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To help prevent future Paris attacks, stop stigmatizing Muslim communities

Middle East
on 30 Comments

There was an important paragraph in today’s New York Times article about Molenbeek, the immigrant district in Brussels in which several of the Paris attackers were apparently based. The report describes

a Belgian security system ill equipped to deal with a tight knit community like Molenbeek, where a mostly white police force has only tenuous links to a largely immigrant population resentful of being labeled potential terrorists.

Police the world over know that most crimes are solved or thwarted by informants. The “underwear bomber,” who tried to blow up a Northwest Airlines jet on its way to Detroit on Christmas Day 2009, had been turned in earlier by his own father, who went straight to the CIA station in Abuja, Nigeria. But security agencies stumbled, and only an alert passenger prevented Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab from succeeding.

Preventing future attacks will require cooperation from within communities like Molenbeek. So even just looking at the problem from the law enforcement angle, does it make sense to stigmatize an entire people and an entire religion? The flood of Syrian refugees surely includes people with valuable language skills and first-hand knowledge; is it wise to reject them?

What’s more — and I have no proof of this — but isn’t it at least possible that genuine progress toward human rights in Israel/Palestine and an end to the occupation might make otherwise hesitant people in neighborhoods such as Molenbeek more likely to come forward?

James North
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30 Responses

  1. Palikari
    Palikari
    November 17, 2015, 1:26 pm

    To help prevent future Paris attacks, stop Islamic fundamentalism.

    Normal people just don’t become bloodthirsty terrorists overnight, because of “stigmatization” or any other reason.

    • annie
      annie
      November 17, 2015, 3:14 pm

      Normal people just don’t become bloodthirsty terrorists overnight, because of “stigmatization” or any other reason.

      well, what about some idealistic young teen who goes on a birthright trip and ends up in the israeli military and then finds herself randomly slaughtering a palestinian at a checkpoint?

      i know it sounds far fetch that this idealistic young birthrighter could have ever been a “normal” person but some of them were once, presumably. and what’s your definition of bloodthirsty? you mean like a vampire? because i have not heard the terrorists in paris were partaking. but if you mean metaphorically then lots of israeli soldiers are bloodthirsty.

    • eljay
      eljay
      November 17, 2015, 3:23 pm

      || Palikari: … Normal people just don’t become bloodthirsty terrorists overnight, because of “stigmatization” or any other reason. ||

      Well, there you have it: Zio-supremacist terrorist goons are born bloodthirsty. They can’t blame it on “stigmatization” or anti-Semitism or “Jew hatred” or the Holocaust or a bad neighbourhood or anything else.

      Thanks for clarifying that.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        November 17, 2015, 4:17 pm

        People of normal disposition who have lived a normal life don’t become abnormal overnight unless that night was quite extraordinarily dark and traumatic. though even that could happen. People who have never lived a life of normal dignity but have been humiliated and insulted for years and born it patiently may sometimes resort to extraordinary extremes after one short episode that did not seem too different from the others. This is called the straw that broke the camel’s back, or the worm turning.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        November 17, 2015, 9:56 pm

        What do we know about the murdering terrorists of last Friday night in Paris that tells us that they have been traumatized in any way?

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        November 18, 2015, 10:58 am

        What do we know about the murdering terrorists of the settlements that tells us that they have been traumatized in any way?

      • eljay
        eljay
        November 18, 2015, 11:53 am

        || Mooser: What do we know about the murdering terrorists of the settlements that tells us that they have been traumatized in any way? ||

        Well, they might tell you they’re bloodthirsty terrorists because of the Holocaust, existential threats, anti-Semitism and/or Jew hatred.

        But as Palikari points out, all of that is utterly irrelevant. The reason bloodthirsty Zio-supremacist terrorists are bloodthirsty Zio-supremacist terrorists is that they’re born that way.

        Do they touch themselves when they sing along?

        I’m beautiful in my way
        ’cause God makes no mistakes
        I’m on the right track, baby
        I was born this way

        (with sincerest apologies to Ms. Germanotta)

    • zaid
      zaid
      November 17, 2015, 4:00 pm

      You got to be kidding me

      first the Swedish and now the Dutch:

      http://www.timesofisrael.com/israeli-palestinian-conflict-to-blame-for-paris-attacks-says-dutch-pol/

      LoL

      • annie
        annie
        November 17, 2015, 4:04 pm

        oh fun zaid. let the denials begin!! i remember a poll from the ME a few years back asking all sorts of questions. and the one unifying feature in all the countries was the top issue for the people (not the govs) was what was happening in palestine.

        the question to ask is why wouldn’t it motivate someone to go bonkers? it requires a lot of constant restraint not to get really angry about what’s going on there decade after decade after decade after decade after decade after decade after decade.

      • a blah chick
        a blah chick
        November 17, 2015, 4:10 pm

        Did you notice that on the webpage you can purchase Franco\Israeli pins? Ain’t that just special?

      • zaid
        zaid
        November 17, 2015, 11:27 pm

        Of course Annie,

        Even the 9/11 attackers said that aiding Israel was one of the reasons they did what they did.

        I am happy that despite Israels attempt to link Hamas and the Palestinians to ISIS, the world seems to finally get it.

    • talknic
      talknic
      November 17, 2015, 10:29 pm

      @ Palikari “To help prevent future Paris attacks, stop Islamic fundamentalism”

      Islamic fundamentalism is in large part a response to hundreds of years of non-Islamic intervention in EVERY Islamic country on the planet.

      “Normal people just don’t become bloodthirsty terrorists overnight, because of “stigmatization” or any other reason”

      So Israel’s illegal settler terrorists were born that way or perhaps not normal. Interesting theory

    • Froggy
      Froggy
      November 18, 2015, 10:41 pm

      You mean like the nice Jewish boychicks who murdered all those innocent civilians when they blew up the King David Hotel? Did their adoring mothers raise them to be murderers?

    • Bill R.
      Bill R.
      November 19, 2015, 7:43 pm

      The attackers were not solely motivated by religious fundamentalism, you’re ignoring the political aspect of their motives as well as the socio-economic conditions that lead them to do what they did. These are the main things that need to be addressed if you want to prevent future attacks.

      As for Islamic fundamentalism, if you want to reduce it then you first have to understand its root causes and why people (including “normal” people) espouse it.

      Or you can just say they’re not “normal”, they’re just “bloodthirsty” fanatics, case closed. No further analysis needed.

      • Mikhael
        Mikhael
        November 20, 2015, 4:58 am

        Bill R. November 19, 2015, 7:43 pm
        …you’re ignoring the political aspect of their motives as well as the socio-economic conditions that lead them to do what they did.

        The Roma and Sinti, collectively, have suffered and continue to suffer from far worse socieconomic marginization and discrimination than some Muslims in Europe ever have. Yet I’ve never heard of Roma Gypsies beheading off-duty soldiers on the streets of London, blowing up trains and buses, or shooting up cafes to protest their conditions.

        Many jihadi fanatics in fact are converts to Islam, of European, Anglo-Saxon or Franco-Francais (i.e., “French-French”) stock, from non-immigrant families. What oppression did they suffer?

      • zaid
        zaid
        November 20, 2015, 4:30 pm

        Mikhael my fellow Arab,

        There is something called Collective suffering.

  2. ivri
    ivri
    November 17, 2015, 4:06 pm

    That`s actually true – the best preventive way is to connect to the many Muslims that don`t want all this mayhem and wish to live peacefully. Israel has done that for years and was careful to avoid Islamophobia (it is done only by fringe groups in it) and there is little question that such cooperation was highly helpful.
    But there is also a background here. In Europe there is a deep sense of discrimination and rootlessness among the many immigrants there while, in contrast, in Israel the Arabs are not immigrants and don`t live in neglected neighborhoods but rather where they used to live all along – even before Israel was established – and while there are discrimination complaints (not just from them but also from Sephardi Jews in the past and from Ethiopian Jews now) – there is a meaningful degree of integration within the country. The situation in the Palestinian territories is different but even there has been a decent degree of cooperation.

    • annie
      annie
      November 17, 2015, 4:18 pm

      in Israel the Arabs ….. don`t live in neglected neighborhoods but rather where they used to live all along – even before Israel was established

      lol. none of them ever lived in those 500 ethnically cleansed villages. and after the military rule for the first ten years or how ever long it was they let them all move right back into their old houses. sure ivri. please check the comment policy, nakba denial is not allowed.

      • ivri
        ivri
        November 17, 2015, 5:11 pm

        @Annie
        Reading your response I have a feeling you simply didn`t understand what I wrote – perhaps you are too quick in “draw and shoot”?

    • diasp0ra
      diasp0ra
      November 17, 2015, 5:10 pm

      Wow, you speak really highly of how Arabs are treated in Israel for a country that ethnically cleansed nearly a million of them.

      As for the “Palestinian territories”, don’t mistake domination for cooperation.

    • talknic
      talknic
      November 17, 2015, 8:08 pm

      @ ivri ” Israel has done that for years and was careful to avoid Islamophobia (it is done only by fringe groups in it) and there is little question that such cooperation was highly helpful.”

      Non-Jewish “.. refugees from Israel- controlled territory amount(ed) to approximately 711,000”

      ” in Israel the Arabs are not immigrants “

      What a weird theory http://wp.me/pDB7k-19Y

      “and don`t live in neglected neighborhoods “

      Uh huh http://www.jta.org/2014/10/23/news-opinion/israel-middle-east/israels-rivlin-seeks-to-cure-disease-of-racism

      Is there no end to your lies?

    • Boo
      Boo
      November 18, 2015, 12:02 pm

      Yeah, and all those plantation slaves in Dixie were well fed, well housed, well educated, well treated and never brutalized. And that’s why they all loved Massa.

  3. Bumblebye
    Bumblebye
    November 17, 2015, 6:01 pm

    The article also spent some print on the bigger problem with Belgium – it is the illegal arms capital of Europe. This is a significant problem that has needed addressing for many years.

    Aside from that, there are good reasons why families may be reluctant to approach law enforcement/security services if they suspect a relative of possibly becoming radicalized. On too many occasions instead of scaring the individual(s) back onto the straight and narrow they have instead exploited the trust of families and used these people – pushing them further into criminality – in order to try to reach up the criminal/terrorist foodchain for a higher value catch. Iirc, it happened on a number of occasions in the UK during the IRA years, and there have been at least a couple of similar stories since 7/7.

  4. Kay24
    Kay24
    November 18, 2015, 6:35 am

    It is unfortunate that Western nations deliberately provoke a hornets nest, by attacking Muslim nations (too many to mention), and then seem surprised when extremists, who need an excuse to vent their anger, do so in the most terrible ways. Then we have the media, who as if on cue, start interviewing idiots who take the opportunity to demonize all Muslims. Now some Americans only want Christian refugees to be allowed in, again we see the discrimination. It is almost like a script. Geller and other Islamaphobes, have all been on this campaign to demonize Muslims, and now they have the opportunity to once again paint all Muslims with the Jihadist/terrorist brush again.

    Western nations want Muslims to take the bombing, toppling of their governments, interference in their political system, and have puppet governments, with a smile, and not utter a word of protest. Unrealistic.
    Americans should now realize how innocent Iraqis felt when we dropped bombs over them, killing thousands (far more than these terror attacks), but then we always think we are right,
    and do not care if brown skinned Muslims are killed.

    It is the same situation with Israel. They blockade, occupy, steal lands, and keep these poor people in open prisons for decades, and then when some retaliate in ways they don’t like, they whine and call it terrorism. Actions have consequences, and sometimes those actions are made exactly to get that response. Killing unarmed civilians in large numbers is a form of terrorism.

    Americans have their brains drilled with the word “Islamic” or “Muslim”, so that they will associate the religion and people with these scumbags who terrorize people using their twisted form of the religion to justify their killing. I just listened to translation of a statement by a French official regarding the killing of some suspects, and the word “Muslim” never came up, they referred to the suspects as “terrorists”. There is a deliberate attempt in the zionist media in the US to cover this using very discriminatory wording against Muslims.

  5. Kay24
    Kay24
    November 18, 2015, 10:34 am

    France undeterred, will take in the 30,000 refugees it said it would.

    Meanwhile in the world’s greatest democracy, many states are acting like cowards afraid of women and children, and refusing to let them in. How compassionate we are.

  6. Les
    Les
    November 18, 2015, 3:04 pm

    A huge contributer to the problem is the spillover from the racist depiction of Palestinians by the US media. One person thought he was attacking Muslims when he murdered Sikhs at a mosque in suburban Milwaukeee. Such swarthy looking people must all be Muslim terrorists!

  7. Sibiriak
    Sibiriak
    November 20, 2015, 2:56 am

    The Nation article:

    What I Discovered From Interviewing Imprisoned ISIS Fighters They’re drawn to the movement for reasons that have little to do with belief in extremist Islam”

    http://www.thenation.com/article/what-i-discovered-from-interviewing-isis-prisoners/

  8. Bill R.
    Bill R.
    November 23, 2015, 7:26 pm

    Reply to Mikhael :

    The Roma and Sinti, collectively, have suffered and continue to suffer from far worse socieconomic marginization and discrimination than some Muslims in Europe ever have. Yet I’ve never heard of Roma Gypsies beheading off-duty soldiers on the streets of London, blowing up trains and buses, or shooting up cafes to protest their conditions.

    Socieconomic marginalization is just one factor, another factor is identifying with a community that you perceive as being under attack and suffering immensely. That perception is often based on reality but is distorted through sectarian lenses. For example, Muslims in the West being outraged by the suffering of Muslims in the Middle East (which is incomparably worse than anything the Roma and Sinti have experienced since WW2) as the result of the foreign policy of Western countries. You alluded to the murder/beheading of the off duty British soldier in the UK two years ago, well if you watched the video of the attacker you should know that he said : “The only reason we have done this is because Muslims are dying every day”. Also the perpetrator of the attack in the Jewish grocery store in Paris earlier this year said he did it to defend oppressed Muslims, notably in Palestine. So it’s no just about suffering from oppression (though Muslims in the West certainly do) it’s also about reacting to the oppression of people that you consider to be in your group.

    That aspect should be addressed because it deals with legitimate grievances but also because it can help prevent radicalization. Of course it’s much easier to just ignore that aspect and label these people fanatics.

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