The French President, Françoise Hollande has described the terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday 9/13 an ‘act of war’ and called upon France to unite in the face of this tragedy. Is it possible to unite in hatred and loathing?
We believe it is possible to unite not just the people of France, or Europe, but rational people throughout the world who have found, and continue to find, inspiration from the words “Liberté, égalité, fraternité”, the very pillars of modern society. That includes Muslims too who fought for he Arab Spring, and Sunnis and Shias the world over, Yazidis and Rohinjyas, Buddhists, Hindus, Christians, Jews, ideologues in the Kremlin and Neocons in Washington, DC, and others.
Fear unites, but hatred and loathing? However improbable this may seem, the time has come for just such unity. Leaders the world over, from Pope Francis to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi have voiced their sense of outrage over the barbarity unleashed by Islamic State over innocent civilians.
The Associated Press image above, of the body covered in a white sheet lying on a Paris sidewalk, could be that of anybody, colored or white, Muslim or Christian. It could be you or me. We are all under threat from this fanatical group, a throwback to the Dark Ages, set on a mad goal of a caliphate.
We have to pull back from a kneejerk reaction against Muslims, especially refugees flooding into Europe who are themselves, by and large, victims of ISIS as well as President Assad who might duck for cover by claiming he too is a victim of Islamic State. The two, ISIS and Assad, are both perpetrators of genocide. Canada and the United States must not hesitate in their pledge to resettle thousands of refugees.
Neither should the rest of the world hesitate from decisive action against the vermin ISIS. The time for academic research into the causes of radicalization has come and gone. To persist in such activity would be like Nero fiddling while Rome burns. The sooner world leaders, especially those from NATO members, wake up to the urgent need for decisive action the better. It is possible that even Russia might join this alliance of the West as it once did to fight the scourge of Hitler.
The only way to crush the ISIS vermin is with boots, powered by hatred and loathing. Boots on the ground.