shia Muslim journalist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown wrote an article in the Daily Mail titled “Why will no one admit the way some western Muslims raise their children is fomenting terror?” Without mincing words, she states that the upbringing of Muslim youth in the West is “our [western Muslims] responsibility and we must deal with it” and that it cannot be ignored anymore.

The problem, she contends, lies with the fact that many European Muslim families live in enclaves, deliberately isolating  themselves from the rest of Europe. This isolationism denies Muslim children privileges non-Muslim children take for granted.

Muslim children see one kind of life on television and experience another at home. The resultant lack of belonging leaves them lost in both making them vulnerable to the persuasive rhetoric of extremist clerics. The solution, she concludes, is for Muslims to embrace Western values, namely, free speech and expression – things millions of Muslims around the world can only dream of. Former Dutch politician and ex-Muslim Ayaan Hirsi Ali wrote an article in the Wall Street Journal titled “Why Islam needs a reformation”. She makes a distinction between the majority “Mecca Muslims” (observant of prayers and rituals) and minority “Medina Muslims” (strict observants) and argues that the Mecca Muslims must not stay on the fringes, but speak out against radicals and to move away from rigid observance of Sharia. The Muslim community has offered solutions. So why are our politicians afraid to act? Language, his words appear empty and ring without conviction being little more than tokenistic tributes to the dead. Whilst French Prime Minister Manuel Valls linked the Nice attacks to Islamic extremism he later had the audacity to suggest that “France is going to have to live with terrorism”.

Instead, this wake-up call is coming from within the Muslim community. Shia Muslim journalist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown wrote an article in the Daily Mail titled “Why will no one admit the way some western Muslims raise their children is fomenting terror?” Without mincing words, she states that the upbringing of Muslim youth in the West is “our [western Muslims] responsibility and we must deal with it” and that it cannot be ignored anymore.

The problem, she contends, lies with the fact that many European Muslim families live in enclaves, deliberately isolating  themselves from the rest of Europe. This isolationism denies Muslim children privileges non-Muslim children take for granted.

Muslim children see one kind of life on television and experience another at home. The resultant lack of belonging leaves them lost in both making them vulnerable to the persuasive rhetoric of extremist clerics. The solution, she concludes, is for Muslims

to embrace Western values, namely, free speech and expression – things millions of Muslims around the world can only dream of. Former Dutch politician and ex-Muslim Ayaan Hirsi Ali wrote an article in the Wall Street Journal titled “Why Islam needs a reformation”. She makes a distinction between the majority “Mecca Muslims” (observant of prayers and rituals) and minority “Medina Muslims” (strict observants) and argues that the Mecca Muslims must not stay on the fringes, but speak out against radicals and to move away from rigid observance of Sharia. The Muslim community has offered solutions. So why are our politicians afraid to act?

 

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