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Written by: Dr. Eitan Azani, Dr. Ely Karmon, Dr. Michael Barak, Mrs. Lorena Atiyas-Lvovsky
Europe is experiencing a wave of terror attacks in response to the publication of Muhammad caricatures. These attacks are a manifestation of a clash between two civilizations - one is the western liberalism and the other is radical Islamism that global jihadi organizations and the supporters of radical ideologies follow. These attacks in major European cities despite being tactical in nature, have a strategic effect on the population, decision makers and the relationship in the international arena between the West and Muslim countries and global jihadi organizations.
From the analysis of the attacks and the reactions to them, as presented in the article: the main concern in light of the success of recent weeks’ attacks and the call for additional ones by terrorist organizations, is that we may be facing the beginning of a new wave of violence. In this context there is a possibility that attacks will spill over from France into the close European circle or even farther. The global nature of the threat is made possible, inter alia, due to amongs othersn, the threat posed by foreign fighters returning from jihadi theaters back to Europe and releasing those who have been convicted for terrorism.
The French response to the attacks stressed the importance of secularism, freedom of worship and freedom of speech in the Republic. France has elevated its level of readiness to the highest one and French President Macron announced a far-reaching program to contend with radical Islam. It is safe to assume that France will harden its position and policy vis a vis radical Islam at least in the foreseeable future, through shutting down Islamic institutions, large scale arrests, explusion, increased penalties and more.
European leaders admitted that the multicultural approach attempting to promote integration of ethnic minorities into the general society has failed. It neither stopped radicalization nor promoted integration. In addition, the efficiency of deradicalization programs, rehabilitation and reintegration into society are being doubted. It seems that coping with radicalization requires the examination of new mechanisms that include tight cooperation between different sectors surrounded by strong public support.