We are on the eve of the French presidential election double turn round-ups. Many have now realized that this is just another popular passage where there will be an attempt to destroy the European Union. But few do actually realize what we must defend ourselves from, and who really wants to achieve this goal. It is therefore possible that the last attack on the Champs-Élysées is just a smart move to bring the election campaign in favor of Marine Le Pen. Let’s read the latest events from this perspective.
And let’s start in order. This attack is just the last one of a series caused by Islamist extremists, registered from March 2016 to today in Europe. In 2016, terrorist attacks worldwide rose by 14%. The most significant increase is in Europe, where last year there were 96 attacks against 35 of the previous year, although we must consider that the attacks in the West represent only the 3% on the worldwide scale.
One thing to point out is that, in Europe, the destructive force of the attacks is in sharp decline, both in terms of number of deaths caused, as well as in terms of the strategic and technological capacity of the Islamic extremist organization. This is not unimportant, as it identifies a difficulty in the strategic organization, and because it is increasingly evident that the goal is not destructive but demonstrative. At this point we have to ask ourselves what the true purpose of the attacks on European territory is.
Terrorists can be trained by ISIS, may be part of groups inspired by Salafite ideologies, psychic people who immolate themselves by emulation. Sometimes they may also be former ISIS militiamen ready to do anything after having lost all purposes and references. But no matter who the material authors are; the terrorist act aims to create insecurity and fear in the population with the sole aim of destabilizing the Government and Democracy and Peace obtained by the European Union since a long time. The longest period of peace in European territory since Roman times.
Islamic extremists, Isis, Islamic state or Daesh, want to clash with the West, they want the Jihad, the Holy War, and have no other weapons than trying to induce an implosion within the European Union. And to do this, as they did years ago in Spain, they somehow support those who do not want this Europe and in fact promise to destroy it. In the French case, Marie Le Pen of the Front National.
Islamic extremists with their demonstrative terrorist actions try to turn the campaign in favor of the anti-European extremist Marine Le Pen – and partly also for the exponent of the rightist François Fillon – whilst making and attempt to weaken the independent center candidate Emmanuel Macron. The Jihadists’ will to have a “weigh” on the Sunday polls is evident, both discouraging the turnout and both supporting their unaware main candidate: Marine Le Pen.
Whatever the outcome of the French presidential elections, of course, we can no longer accept that these terrorist networks can be developed in the European Union. In France, according to the authorities, there are more than 16,000 people who might have been radicalized. In Germany, the number of Islamist extremists is 1,600, out of which 570 are considered capable of carrying out a terrorist attack. The mobilization of Swedish jihadists to join the rows of the Islamic State was one of the largest in Europe, about 300 persons. In many countries a network of mosques and Islamic organizations are linked to international jihadist organizations.
For these reasons, many European countries have long begun to launch programs to flank the intelligence activities, such as fostering inter-religious dialogue or providing psychiatric support for those who have already adopted extremist positions. But other and multiple measures should be adopted: for example, school-based prevention in adolescent years, management of social services dealing with families at risk of radicalization, building up of a trustworthy cooperation with the religious communities which must point out deviant personalities.
Governments and politics in the first place must take severe measures of identification and expulsion against those who preach hate or intolerance. The Islamic population in Europe must adapt to local laws and culture and not vice versa. The needs of the European population, especially of those living in the countryside and rural areas, must be taken into account, as they feel more abandoned to themselves than those who live in the city. There is a need to protect work and welfare right in those peripheral territories where the electoral constituency of the right-wing extremism develops, or in any case, of those who promise the exit from the European Union.
It is obvious that unless it is foreseen to build walls and borders that can be impenetrable for thousands of miles or to expel all Islamic people, of no use are the nationalistic and populist movements that contribute to exalting hatred, social and cultural divide and the fragmentation of the European society. Europe’s only solution is to unite against the Islamic extremism and not to split itself into single little states. It would just be too easy then to manipulate and blackmail them both militarily and financially by the super powers, and primarily by Russia which is already trying to get into the European policies with agreements and funding in favor of the movements of Le Pen, Grillo, Salvini, Farage or through pro-Russian associations.
But we must consider that in order to defeat terrorism, in a fluid society like the globalized one, where our freedom is also guaranteed by the rights of privacy and movement, it is necessary to eliminate the assumptions that have caused it. The Swedish case, where the welfare is well-funded and supported, highlights how the Islamic fundamentalism, due to its intrinsic hatred towards the Western civilization, is insensitive to the obligations of the law on equal opportunities and on the protection of human rights. The cultural change in the direction of democratic values and practices within certain radicalized groups is therefore very difficult to happen. In such cases, containment and expulsion of the deviant subjects could be the only solution. But we must not forget that often the whirlwind of violence once started becomes unstoppable and it is generally driven by suffering and wars. And with time all this pain comes back, like a boomerang, even for those who threw the first stone, the West, precisely.