The latest knife attack in Nice, France, shows that terrorism is still alive despite the recent pause, following the defeat of Daesh and Al Qaida.
On Thursday, three people died in a knife attack at the Notre-Dame basilica in Nice. The killer was identified as 21-year-old Tunisian Brahim Aioussaoi, an illegal immigrant who arrived in the city only three weeks ago. One of the victims, an elderly woman was “virtually beheaded”, French police said. The attacker is in police custody. On the same day, a guard was attacked outside the French consulate in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia. A Saudi suspect was arrested.
Religious leaders have a duty to cleanse the religion of such extremist views. Governments need to be vigilant. Macron and others cannot hurt Islam. It is the terrorists who are most offensive to the prophet and his peaceful universal message.
Despite the anger many Muslims have felt after the recent statements by French leaders linking the attacks to Islam, we must condemn the attacks in the strongest way. Trying to justify these abhorrent crimes is a crime too. Innocent people are being slaughtered in the name of religion by psychopaths — which Islam says is a crime against humanity.
French president Emmanuel Macron could have done a lot better in dealing with the earlier killing of a teacher by a Chechen terrorist, following the publication of an offensive cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH). He angered most Muslims by falsely claiming that defamation of Islam is protected by freedom of expression laws. Other officials have gone even lower in their inflammatory statements. Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi spoke of “Islamo-fascism”. However, this is no justification at all to murder innocent people. Nothing at all justifies murder. Period.
That is exactly why the UAE and other Arab countries strongly condemned the Nice terror attack. “The UAE stressed its total rejection of all forms of violence that aim to destabilise security and stability and are inconsistent with religious and humanitarian values and principles,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said in a statement.
As it is a crime to attempt to justify the murder of innocent people in the name of religion, it is also wrong to link these outrageous crimes to Islam. French leaders must recognise that these terrorists don’t represent a religion followed by 1.5 billion people.
Meanwhile, the world, especially the Muslim world, must not lose sight of the fact that extremism will remain alive among us unless we ensure that it is vigorously fought in schools, homes, the media and other influential mediums. Religious leaders have a duty to cleanse the religion of such extremist views. Governments need to be vigilant. Macron and others cannot hurt Islam. It is the terrorists who are most offensive to the prophet and his peaceful universal message.