The fear of Islamist terror

The attack in Manchester has reignited the debate in Europe's press about how to react to Islamist terror. Can military operations put a stop to terrorism?

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Delo (SI) /

Terror can't be defeated militarily

Nato's decision to join the US-led international coalition against the IS sends the wrong message, Delo criticises:

“First of all because after all the experiences with George W. Bush's wars it suggests that terrorism can be defeated militarily, and that the strongest military alliance in the world is needed to achieve this. ... Secondly, because Nato is sending the very message that the IS's propagandists were waiting for: that now the West and its strongest military alliance have decided in favour of a 'crusade against Islam'. In response the IS can count on a sufficiently large number of suicide bombers willing to act 'in Allah's name'. And thirdly, because Nato, led by the US and Trump - who recently sold the 'democratic' Saudi king 110 billion dollars worth of weapons - has now come down on one side in the inner-Islamic religious conflict.”

Le Monde (FR) /

The spirits conjured by the West

The Manchester attack shows once again how Western foreign policy spawns terror, British essayist Tariq Ali writes in Le Monde:

“What motivated Salman Abedi? Today Western foreign policy is never absent from the elements that help form the terrorist's political psychology. Abedi's parents are Libyan refugees. For six months, in 2011, Libya was bombed by Nato under French and British command. ... Some official statistics estimate that this operation killed thousands and left far more homeless. Today Libya is nothing but an expanse of rubble divided into three zones, each one ruled by a group of jihadists. Maybe Abedi's choice had nothing to do with that, but I doubt it. The wars sparked by the West have created jihadist movements all over the world.”

Upsala Nya Tidning (SE) /

IS losing leading role

The Manchester attack shows that the IS is losing its central leadership role, Upsala Nya Tidning believes:

“The IS was quick to claim responsibility for the attack in Manchester. But that can also be seen as a sign of weakness. Its version of the attack doesn't tally with the conclusions reached by the police. But there will always be sympathisers of the sect who are willing to attack without any central leadership. ... There is further proof that the IS no longer has a central leadership function elsewhere. District by district, it was forced to give up the Iraqi city of Mosul, the biggest city it was able to gain control of when the 'caliphate' was established in 2014. ... The basic idea was to create so much polarisation that an apocalyptic final battle would erupt. But in Manchester the people have demonstrated unity - regardless of background or religion.”

RussEurope (FR) /

Macron's internationalism promotes terror

With his strongly internationally oriented policy the new French President Macron is unintentionally promoting terrorism, economist Jacques Sapir warns in his blog RussEurope:

“Radical Islamism is at war with the political culture of France, but also with that of Britain, Germany and Italy. ... The real tragedy in all this is that Emmanuel Macron, who is no doubt truly shocked and appalled by the Manchester attack, in fact embodies the logic that brought it about. By constantly endorsing 'globalisation', by making himself the advocate of supra-nationality and European federalism, he is in fact attacking France's common cultural policy. However, when the people no longer exist as a political entity the retreat into ethnic or religious communities becomes a logical solution - and civil war a distinct possibility.”

Daily Mail (GB) /

Muslims must expose extremists

The majority of decent and law-abiding Muslims in the UK and the world must do more to counter radical currents within their religion, columnist Piers Morgan demands in the Daily Mail:

“The Muslim community is not doing nearly enough to identify and expose radicalized extremists hiding in their midst. Nor to prevent the disturbing growth in extreme Wahhabi-inspired teachings of the type ISIS encourages, in Islamic mosques and Muslim homes. ... Whether this is out of understandable fear of retribution, apathy or in a few cases, tacit support for what ISIS is fighting for, I don’t know. But the situation has to change, not least because decent, law-abiding Muslims themselves are the biggest global victims of ISIS violence.”

Corriere della Sera (IT) /

Inspect the "monster's" soul

If the attackers are frequently described as "monsters" in the media, society needs to start discussing how to deal with the conditions that turn young people into "monsters", Corriere della Sera admonishes:

“To understand the 'break' of the 'Bataclan generation' we must remember that these young 'monsters' are born and grow up in the same cities, in the same cultural milieu and in the same media landscape as their victims. Only then can we understand the decision to withdraw from their neighbourhood, their family, their group and be 'recruited' to destroy lives and idealise death. … The biggest danger we face if we ignore this break, however, is that the 'monsters' create 'monstrosity', namely the dissemination of religious hatred, an obsessive need for security, the paralysis of our daily lives and ultimately the overrating of the phenomenon itself, also compared with violent phenomena of the past.”

Mladá fronta dnes (CZ) /

Politically correct elite denying reality

After the Manchester attack politically correct politicians will try to assuage fears and continue to avoid facing unpleasant truths, Alexander Tomský complains in Mladá fronta dnes:

“And if Islam is the problem? Not just Islamism? Certainly they can't forbid Islam and religious freedom. But they can kick people who preach violence, racism and intolerance and who want Sharia law out of the country. This is the heart of the problem. The political-religious humanism of today's Europeans (not to be confused with compassion, tolerance and ethics) makes it impossible for Europe to select its immigrants based on their religion. The political elite in Europe continues to believe in an open society, in open borders, as if it wanted to exchange the old peoples of the continent for different ones. This policy won't end well.”

Polityka (PL) /

Fearmongering is cynical and base

Author Adam Szostkiewicz argues in Polityka that terrorist attacks are carried out by mentally disturbed individuals, pointing to the Norwegian attacker Anders Breivik and the Pole Brunon Kwiecień, who planned an attack on the Polish parliament in 2012:

“In Norway the sociopath Breivik, a man driven by hatred of the multicultural society, planned the massacre of youths on Utøya Island. ... And it was an ethnic Pole who had lived a sheltered life in a Catholic family who prepared an attack on our parliament and the leadership of our state because he didn't like modern Poland. ... A policy based on the fear of refugees and the rejection of cultural otherness is cynical and base. Terrorists aren't recruited from the ranks of the refugees, but from a small group of sociopaths.”

Mandiner (HU) /

The face of terror has changed

Blogger Agent Ungur looks back at the history of terrorism in Europe on the opinion portal Mandiner, comparing the motives of separatist and Islamist attackers:

“As far as the number of attacks goes, it will be a long time before national liberation movements like the IRA and ETA are overtaken. However, the same is not true of the number of victims. Unfortunately Manchester is the best example of that. In 1996 the IRA exploded a bomb with huge destructive potential in the centre of the city. ... How many people died? None. There was enormous damage to property and many people were wounded, but no one was killed. Why? Because the IRA announced the blast 90 minutes before it happened. By contrast Monday's attacker wanted to kill innocent youths. ... Once national liberation movements have attained their goal, they put down their weapons. But not the Islamists. They'll go on killing until the last infidels have taken the path of Allah.”