Muslims in Europe are always charged with every terrorist incident occurring in Europe, even before conducting any investigation. As I wrote before: “You are paying the price for our politicians’ errors”.
My first point is, a terrorism tree grows only in a forest of extremism. Those who fight terrorism, excluding extremism, will lose both battles.
If we knew that heavy smoking leads to cancer, it would be illogical to provide the cigarettes at low price for all ages and then start to treat the cancer patients.
That is exactly what western countries do. They turn a blind eye to extremism, allowing it to flourish in an environment of freedom of religion, opinion, expression, and political asylum, then they bear the brunt of those extremists living in their land.
My second point is, “Political Islamisation” is necessary for political terrorism; however, it is not sufficient.
Considering the number of terrorists and terrorist operations in the world, we will find that the majority of Muslims are not terrorists, but most of the terrorists are Islamised.
Most Muslims are not terrorists because they understand the essence of their religion, which orders them to follow God’s will with good instruction, and fight only those who fight us as God says: “Fight in the way of Allah those who fight you but do not transgress. Indeed, Allah does not like transgressors”. All alike verses urging and inciting the believers to fight were revealed in the battlefield or while Muslims were moving to the battlefield. The original rule, as God says, is: “And if they incline to peace, then incline to it [also] and rely upon Allah.”
However, a group of Islamised people has emerged among Muslims, claiming that they are “super Muslims” and are better than other Muslims. Those who do not follow them fall under the category of “people abstaining from the application of the law of God”. Therefore, they are entitled to be killed.
So you will not find that the terrorists who antagonise the West, are antagonising Muslims, too.
Islamisation, in this sense, is a necessary condition to becoming a terrorist, because his way of thinking led to the hatred, distortion of others by dehumanising a segment of society to ease the decision of killing them. Islamisation is a necessary condition for the Muslim to convert to terrorism. It is like the submission of an examination paper being essential for a student’s success.
Islamisation itself is not a sufficient condition; because some Islamised people by virtue, education, or circumstance, do not end up adopting violence even if they justify it under different reasons. Some of them, unfortunately, are taking advantage of the freedom of belief, opinion and expression to adopt extremism, providing an appropriate environment for others to evolve from extremists to terrorists.
Terrorism= extremism + violence.
My third note is: Terrorism will affect everyone, so everyone should face it.
The west faces the same destiny that Egypt and the Middle East have experienced. The dilemma that the west does not understand is that it provides a haven for extremists, and then it gets burnt by the terrorism. The west does not even blame itself for providing a shelter for the small snake, which ends up growing large and eats everything.
My fourth note is: The terrorists are stupid. They unite everyone against them.
All terrorist groups, including Daesh (another name for the “Islamic State”), are attacking everyone: Iraqis, Syrians, Turks, Americans, Iranians, Egyptians, and Russians. They imagine they can defeat everyone. Indeed, everyone turns against them to eliminate them.
But the dilemma is that no one turns that belief into a strategy in fighting terrorism and extreme violence.
Instead, they are fighting terrorists as individuals and groups. We find some countries in the world which support the extremists and the terrorists, believing that they serve their interests, but soon they are burnt by the terrorism’s fire.
Moataz Bellah Abdel-Fattah is an Egyptian professor of political science. He previously served as an adviser to the prime minister of Egypt, and professor of political science at both Cairo University and Central Michigan University.