When reports about the terrorist attack in Manchester, that claimed the lives of 22 people and left some 100 more wounded, came flooding in, people in different parts of the world started crying: “How could this happen, yet another terrorist act, will there be an end to this?” It was horrifying that so many minors fell victims to this despicable act. This latest attack came as a wake up call not only for the UK, but also for the citizens of other European countries. They keep repeating something like: “The terrorists will not intimidate us.” However, the atmosphere of fear and extreme tension pretty much dominates the Old World, with Western capitals being transformed into fortresses guarded by countless police squads armed to the teeth and even by regular army troops.
Against this background, one can not help but being somewhat puzzled by certain commentaries that are featured in a number of British media sources these days as a part of the wider coverage of this tragic event.
For instance, The Times in one of its editorials claims that the West would never comprehend the logic that drives suicide bombers. This media source seems particularly surprised that the man who staged the attack in Manchester was a British citizen who was radicalized, in spite of enjoying “the freedoms of the Western world.”
One cannot help but wonder what are we dealing with here? Is this a case of sincere misunderstanding or outright hypocrisy, exercised in the absence of any respect towards one’s fellow citizens. When you read such reports, you are bound to take a few steps back and take a good look as to how Russia’s President Vladimir Putin was demanding Western powers in front of the UN General Assembly back in 2015 to give him an answer to the question that was formulated as follows: “Do you realize what you have done?”
It seems that Western leaders are reluctant to see the underlying cause of terrorism and radical Islamism, which lies in the military interventions they launched against a number of Middle East states and beyond. Haven’t we witnessed British aircraft bombing Libya back in 2011, which led to the brutal murder of Mummar Gaddafi and the consequent destruction of the country he built? Haven’t we seen its consequent transformation into a zone of never-ending armed struggle between various radical groups? The British press has already admitted that London was assisting various extremist organizations in Libya. Maybe it was the urge to even the score that transformed Salman Abedi, a British citizen of Libyan descent into a suicide bomber. However, there’s no sure way to tell now.
Instead of analyzing real causes of a string of terrorist attacks that have been plaguing Europe for a long while now, we see various illogic and non-scientific explanations, like those stating that ISIS is professing the cult of death, that its methods cannot be comprehended by a sane human being and that its ideology distorts religion beyond recognition. Those explanations are then being presented to us as an excuse for the West not being able to create an antidote that could eradicate this poisonous phenomenon.
Meanwhile, The Times offers three tactics of cooping with the growing fear and frustration that readers may find within them: more spying and intelligence gathering; the stoic approach to the situation at hand, and the determination of Western elected leaders to adhere to Western values.
Such “recipes” stink of undisguised cynicism, the intention of which is to reduce a complex matter to the soulless expression of one’s condolences, wreath-laying ceremonies and one’s desire to lead the readers away from understanding the essence of what is really happening. In this regard it may be curious for some to learn that Deutsch Welle would note that after the terrorist attack in Manchester Europe observes the well-learned rituals in an attempt to hide its helplessness.
But sure, there are far more radical comments that one can come across. For instance, the popular English journalist Cathy Hopkins proposed the West to find a “terminal decision” to this problem on her twitter. From the context of her twit it is clear that this sort of Nazi rhetorics wasn’t used to refers to Jews, as she was speaking about Muslims. This controversial passage was eventually deleted, but before she did that she received a massive amount of approval from her followers. Now the Daily Telegraph urges the government to deport Muslims from the UK, not all of them, for sure, but only thousands upon thousands of those suspicious ones.
One can not help but regret that the governments of a great many of Western states are, in fact, encouraging anti-Muslim hysteria, even though Islam is being professed by some 1.6 million people. As if a whole religious community was somehow responsible for the crimes committed by certain deranged individuals.
Today, it is obvious to everyone that terrorism is a major threat to all of humanity. In order to put an end to this “cancerous tumor”, it is necessary to carry out is “surgically precise strikes” like the ones that Russia has been carrying out in Syria, along with countering its poisonous propaganda. All the see in the West is an attempt to imitate a struggle, without any practical steps or concrete results to be presented to the general public.
Russians, perhaps, could understand the pain and the feelings of bitterness that many Englishmen have these days better than anybody else. However, unfortunately, these emotions are often uncontrolled in the West, which leads to the spread of hysterics statements and widespread Islamophobia.
Russia has repeatedly called for a joint effort to be taken to get rid the world of Islamist ideology, since this is the only way that this evil can be defeated.
This was clearly has been confirmed once against by the recent speech that Russia’s President Vladimir Putin delivered to welcome the participants of the third Russia-Islamic World summit that was held in Grozny. He noted that the Islamic world can count on Russia’s support and assistance in its fight against radicals. The Russian leader has also underlined that Moscow is prepared to enchase the efforts it takes in confronting the forces of terror, as well as in finding ways to peacefully resolve regional crises together with regional forces.
Veniamin Popov, Director of the Center for Partnership of Civilizations at MGIMO (Moscow State Institute of International Relations) of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”