Hi, dear travellers, I did not want to take advantage of the hype to the news about the Paris unfortunate events, because many people more qualified than I have treated the issue in a more exhaustive way, but it was important for me to say a few words on the matter. The disapproval on what happened must be unanimous and I will not compromise on that, but even with my very limited knowledge of geopolitics, I would like to give my point of view on all these facts, focusing especially on one aspect: security.
Initially the Paris attacks have created fear in the heart of every European. Fear of getting on a train or entering a subway, have led most to stay away from crowds, or major events and gatherings. They have led people to give up the small joys of what we as a Western society enjoy, like music or staying somewhere with friends.
Nevertheless, the French are giving all a great example of courage by carrying on with their everyday lives in spite of fear.
The media all over the world is reiterating that it is essential to overcome these fears and I’ll add my voice as well.
I won’t stop living. Not because cowards who hide behind the mask of a distorted and altered religion will I stop going to a concert and not because of these bearers of hate will my ideology of humanitarian brotherhood cease to continue.
These attacks, however, have sparked much more than the fear of going to the squares in our cities, they have instilled the fear of the neighbour, the other who might be different.
We know that most of the terrorists were not Syrians, they were French born and raised in France, children of a suburban degrade, refused, ostracized, target of insults and discrimination.
We must realize that this is radicalism’s real weapon: it has led emarginated men and women from all over the world, search for a common bond which they found in the so called Holy War. By adhering to this bond they were finally able to share a purpose, to find a community and a family. Not to mention the prospect of money for their families, women and eternal glory. All of this is what pushes terrorists to sacrifice their lives, not realizing that in essence, these are the same things that their parents were looking for, when they left their countries and came to Europe looking for a better life which, unfortunately, many never found.
These attacks have helped feed an unbelievable vicious circle composed of ignorance, fear and violence. Because the restrictive measures that Europe is adopting and the walls that are being raised, do nothing but increase the fear and discrimination for the “Islamic”, thus creating more and more ghettos and discrimination that will become the breeding grounds for the coming of more “Salah Abdelslam”.
We are giving the Islamic State a great gift because, and I’m not talking only about France, at the next elections we will see everywhere the success, of those conservative political forces that preach exclusion, marginalization and especially the punishment, of the different and of all that potentially is threatening the city and the nation.
More walls and divisions.
It will only get worse, and the sad part is that all the refugee coming from the war, leaving behind everything they own and worked for, are not to blame for what’s happening in Europe. However, it will be them who will pay a big prize and will not find that welcoming that they should be getting from the Europeans. They will be forced to be isolated with children who will not have a future if things won’t change. And History will repeat it self.
Returning to the subject of security, the events in Paris have created a situation far more dangerous than radical Islamism, which is threatening to destroy what has taken centuries to be built, in fact, we are demanded to sacrifice our freedom.
I’m not talking about the freedom to go out and walk around freely, as I mentioned before, I am speaking about the freedom provided by our institutions and constitutions that govern the very foundations of democracy and of our western way of life.
Politicians, who what to take advantage of the situation, are pressing for the modification of constitutions and preach giving up a bit ‘of freedom’ in favour of safety. They are actually undermining something, which took the lives of hundreds of thousands of men, women and children to be conquered and that cannot falter every time we get hit by terrorism.
To make you understand my point of view I would like to bring to you attention a monologue by a Swiss scientist recently heard in a famous movie: “The war (WWII) taught us that if you try to take freedom away from mankind by force, it will resist and fight back; but in a situation of instability, fear and chaos, humanity will be willing to sacrifice its freedom on the altar of security, allowing those that ensure that security, full control on humanity itself”.
The scientist in question is Armin Zola and he is a famous character from a Marvel comic. Please forgive the not so authoritative source, but I think his speech describes our present well.
Certainly, emergency measures are necessary for our security and I have nothing to say on what has been done recently. However, we are running the risk of adopting permanent drastic measures for a situation that, certainly can not be defined temporary on the contrary, given the forces involved it will take a long time and a huge effort of diplomatic and strategic coordination, but this effort cannot imply the sacrifice of what Europe, in its being a union of different countries and cultures, has conquered. Freedom.
Photo: art installation at the Pantheon in Paris – 2015.