The very first thought after the terrorist attacks in Paris is fear. Fear that it could happen again, maybe at our doorsteps. It is a fear that makes us withdraw into ourselves. Unfortunately we Europeans suffer from our terrible ignorance: we do not know what happens a few hours from our borders, even a few miles of sea from Sicily. Decapitations, kamikazes and tribal fighting get into a mixer providing almost nothing at the end. One of the results is that we risk not to understand what is going on and to surrender to indiscriminate reactions against a far and unknown “Islam”. The evidences of this kind of reactions – the “Islamic bastards” first page of the Italian newspaper “Libero” is paradigmatic, from this point of view – are the best response fanaticism is looking for. It is not about asking for appeasement, which was the most dramatic weakness against Nazism before WWII. It is about understanding that the criminal movements made up by fanatics wrapped up in religion are the enemies of all humanity, whatever the nationality or belief. The heritage of civilization Europe is the guardian of – even if it is not perfect – has France at its hearth: giving up the principles which are an achievement of humanity would be a terrible moral defeat, much more than political and military. Can we deny reality? Not at all. French President Holland is right when talking of an act of war: it is a war that has been going on from years against a lifestyle which is hateful for many. Freedom of women and men, free thinking and dissent, freedom of habits and opinions is simply something intolerable for those who imagine a global totalitarian state. It is difficult to understand why. The reaction has to be strong. However, what is important now is to remember who we are and that, moreover, freedom is not a long-lasting conquer, but it can waver. Those damned shots of Kalashnikov which have killed more than one hundred persons, of different race and religion, must not be forgotten. But, at the same time, we must stick to our reason, the same reason France gave to modern societies with the Age of Enlightenment. Sending our jets to exterminate the IS, whatever or wherever, as a high representative of the Italian institutions has asked, is something perfectly inaccurate as well as the example of what fanatics do want. It is a terribly complex scenario, in which the migration emergency enters too: needless to say, thinking of something like that happening in Italy, especially during the next Jubilee, is frightening. And it is a scenario of which we ignore the real elements and the diverse religious, economic and geopolitical dimensions. Right now we need to be aware that a democratic State has the power to defend itself and to react, safeguarding its own founding values. But we must not forget that this is a global match, to be played at a global level, in every possible arena and together with every partner who refuses terrorism. All the rest is simply smoke in the air.
Posted in Italian on Formiche