The horrific events in Paris have shaken Europe and the Western world. We all should reject the acts of brutal terror and senseless violence but should also be aware that it will trigger atavistic fears and instincts which will lead to further polarization. European Muslims who are trying to integrate into European societies are feeling the antiislamic backlash epitomized by right-wing and neofascistic movements in England, Sweden, France and Germany. This movements often attract disillusioned and frustrated citizens from various political backgrounds who want to take back their country and are against the so-called “Islamization of the West.” They are against the migration of any Muslims to Europe (including Syrian refugees) and support indirectly ethnic cleansing and racial purity. These attitudes further push frustrated, disenfranchised and vulnerable young Muslims into the welcoming arms of Islamic radicals who are recruiting those young men and women as cheap cannon fodder for their Jihadist apocalypse.
I suggest to recalibrate our approach to Islam and the Muslim world and find suitable allies and supporters among their midst to fight TOGETHER against the extreme Jihadist who murder hundreds of Muslims every day, rape and violate Muslim women, and forcefully convert abducted Christian Arab women.They represent a perversion of Islam!
We need to build relationships with Imans and Muslim community leaders to develop a common social and cultural denominator fighting hate and violence.
Unfortunately, and as expected, right-wing groups and politicians in the US, Europe, and Israel are already making political hay out of the events in France. We must reject their efforts to further polarize the conflict and convert it into a religious and cultural war between East and West. We are not living in the Middle Ages anymore! The world is a global interconnected village requiring us to collaborate on economic, scientific and social issues. Now is the time to build a coalition of those willing to stand up for core cultural and social values based on mutual respect for each other. Yes, its easier to hate each and fight each other. But history teaches us that such behavior in the end leads us in the abyss.