A Proper Response to Tragic Events in France

Amandine Marbach from Strasbourg, France, takes part in a vigil to pay tribute to the victims of a shooting, by gunmen at the offices of weekly satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris, in the Manhattan borough of New York January 7, 2015. Hooded gunmen stormed the Paris offices of the weekly satirical magazine known for lampooning Islam and other religions, shooting dead at least 12 people, including two police officers, in the worst militant attack on French soil in decades. Sign reads "I am Charlie".    REUTERS/Carlo Allegri   (UNITED STATES - Tags: CIVIL UNREST CRIME LAW TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) - RTR4KHDZ

With the recent tragic developments in France I urge EU governments and political leaders to re-think our approach in facing fundamentalism and terrorism. The concept of security/defence alone is the traditional/tested & failed approach. So is our approach in seeking alliance with oppressive regimes in the Middle East that prevent decent or religious movements that would allows their ideology to evolve in a non-violent manner. The end result is ME instability spilled onto our streets and politicians starting to take sides. This is the wrong approach and does nothing to help keep such conflicts away from our shores. Key policy changes that we need to consider seriously/urgently is this;

1) We need to help develop a more tolerant version of Islam within Europe-one that respects our values/principles-this with the help of moderate religious leaders/scholars. We should help drive this approach throughout Europe and not contend with religious leaders holding hands in unity after such tragic events.

2) We should sustain from supporting sides in the ME conflict neither by word nor action until the parties actually get involved in a peace process. We can encourage peaceful resolution and help bring them to negotiate but we should not provide any kind of political/financial support until they demonstrate seriousness about resolving the issue.

Europe has changed and we need to ensure that our approach in securing our values evolves with time so we don’t begin fighting extremism with extremists policies that will subsequently tear down our values and impact our stability. We need to fight this battle on our terms mainly using our strengths/beliefs of Freedom/Democracy and Human Rights.

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