By Dr Panagiotis Sfaelos
The terrorist attack on the mosques in New Zealand is a very tragic hate crime which comes within the framework of the conflict of civilization. But let’s see the bigger picture in order to understand these developments .
On September 11, 2001, the world changed forever. We entered the phase of the conflict of civilization as rightly Samuel Huntington had predicted. Islamic terrorism hit the twin towers in New York, the symbol of western civilization. In the aftermath of these attacks, the US declared war on terror. The need for more security became imminent, as no one felt secure any more. Since then, many terrorist attacks have occurred in many cities of Europe and the West in general. The rise of Islamic terrorism in Europe has led to extreme security measures violating even some civil freedoms.
At the same time, there is rise of far right parties in the West and terrorist attacks have occurred in Norway in 2011 and now in New Zealand. In the EU, fascist parties rise and they may even acquire majority in European Parliament after the coming European Elections. The rise of far right parties has been fulled by irregular migration which has brought some extreme Islamists in Europe.
The concurrent rise of far right parties and Islamic terrorism could lead to world war. The rise of the extreme right and the abrupt (uncontrolled) integration of different civilizations in Western societies could threat the social cohesion and peace. This process should be gradual and well organised. Also, the economic crisis contributes to the rise of the far right. For instance, in Britain, Nigel Farage utilized the rise of unemployment and the increased migration flows in order to blame the EU. This has resulted to great instability as Brexit seems difficult to complete
In my view, the terrorist attack in New Zealand cannot be viewed separately from the general framework of conflict of civilizations. It should be rather understood as part of the war that started on the September 11, 2001. The solution is the citizens of the West to stop voting extreme parties which fuel radicalism and fundamentalism.
Dr Panagiotis Sfaelos BA, LLB, LLM, PhD (University of Kent) is Lawyer, Political Scientist and Journalist, Member of the National Union of Journalists, the Association of European Journalists and the International Federation of Journalists