Decreasing The Increase Of Terrorism In France
France is once again at the centre of international attention for the rise in sporadic terrorist attacks that have occurred in recent days. From Paris, to Nice, to Lyon; all within a matter of weeks. It seems that the random nature of these events is becoming more frequent and situating itself as an undesired yet expected element of our time.
The response from those in positions of power and authority has been depictive of their values and pressures that are exacerbated by the pandemic. President Emmanuel Macron has unapologetically denounced Islamist separatism and suggested that the French are at war against political Islam. The approach has been direct, strong and powerful.
I watch from Australia, the noise and media coverage that is devoted to these unravelling’s. It appears that France is headed for division within its society, but not only from within. Many nations such as Bangladesh, India, Somalia, Lebanon and Turkey have actively been protesting and boycotting French products in retaliation to the fierce response of Macron. They suggest that he is leading world Islamophobia.
If I learned anything in my course covering anti-terrorism law, it is that people become radicalised and commit acts of terror because they feel helpless, lost and isolated inside. Their personal or societal position has pushed them a place of hopelessness where rich social connection and prosperity for the future is absent. There is never any justification for any act of terror. Inclusivity rather than the creation of an ‘us vs. them’ paradigm is critical to prevent this.
Europe is such a porous continent, which at times makes it incredibly difficult to track the movement of citizens between countries and their whereabouts. Isolation during the time of a pandemic, increased time on social media which exposes individuals to radical ideas, followed by sentiments of Macron that some may find offensive, could act in a contrary manner to what is hoped for.
Acts of terror must be denounced in everyway possible. Terrorism must be called for what it is, alongside real world threats; therefore I empathise with the sentiments of Macron. France has been hit hard and people have a reason to feel why they do. It is the responsibility of our leaders to halt every attempt of terror possible in their tracks. France must not compromise the nations fundamental beliefs and values.
To truly deflate the threat of terrorism, more durable solutions must ensue. More strategic solutions fired through the lens of inclusion will act to create friends rather than enemies. The long-term deployment of soldiers and the military onto the streets might very well have to be a standard practice to deter sporadic threats that may arise. Education systems must be repaired to encourage authentic integration into French society. The citizens of any society must be motivated to do well with their life and contribute positively to society.