Terrorism in France

The news media and social networks are buzzing with an outpouring of expressions of sympathy with the French people. I wish to join all those who care in expressing my contempt of the terrorist assaults in Paris, and my sympathy with the French people. The central question though remains to be: what to do about religious radicalism in order to avert future terrorist incidents?

No doubt, the governments in France and elsewhere in Western countries will tighten security measures by imposing restrictions on travel, and by instituting legislation that would further curb the civil rights of their citizens; Moslem, and otherwise. At best, however, this would amount to treating symptoms, with little potential impact on resolving issues. The approach has been tried and progressively augmented after each recent incident of terrorism, without bringing about much tangible progress in curbing terrorism; instead, it led to ever more inconvenience, and compromise of the liberties of common innocent people.

We need to probe the roots of problems in order to conceive comprehensive strategic approaches to addressing terrorism. My last book, featured on the right column, does exactly that, and offers certain directions for action.

Religious radicalism and terrorism have been evolving and mushrooming over several decades. It is no longer an easy task to reverse the tide. The culprits identified in my book to have historically contributed to the emergence of this state of affairs are: Israel, Western powers, and certain Arab leaders. Several Arab leaders are now acting as I suggest in my book, Western governments are struggling to articulate a strategically meaningful approach to diffuse the problems that they brought about by their own action, and Israel is still adamant in staying its course.    

Expressions of solidarity with France are understandable and appreciated. However, serious people need to learn about issues, and to take concerted action to influence their politicians and leaders to more astutely address the problem of religious terrorism. I urge those who truly care to read my book.   

Author: Ismail Rifaat

Ismail Rifaat is an architect and urban planner with extensive international experience in architecture and city planning. He also served as planning expert on two United Nations assignments. He is the author of "Shaping the Future: For the People, By The People" and "Planning for Survival". Both titles are available on Amazon.com.

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