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Winds of Vengance

الأربعاء - 19 يونيو 2019

Wed - 19 Jun 2019

Sir Arthur Harris of The British Royal Air Force during World War II said that Germany had started the war with the idea that they would bomb other people’s cities but that nobody would in return bomb theirs. He famously said “They have sowed the wind, and now they will reap the whirlwind.” Europe for all of its talk of tolerance has arguably been the most intolerant place over the past 125 years. The Continent has given birth to concepts as colonialism, the concentration camp, all forms of the authoritarian and totalitarian nation-states originate in Europe, mass conscription of civilian populations for military service, total war, socialism, communism, fascism, nazism, population resettlements, ethnic cleansing, genocide, along with World War I, The Russian Civil War, a holocaust of starvation in The Ukraine, The Spanish Civil War, World War II, and by the time it was done with its convulsions between 1900-1945 some 100 million people were dead throughout the globe. Although the current composition of Europe today dreams of a unified continent it is much easier said than done. There are the way people would like things to be and then there is the reality of what they really are. Simply put the common experiences that defines Polish identity are far different than French. A Spaniard has had a much different experience than a German. The Danes have not followed a common historical path similar to the Greeks. The same principle applies for Norwegians and Bulgarians. The English have a different historical path they've followed than The Irish although both share very close geographic proximity and even the same language. Historically speaking Europeans have not always gotten along well with other Europeans, even their neighbors. Europe has at times been hostile to Catholics in certain areas, Jews, The Crimean Tartars, The Kalmyks, and gypsies, among other religious or ethnic people's. The recent terrorist attacks in Belgium, France could potentially have an effect like the quote described above. Although the majority of Muslims in Europe harbor no ill-will towards their fellow European citizens the sowing of the wind that daesh has thus far cultivated could generate a whirlwind against the very people's it claims to champion.

The road to Brussels began in Syria and had its initial stop in Paris. In many ways the Paris attacks were an inflection point in the psyche of Europeans. Terrorism is not tolerated by the peoples of the world or for that matter is something that people are willing to accept as a permanent aspect of day-to-day life. Paris now meant that whether it is an international friendly football match, a night with friends at a café, or a music hall that the odious aims of daesh would enthusiastically strike there too. Since these atrocities France has been under a constant State of Emergency with all powers concentrated in the office of The President, and for all intents and purposes The French Constitution has been suspended. Simply put, The French Government and French People have said that they will not live with daesh in their day-to-day lives. That there is no point where they will offer accommodation or understanding. Brussels only magnifies this mindset but puts it on a pan-European canvas. To Europeans, whether the perception is right or wrong, they see that daesh is able to hide in Muslim communities, infiltrate society, and in the name of Islam strike at fellow citizens. The whirlwind in this scenario is the emergence of hard right parties emerging in Europe who are now asking if it is possible that one can be Muslim and European. The whirlwind in this scenario could manifest itself in hostile attitudes hardening towards Muslims and immigrants. The fact that the Paris attackers felt comfortable enough to return to their neighborhoods of origin after committing these acts only welcomes more suspicion from Europeans who have lived in France or Belgium for centuries and wonder if the problem is that immigrants or Muslims were let in at all in the first place.


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