Paris attacks: A wake-up call to the world
The disgusting terrorist act that killed over 129 people in Paris late Friday should serve as a wake-up call to Muslims and non-Muslims. It is clear without a shred of doubt that this wholly un-Islamic band of murderers is gaining a foothold not only in the Middle East, but also in Europe. There is no western nation that can claim immunity from Daesh.
If I am stating the obvious, well then I am not so sure that western countries are fully aware of their vulnerability to an ideology that has led to the recruitment of thousands of men and women to form states in Syria and Iraq. We are not talking about stateless actors committing solo acts of terror, but what is essentially a new country determined to wage war against innocents for what they perceive as the crimes of their governments.
Every Muslim and non-Muslim country appears to be at a loss on how to deal with Daesh other than airstrikes. No country is willing to commit ground troops and no country is willing to sacrifice military lives to stop Daesh. If recent history is any indication, allied nations will continue to back away from military commitment to fighting Daesh. Instead nations will fall back on plans that have obviously failed in the past and will fail in the future.
Nations vulnerable to terrorist attacks will increase security at their own borders, double down on airport security, increase the militarization of local and state police departments and spy, arrest and detain individuals without probable cause. They will make a mockery of their constitutions because specific protections of citizens will prove inconvenient in the fight against terrorism.
If that is the road Muslim and non-Muslim take, then we will hand yet another victory to Daesh. These terrorists consistently prove that they, and they alone, can bend nations to their will.
There is little doubt after the Paris attacks that Muslims need to clean their own house, but it can’t be done alone. Muslims and non-Muslims need each other in this escalating war. Muslim communities in western countries and every country in the Middle East and North Africa need to take an active role in educating its youth. Ignoring the problem — and the Ummah and the West must plead guilty to this — will only serve Daesh’s interest and help create a new generation of militants.
The West must rethink its usual heavy-handed approach. Tighter border controls, heavy airport security and police armed with military-grade weapons in commercial and residential neighborhoods will create a police state and the illusion that we are safe. It will not stop homegrown terrorists, especially in the United States where firearms are easily accessible.
Without a strategy that involves the leading Arab countries — with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the United States, England and France at the forefront — there is little chance that we can stop Daesh. Unfortunately, that strategy must include military force and the potential for loss of life, but it also must be combined with education for children beginning at a very young age. Perhaps we have already lost this generation of angry, idle men who mask their own shortcomings by rationalizing that the West is responsible for their failures. But we haven’t lost the next generation. We will, though, if governments continue to attempt to beat terrorism with the same unworkable plans as it has in the past.