The Euronews website features a video in which viewer Masha asks Michael Privot, the Director of the European Network Against Racism (ENAR) “If Muslim extremism is a real issue in Europe?”.
Michael’s response gives deep insight into socio-political and economic contexts in which Muslim extremism has, in recent years, become the focus of security and counter terrorism in Europe despite, as Michael points out, religiously inspired violent extremism being responsible for 10 out of 2150 terrorist attacks in Europe since 2006. This represents 0.5% of all attacks.
He argues that in relation to the facts as reported in Europol reports, it is important to look at the considerable resources devoted to combating Muslim extremism in Europe:
“In reality, 50% of Europe’s counter-terrorism resources have been used just for the 0.5 percent of terrorism called ‘Islamic’.
“So, how can this outright disproportion between the real threat and the means used be justified? You have to look at the political context. Since the attacks in London and Madrid especially, politicians have lived with a dread that an attack might take place in their voting area and therefore they do not scrimp on means, in order to show that they are taking things in hand.
“And then there’s the economic context today. Counter-terrorism, especially against ‘Islamic’ terrorism, involves hundreds of thousands of jobs in Europe, whether it’s in the public sectors of law and order, security services — but also smaller private offices that draw ample benefit from this — all, obviously, in a context where the Muslim is seen as the absolutely different ‘other’, as the threat for our civilisation and our values.
“Today we can say that minorities, Muslims in particular, are victims of this situation in three ways. Firstly because they are singled out as the scapegoat within the social majority”
“The second thing is that with such a disproportionate attribution of means Muslims, notably young men, are often the victims of extra sharp scrutiny by the forces of order. And thirdly, given that the forces of order concentrate half their personnel on the fight against the Islamist terrorist who represents almost nothing, they do not take care of the much worse threats such as the terrorism of the extreme right such as we see in Germany, or recently in Italy, where there are certainly Muslim communities who are victims, along with black people, Roma and Jewish communities.
“ I think it’s time we might learn some lessons from this, and return to our common sense and change radically… the policy being followed at European level and in the EU member states.”
You can watch the video online here.
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