Attack in London's government district

The IS has claimed responsibility for Wednesday's attack in London and police have identified the man who drove into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge and then stabbed a policeman. Europe's press praises the calm reaction of the British public and warns against blaming religion for terrorism.

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Delo (SI) /

British society virtually unscathed

The attack in London has shocked British society but the assailant has clearly failed to achieve his goal of sowing terror, Delo concludes:

“The Londoners' reaction to the attack in the government district is similar to the way people react after a (serious) traffic accident. The initial panic after the accident gives way to concern for the victims and clearing up the damage. The hysteria of the media does not reflect the level-headed and somehow coolly rational (very British) reaction of the public and the emergency workers. Life came to a standstill for a brief moment and then continued as before. The extremist's brutal attack has destroyed the lives of the victims and their families. But British society as a whole has emerged with just a few scratches, nothing more. Terrorism attacked and was defeated.”

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (DE) /

IS attackers falling short of their goals

As dreadful as the recent Islamist attacks in Europe have been they haven't had the effect the IS wants them to have, writes Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung:

“The attacks are always directed against countries that are participating in the Anti-Islamic State coalition yet none of them has wavered in their commitment to the military operation. … The other major objective of the jihadists is to create a divide between Muslims and non-Muslims in the Western world. Donald Trump's election can be interpreted in this sense although economic factors in particular played vital role here. The rise of right-wing populist parties in Europe also plays into the IS's hands. Nonetheless, on balance we can say that so far Western societies are not dominated by Islamophobia. And very few people are making changes in their everyday life because of the ever-present danger of a terrorist attack.”

Hürriyet Daily News (TR) /

Perverts exploiting Islam

Even though the IS has claimed responsibility for the attack in London there should be no talk of Islamic terror, Hürriyet Daily News warns:

“Why? Because Islam preaches peace and tolerance that Islamists defend. Islam and all other religions of course are for peace, cohesion and happiness of mankind. But in every religion there have always been people who have tried to exploit the religion and religious feelings to promote their political, economic or whatever cause. Unfortunately, using the notion of 'Jihad' or holy war, many perverts exploited Islam all along, tortured and murdered people in cold blood. The existence of the notion of secularism, which is the effective separation of state and religion, is existentially important in a predominantly Muslim country, precisely because of such primitive mindsets of Islamists.”

Sydsvenskan (SE) /

Wage a digital battle against IS

States also must also combat the IS on the Internet if they want to effectively fight terrorism, Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson stated after a meeting in Washington. Joining forces offers a better chance of success, Sydsvenskan believes:

“Fighting the IS is one of the priorities of US foreign policy in the Middle East, and Tillerson has asked other countries for their support. Much of his speech was dedicated to IS activities on the Internet. Now that the IS is being pushed back on the ground, it is essential to prevent a digital caliphate from springing up and taking its place. Of course the digital fight against the IS won't be easy, but America's commitment heightens the probability of successfully countering radicalisation.”

The Guardian (GB) /

Terrorists are dependent on attention

Politicians and media must not make the same mistake they made after the terrorist attack in Belgium a year ago and over-dramatise events, The Guardian warns:

“The reaction then was extraordinary. Europe's media and politicians were close to hysterical. For days, BBC reporters on the spot repeated the words panic, threat and menace by the hour. France's President François Hollande declared that 'all of Europe has been attacked'. Prime minister David Cameron announced that 'the UK faces a very real terror threat'. Donald Trump declared to cheering supporters that 'Belgium and France are literally disintegrating'. Isis could not have asked for a greater megaphone. The terrorist is helpless without the assistance of the media and those who feed it with words and deeds.”

De Morgen (BE) /

British response just right

Britain has reacted appropriately, De Morgen praises:

“The response is exemplary: calm, well-considered, purposeful. Such a reaction goes very much against our instincts. Faced with a cowardly attacker who wants to do as much damage and spread as much fear as possible, we tend to favour a massive counter-attack and pull out all the security stops. For some, a state of emergency in which all basic rights are suspended is the first thing that springs to mind. ... But that's exactly what the terrorists want. Too weak to destroy free society, they aim to provoke an overreaction on the part of the state to undermine the rule of law. We must not fall into that trap.”

ABC (ES) /

Join forces to win the fight

Such attacks must be met with a resolute and united response from Europe, ABC demands:

“Regardless of where they are carried out, such attacks are directed against all of us. The London victims are Europe's victims: the radicals' objective is to defeat representative democracy and the solid principles on which Western society is based. Given the difficulties of countering this campaign waged by lone wolves at the domestic level and by complex organisations that operate internationally, it is vital that all parties, member states, EU institutions and allied states take coordinated and united action against this evil, especially as regards military and security operations. We all have the responsibility to counter the jihadist threat.”

La Repubblica (IT) /

Power of terrorism growing

Although terrorism has always existed we must ask ourselves what is behind it in today's world, diplomat Roberto Toscano writes in La Repubblica:

“There can no longer be any doubt that our globalised world, which has always sought to be productive, networked, open and dynamic, is now in a crisis. It is de facto ruled by frustration based on inequality, exclusion and unfulfilled promises. ... Distrust and animosity are spreading, creating a climate in which violence is becoming endemic and peaceful coexistence increasingly difficult. ... The attack on Westminster will have clearly noticeable consequences on the political level. Firstly in the upcoming elections in France. It will spread fear and benefit fearmongers. To that extent, independently of its scope and the means it uses, terrorism is becoming more and more powerful. It works.”