One of the most common fears in Europe and US towards Islam is islamism and particularely violent islamic terrorism. This fear is used by the right-winged parties to increase their popularity and their results. The descibed senario could have been written by Hollywood storytellers: angry red-eyed bearded men, women forced to wear a burqa, human bombs, non-muslims reduced to slavery, global war… the worst of it is that it works. When a majority of people actually fear islamism and terrorism, they are not faking it: they are really scared to be one day sweeped away by a Djihadist bombing or plane hijack. When in Septerber the 11th the Twin Towers collapsed, it was the beginning of a “War on Terror”. For both sides. Here you had people from Afghanistan, Pakistan or Iraq terrorized to be one of the “collateral” victims. There you had American too terrorized to take a plane if a brown skinned guy was in the same flight. “War on Terror” became a “Reign of Terror”. Nothing was better spread in the world than this feeling of terror, this panic growing from all sides. In Europe, seeing over streets veiled women became too scary, young suburbs offenders were not to help out of unemployment or boredom, they were to be recognized for what they were, fondamentalists sons of the muslim migrants, too angry to be grateful for what they were given in this civilized continent. Terror won. So from all sides people let the worst of them rule them to feel “protected”.
What is hard to understand is how this terror became so overwhelming in Europe or US. How to be that scared of terrorism, to the point of letting something 100 times worse take control of their lives . One has to go back to numbers. How many people died in September 11th? 2996 victims. In London? 56 victims. In Madrid? 200 victims. So in total 3252 victims. On the other hand the 2003 Gulf war has so far caused the death of 4759 US+Allies soldiers in Iraq and 2376 in Afghanistan. Without mentionning the number of deaths in the Iraqi and Afghan people, totalizing following estimations more than 300.000 victims (at the very least). So in order to prevent islamist terrorism we make at least 100 times more civil victims and at least twice military victims. Something here is terrifically wrong. Americans at least understood something was going wrong, so they turned their back to Bush and elected Barack Obama. President Obama is NOT a solution, and the 2 first years of his mandate show it clearly, but I have to say I really pay a tribute to American people to have been able to elect a man carrying for a second name the last name of the iraki dictator that has been their worst nightmare for years (due to Bush propaganda) and whose father is from the same religion than the one claimed by the terrorist organization that has attacked them. Half of this is not even thinkable today in Europe.
If we try to go a little more deeper into it: 10 years after September 11th, who is still scared of Islam? Europe. And, to break misconceptions, not only poor workers, uneducated, uninformed Europeans. Everyday a greater part of European citizens are more and more afraid of islamism, Islam, terrorism, migration, all in one. They fear it although they don’t see in their everyday life any consequece of this “threat” they were waiting for for now 10years. They don’t see Muslims taking power on Christians or Jews. They don’t see an increasing number of bearded men and veiled women angrily looking at them in streets. They don’t see mosques teaching djihad techniques. They don’t see all this but everytime they see something as neutral as a brown-skinned man crossing a border or an arab speaking family with 3-4kids at the street corner, they assume they are seeing all this. And at the end they really see all this in simple and normal human beings, who differ from them only in being muslim.
What is puzzling is that they are able to see great threat in tiny details but are unable to see what is really threatening them in their everyday life or even more, what is already killing them. Indeed it is totally irrational when you think of it that people are afraid of islamism that cannot reach their lives whatsoever, when so many things are making their lives terrible everyday. How aren’t they that much terrified by faithless capitalism, savage work conditions causing hundreds of people to commit suicide month after month all over Europe, so cruel society that third of the people will get depressed one day or the other and almost half of the women to scared to lose their job to have kids, so weak defense of consumers that they eat everyday food full of chemicals, pollution.
It seems to me sometimes that life in an European big city consists of waking up to a glass of milk full of artificial hormones, walking or driving to office filling their lungs with dirty particulates, sitting at office and taking orders and psychological harassement, eating a full plate of garbage reconstituted as fish nuggets at the cafeteria, coming back home to their children they see so little time a day that they already know that when they’ll get old they’ll just throw them over in a retirement house, watching news and GET SCARED about those islamists/terrorists and feel so damn secure in their own routine that they have to make everything for it to continue, to have those islamists as far from them as possible. “To make everything” includes voting for the people that will reinforce all makes their life miserable: slavery at work, poisonous chemichals in food for more cancers, nuclear energy policy that kills biodiversity and pollutes the planet with nuclear waste, less money for education, unemployment or social housing, more money and less tax for banksters, more delocalization for making more jobless. How can it be so irrational?
And by having this irrational fear of islamism, people tend to elect people that work in implementing such an unfair world, where South chokes to death and North prefer to waste away half of the planet to tranform it into transient goods, strategic weapons and public debts… what a wonderful world.