Pantelis Boukalas PANTELIS BOUKALAS

The power of reason

COMMENT

TAGS: Terrorism, Society

Terrorists like those who caused bloodshed on the streets of Barcelona, Nice, Paris, London, Berlin, Brussels, Istanbul and other parts of Europe have no interest in leaving behind written or videotaped messages in which they justify their actions or champion their philosophy – fanatic beliefs, rather. Their philosophy is their actions – their explosives, guns and battering ram trucks. Their philosophy, in short, is death – the death of others, of infidel Westerners or Christians, but also their own death, which is supposed to lead them to martyrdom but is actually a part of a cynical quid pro quo: I die while spreading death so as to enjoy the eternal pleasures awaiting me from my god.

For such terrorists, the world as we know it is nothing but a stop, a transit point. And it’s not just others and their dissipated way of life that they hate. First and foremost, they hate their own life and see it as a burden or an obstacle to the next plane, whether they feel wronged and marginalized or not. These are not political terrorists as we know them. They are not even religious terrorists: the so-called Islamic State and Al Qaeda are but a thin pretext. This is why it is impossible to predict their next move, to pin down the reasoning behind their actions and to disarm them ideologically. The interpretive tools of reason are futile when it comes to these terrorists. Chaos cannot be mapped or explained in a linear manner.

But is our way, the way of the West, the way of reason? This is what we believe and what we will continue to maintain. The triumph of reason, in fact, is suggested by slogans like “We are not afraid,” which was so beautifully expressed by the democratic protesters of Barcelona, who kept an open mind in order to prevent the exploitation of their pain by Islamophobes and far-right mouthpieces.

However, the continued prevalence of reason in Europe (we might as well scratch out the US as long as Donald Trump is in power) is certainly not being served by the propagation of scenarios and opinions that always put the onus of terrorism on Muslims and immigrants.

In Greece, two former ministers are the main propagators of this dogma of intolerance. They too appear to belong to that very large group of people around the world whose only concern when tweeting is making sure they keep within the word limit rather than considering the weight and impact of their words.

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