Sunday Reads

Marches And Hashtags Are Not Sufficient To Combat Terror
Stephen Walt in Foreign Policy contends rallies and feel-good hashtags may satisfy the peoples’ emotions in the wake of the Paris terror attacks, but they are insufficient weapons in the war on terror.

“A shocking event such as this one requires more from us than just expressions of sympathy and defiance, however appropriate those emotional reactions may be. It also requires us to think calmly and rationally about what has happened, why it has happened, and what the most effective responses would be. If we let anger, emotion, or political opportunism dictate our reaction, we are likely to lash out at the wrong targets, take actions that merely confirm the terrorists’ own self-justifying narrative, and make it easier for them to recruit new followers. Any one of these things will make this problem worse instead of better,” he writes.

European Leaders’ Rhetoric Reflects Weakness Of US
In recent says, European leaders have shown more rhetorical strength in identifying and describing the current threat facing the US and the world in the form of radical Islamic terror.

During his joint press conference with President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron disagreed with the notion promoted by Obama that France had failed to integrate Muslims into their society, saying ““You can have had all the advantages of integration, all the economic advantages we have to offer, and still get seduced by this poisonous death cult narrative.

He also characterized the problem in stark terms.

“We face a poisonous and fanatical ideology that wants to pervert . . . Islam and create conflict, terror and death. With our allies we will confront it wherever it appears,” according to The Financial Times.

Another politician, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls told The Atlantic that he will continue to refuse to use the term Islamophobia, which has been thrown about since the attacks on the offices of Charlie Hebdo.

“It is very important to make clear to people that Islam has nothing to do with ISIS. There is a prejudice in society about this, but on the other hand, I refuse to use this term ‘Islamophobia,’ because those who use this word are trying to invalidate any criticism at all of Islamist ideology. The charge of ‘Islamophobia’ is used to silence people,” he told the paper.

Why Are Muslims Offended By Images Of Mohammed?
Writing in The Independent, columnist Saijad Rizvi attempts to explain the reason behind the anger shown when images of Mohammed are used, noting that throughout history images of the prophet have been shown without resulting in a violent response.

“It’s not a case of him being depicted or not, but rather how he is depicted. It all hinges on whether he is being portrayed as a man of violence, of sensuality, of depravity. All of these arise out of medieval Europe’s caricaturisation of Mohamed as part of their campaign against Islam,” he maintains.

 

 

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