Belgium attacks and their impact on the rest of the world


Max Bickley – General Assignment Reporter

Only two weeks ago, much of the Western world was shocked by a terror attack in the city of Brussels, Belgium, where bombs were set off in the airport leading to over 30 casualties. The group which has claimed responsibility for this attack, and the terror attack in Paris only five months ago, is ISIS, the terror group operating and fighting for control in Syria and Iraq.

However, in the wake of these attacks, as has been seen in the past, the nations across the world often react, not only in expressing sympathies, but also in their own political designs and legislatures. Professor Judd, a Southern professor who specializes in Middle East history, has examined the recent attacks, and their impact on the nations of the world.

“The initial reaction was, of course, shock and horror. In terms of real reactions though, the response has been more limited,” said Judd. “The French briefly increased their involvement in the war in Syria and imposed some police-state rules, but  these were not extensive measures. Belgium has yet to figure out how to respond.”

In continuing his examination of the reaction of Belgium, Judd attributes the lack of response on several reasons such as intelligence work and investigation, and getting to the root cause of the attacks.

“It is very difficult to prevent attacks like this. It requires careful intelligence work and extensive police measures…,” said Judd. “…It is also difficult to know the extent to which ISIS is responsible, they have claimed credit, but it is unclear whether they orchestrated or merely inspired these attacks.”

In response to these attacks, political science major Nicolas DeCroce has noted that the effect of these attacks, as well as the Syrian Migrant Crisis, have altered the political landscape of the west.

“One of the biggest things to note is that the shock of these attacks has alerted many European nations to the danger of ISIS, but also the potential danger of infiltration of their borders,” said DeCroce. “Not only this, but there has been a large upswing in the numbers of right wing nationalists in Europe who are on the verge of neo-Nazism and are heavily against Muslims and the refugees from the middle east.”

While that is the circumstances in Europe, where multiple attacks have taken place within the past six months, in America, as both Judd and DeCroce elaborated, there is a similar antagonism forming towards Muslims, Muslim citizens, and the potential refugees who may be resettled in America.

“In broad terms, the unfair backlash against innocent Muslims is very real and will continue,” said Judd. “ The rhetoric of the U.S. presidential campaign illustrates just how acceptable hatred of Muslims has become. Muslims have more to fear from ISIS than we do, and attacking refugees and other victims of ISIS makes matters worse.”

DeCroce, in discussing the nature of American politics, acknowledges this similar trend in the populace, but remarks on the basis of political hesitation towards accepting refugees and the increasing isolationist policy in America.

“There is no escaping the anti-Muslim sentiment which is in America; it will be something that will last with us for generations. Who Muslims are now to America are what the Vietnamese of the 70s and 80s, or the Japanese of the 40s were: a feared demographic,” said DeCroce, “But, there is a threat, though minimal of security breaches. However, America is much better with issues such as that than Europe, and it can be seen now that nations of Europe are closing their borders to refugees out of this fear.”

It is in regards to this fear, this stigma which is forming and being ingrained in the American populace, that Judd closes his thoughts with one of the simplest, but truest facts to keep in mind.

“The only way to stop the stigma toward Muslims is to continue to remind people that the actions of a few do not define the entire faith.”

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