I thought that my next story would be about Syria and the fate of immigrants knocking at the doors of Europe. The title was almost found and the angle of the story too… But this Tuesday morning, while I was sipping my cup of tea, my Iphone started going crazy with Twitter notifications about the bombings in Brussels. I switched on the news channel to realise that it was November 13th all over again… After Charlie Hebdo, Paris, now Brussels! Was it a surprise? Well, no… “We were fearing terrorist attacks and that has now happened” Charles Michel, the Belgian Prime Minister told reporters.
November 13th all over again…
Charlie Hebdo’s shootings, in January 2015, were the beginning of a series of deadly attacks against freedom of speech, democracy and Europe! The planet was in shock and “Je suis Charlie” banners were brandished from East to West while blue – white – red flags flaunted across the globe. Ten months later, it was Paris or rather the Parisian “Good life” that was assailed. Hundreds of innocents died and were seriously wounded but this time, World leaders personally expressed their solidarity with France during the peace march in the French Capital.
Everybody knew that this was just the beginning of a war against freedom and fear started gaining ground raising a crucial question: Who’s next? Obviously, if assailants wanted to harm the Old Continent they had to strike at the heart! It was just a question of time… And then it happened!
Cradle of Jihadism in Europe
How Brussels, Capital of Europe and headquarters of many European institutions, as well as the NATO, has today become the heart of Jihadism in Europe? The Belgian capital symbolises the power of Europe. Mocking Europe, by creating a “Jihadism Hub” only blocks away from the EU institutions, in other words, a slap in the face of our leaders! Their laxness and inability to coordinate a common action to eradicate terror has been confirmed with this latest act of terrorism signed ISIS. Who were the assaulters? Well no surprise here again… ISIS, of course, but the very same group linked to those involved in the Paris attacks last November. EU leaders knew that this was coming but were unable to stop them! The “lost children of the Republic”, as they are called here in France, have struck once again and here we are helpless and “accepting the unacceptable”!
While our leaders are still debating over the root causes of terrorism, extremists continue to lure tormented fanatics to their cause. How to prevent radicals from becoming a threat? By identifying the true underlying problems fostering radicalism which are not necessarily ‘Poverty and Ignorance’ as many experts put it but the desperation of a youth in quest for change and identity who are primarily suffering from a feeling of victimhood!
These guys were born here in Europe, they are French or Belgian and often don’t even speak arabic. They are pure products of a system (social, political) where they don’t actually fit in! One thing is for sure, Europe urgently needs to look at this chaotic situation with a new angle and find an effective antidote to stop feeding terrorism with the blood of our Youth!
* Losing my religion: losing one’s temper, flying off the handle
Youth radicalisation: Beyond religious fundamentalism? Feel free to share your thoughts!