Whether solutions point in the direction of stemming the migrant flow through new policies, securing the EU borders, reinstating passports and border checks for each Schengen nation, or witnessing countries taking this issue into their own hands, one thing is certain: peace and unity cannot be maintained if the situation goes unchanged. The recent Islamist attacks on Paris and San Bernardino are pivotal moments for the future of Western civilization, which now hangs in the balance.
On Friday, November 13, Paris, France and its Northern suburb Saint Denis were the sites of seven coordinated terrorist attacks that killed at least 130 people and injured 352. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) took responsibility for the atrocities. France had been on high terrorism alert since the Charlie Hebdo shootings in January and had been taking part in anti ISIS operations in Syria.
Salah Abdeslam, the last attacker currently on the run, reportedly having gotten rid of his suicide belt by throwing it in a garbage bin. It is believed he abandoned his mission while trying to hide both from the Islamic State and French authorities. Meanwhile, Brussels had been on lockdown for days as the government attempted to locate the perpetrator and a network of Islamic Jihadists who might have planned for a similar attack in Belgium. Although the metro and schools have since reopened, security on the streets of the city remains tight.
French president François Hollande declared the attacks an act of war. French Minister of Interior Bernard Cazeneuve tried to remind his compatriots that “More than ever, the French must come together around the values of the republic.”
And, yet, it seems that not all French citizens are willing to maintain the values of the republic, as we now see terrorists who are part of the French citizenry. The values of the West and Islam have a history of clashing quite violently and it would be a mistake to think that this is not the case in modern day society simply because we are told to be tolerant of one another. Especially in light of terrorist events continuously taking place in the Western world that are similar to those of November 13.
In San Bernardino, California, on December 2 an Islamic married couple, Tasfeen Malik and her husband Syed Farook, well armed and prepared to wage jihad, killed 14 innocent people and wounded 21 others. The FBI discovered where Malik had pledged allegiance to ISIS and its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, immediately following the attack just before they were both killed in a shootout with police.
According to Pew Research, the U.S. Muslim population is expected to increase from 2.6 million in 2010 to 6.2 million by 2030.
The Muslim population in France is up to almost ten percent, making it the country with the greatest number of followers of Islam in Western Europe next to Germany. Of course, one must not consider that this, in itself, is reason for concern. However, if one takes into account the differences in cultures and beliefs and the fact that the number of people immigrating to Europe from places which have almost nothing in common culturally or religiously has grown immensely over the past years, then the situation does in fact become quite dire.
Many see some of the EU’s policies on the free movement of people and the welcoming of migrants, as dangerous for its internal security. Schengen, the open borders agreement, which allows for people to travel without passports from one country to the other inside the EU, is now being brought into discussion as an accord that might benefit from modifications.
Allegedly blind to Al-Hijra, the Islamic doctrine of immigration, Chancellor Angela Merkel has opened Germany and Europe’s doors to hundreds-of-thousands of Middle Eastern and African mostly Muslim refugees, a fact which has sparked violent protests. Sam Solomon and E Al Maqdisi in their 2009 book Modern Day Trojan Horse write:
The most important outcome of the Hijra (migration of Muhammad from Mecca to Medina) was the spread of Islam outside and beyond the bounds of Mecca, not only as a religion but a combined socio-religious and socio-political system. This is why Hijra is considered to be the most important method of spreading Islam as a way of life, meaningful religion, and a political system and consolidating it far beyond the Muslim countries.
In his recent “Say no to EU” tour, dedicated to convincing the British electorate to exit the European Union, Nigel Farage, the leader of the UK Independence Party, called the Paris attacks “utterly and entirely predictable” and emphasized the failure of integrated societies by adding that “there is a problem with some of the Muslim community in this country,” as their loyalties are split. He called the EU’s free movement of people policy the “free movement of Kalashnikovs and Jihadists” and stressed the fact that Muslim migration has gone up 75% in ten years in the UK. At the same time Farage criticized Merkel’s putting “Turkey on the fast track to the EU,” as its 75 million, mostly followers of Islam, might only intensify tensions already in place.
For the United States, seen by many as the bastion of freedom and democracy, Farage warned, “It’s your future, it’s your children’s future, it’s your grandchildren’s future – the future of America is in your hands.”
Whether one chooses to see or ignore these facts is vital at this point. For there can be no end to the violence born from discontent and no solution to the threat sprung from the terror of Islamic extremism, if it does not become clear to those in charge that the current state of affairs cannot continue.
What could be done? Whether solutions point in the direction of stemming the migrant flow through new policies, securing the EU borders, reinstating passports and border checks for each Schengen nation, or witnessing countries taking this issue into their own hands, one thing is certain: peace and unity cannot be maintained if the situation goes unchanged. The recent Islamist attacks on Paris and San Bernardino are pivotal moments for the future of Western civilization, which now hangs in the balance.
Georgiana Constantin is a law school graduate who has studied International, European and Romanian law at the Romanian-American University in Bucharest and received her Masters from the Nicolae Titulescu University in Bucharest. Ms. Constantin, who is based in Romania, is also a contributor to SFPPR News & Analysis.