Just like in any other months in recent history, it is with great sadness that we receive news of terrorism from Europe and Asia.
The month of November started with a car bomb in Mogadishu, Somalia, resulting in the death of 12 people. The Islamic militant organization Al Shabab claimed responsibility. On November 4, a suicide bombing in Egypt claimed the lives of three young police cadets. ISIS claimed responsibility. On November 5, a suicide bomber killed five in Lebanon, including Sunni Muslim clerics who were trying to negotiate the release of hostages held by an Al Qaeda affiliate. On November 7, multiple suspected ISIS bombings and shootings killed 12 people in Baghdad, Iraq. On the 9th, a Boko Haram suicide bombing killed three in Chad. On the same day, another Boko Haram suicide bombing killed four in Cameroon. On the 12th, multiple ISIS suicide bombers killed 43 in a Shia neighbourhood in Beirut, Lebanon. ISIS bombings again in Baghdad, on November 13, killed 19 people in Shia neighbourhoods. The same day saw the carnage in Paris where approximately 150 people died in a music concert hall, in a restaurant, near a bar.
The Paris attack is especially telling because the attackers chose to hit young people who were enjoying the evening at a music concert, dining out, drinking at a bar, and watching football. These were also the neighbourhoods that were known to be progressive and tolerant.
The unfortunate part of these horrific events is that as soon as these acts are committed, instead of identifying with the victims, the apologist-intelligentsia narrative takes the front stage. It was no different this time.
France was against US intervention in Iraq, but it is taking part in anti-ISIS operation. In recent days, it has also taken a substantial number of refugees from the Middle East. The apologist narrative is France was instrumental in the rise of ISIS and now that it has declared war on ISIS, the chickens have come home to roost.
There is no evidence of France’s involvement in the rise of ISIS; it is simply an effective strategy to absolve the terrorists of their crime.
The ISIS agenda is also not an “anti-imperialist” agenda. It wants to turn the entire world into a wasteland of ideas, a barren desert ruled by primitive ideas of morality, a misogynistic world where pursuit of anything refined, be it music, arts, sports, or science, will be forbidden. It is not that our apologists do not enjoy these offerings of life, but their political and religious ideas do not allow them to accept the fact that blind belief can drive people to act so despicably.
It is also time for the United States, Europe and Russia to take account of their policy in the Middle East. A total disengagement will go a long way to allow the countries in the region to evolve on their own. A total ban on arms sale to Saudi Arabia, UAE, Turkey and Israel will help in the stabilization of these countries. The United States should also lean on Saudi Arabia and UAE to stop financing Islamic religious schools and Jihadist ideology across the world, and to guarantee the rights of minorities and women.
We express solidarity with all the people affected by terrorism this month, including those of Paris, Lebanon, Iraq, Somalia, Cameroon and Egypt.