Knotted hatreds behind terror attacks in France

Source:Global Times Published: 2016/7/16 0:13:00

The southern French city Nice was shrouded in terror on Thursday night after a truck ploughed through the crowds celebrating Bastille Day, killing more than 80. Reports said the attacker, 31, was a Nice local of Tunisian origin.

This attack has dealt a new blow to France and Europe. The public had barely recovered from the horror in November in Paris and an earlier attack in January 2015, which caused severe casualties. The Nice attack, along with scattered attacks in other parts of Europe, has made people feel as if the continent has been eaten up by terrorism, bite after bite.

A seemingly wealthy and peaceful Europe has been stumbling upon some deep troubles. Some of the problems are getting out of control, while the power to resist is falling apart, and new powers have yet to take shape.

France is one of the European countries with the largest population of immigrants. Muslim immigrants reportedly account for about 10 percent of the country's total population. Cultural diversity was once the pride of many French cities. Now immigrants are scared, as anti-immigrant sentiment has been ignited in many places. The country is at a loss now.

With a sluggish economy, the contention for limited resources only gets more intense. The disadvantaged immigrant groups will become even more difficult and pessimistic. It created conditions for terrorists to brainwash a few immigrants or their descendents, making them part of the terrorist networks.

In a modern society like France, a handful of die-hard terrorists can create unbearable disasters. With terrorist groups like the Islamic State or Al Qaeda able to manipulate them from outside, France has become even more vulnerable.

Repeated terror attacks have brought strong shocks. Beside fear and panic, there is also anger and hatred. Such emotions grow entangled and congested, like dead knots.

The Western societies are known for their high level of freedom and lack of controls, which are based on a high level of security guarantee. The repeated terror attacks are likely to change the situation. But a tightened society will be hard for people to accept.

The Nice attack may make Brexit advocates believe they made the right choice. It will also make it more difficult for Europe to resolve the immigrant problem.

On the other side of the Atlantic, the far-right presidential candidate Donald Trump will have more to say about his anti-immigrant policies.

More troubles may surface as social tensions grow in Europe. France and Europe may need to reconstruct their confidence collectively and comprehensibly, as the problem of terror attacks can not be resolved by one country.

Posted in: Editorial

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