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The Big Picture – Europe in turmoil: Can it tackle intolerance?


The attack on Charlie Hebdo in Paris and subsequent violence being reported from Germany and other parts of France has created panic across Europe.

The solidarity rally by world leaders in Paris has accepted the challenge by the Islamic extremists claiming allegiance to Al Qaeda and ISIS.

However, the presence of millions of Muslims immigrants across Europe and some of them getting radicalised is a cause for serious concern. It is said that France has about 6 million Muslims and Germany 4.3 million.

The challenge before the European nations is to deal with these immigrants in fair and even handed manner as well as keeping the anti Islamic extremists under check.

The horrific terrorist attack in Paris at the office of the French magazine Charlie Hebdo is a direct assault on the freedom of speech, thought and expression, the fundamentals on which all open, democratic societies are built.

Economic situation is also one of the reasons for radicalisation of such groups.

Some also say that European countries have not been successful in tackling multiculturalism issue.  Arabs have not been able to integrate completely with the European countries.

Terrorism today is an international phenomenon. Source of Jihadism goes to the end of Ottoman Empire. It is also connected to Vahabism.

If the sizeable numbers of people adhering to the Muslim faith have been able to resist Islamism, it is because French republicanism has been able to surmount even the most divisive controversies, such as the ban on wearing the hijab and niqab in public and the Islamophobic discourse by the French right-wing parties that surrounded it.

The world community should come together to combat terrorism. Intelligence sharing should be encouraged.

The attack on any country should be treated as an attack on all the democratic countries.

It is also being said that the younger generations of immigrants have not been able to integrate properly. There is identity crisis among the immigrants.

Among the working class in Europe, the previously maintained working welfare system is breaking down.