No, we have not survived terrorism’s murderous cycle

Is it enough not to be direct victims of murder, and not to be offenders, to breathe a sigh of relief and think we are survivors? Regarding the French city of Nice, once again we are faced with two murderous scenes: the massacre in which a man ran over people in his truck, and the subsequent explosion of more hatred that paves the way for a new massacre and a more violent, oppressive world.

Following the massacre, some in the West are reprimanding French and Western leaders, demanding security and protection, and rejecting calls to take non-racial stances and strict positions against Muslims. Meanwhile, some in our societies celebrated the massacre, considering it the price of Western policies.


When such things happen, those of us who think we have survived find ourselves facing waves of reactions that are sometimes harsher than the murder itself, and make us feel suffocated. What kind of survival is this? Although we are not among the dead, we are witnesses and participants in what follows. Reactions to terrorism produce more terrorism.

The problem that raging emotions cannot understand is that no country can deter someone who has lost their mind from using a truck to kill people

Diana Moukalled

What happened following the Nice massacre happened after other massacres in France. I am referring to the media’s focus on a deterrent security policy that lacks the social and cultural depth required to confront all this murder. Persistent demands for strong security have fallen into the trap of right-wing movements, where extremism and isolation are being marketed.


The problem that raging emotions cannot understand is that no country can deter someone who has lost their mind from using a truck to kill people. Prior to his act, French warplanes performed an air parade and displayed their deterrent power, which is supposed to be one of the means of protecting the French people. However, a disturbed man proved that warplanes and advanced weapons were unable to protect people celebrating in the streets of Nice.

The French people, like any other who have been targeted with such murder, deserve the world’s solidarity and sympathy. However, what is worrisome is that reactions have become terrorists’ best means to mobilize, recruit and plan for worse. Therefore, statements that policies adopted to deal with terrorist operations have not produced security are not naive.

This article was first published in Asharq al-Awsat on July. 18, 2016.

Diana Moukalled is the Web Editor at the Lebanon-based Future Television and was the Production & Programming Manager with at the channel. Previously, she worked there as Editor in Chief, Producer and Presenter of “Bilayan al Mujaradah,” a documentary that covers hot zones in the Arab world and elsewhere, News and war correspondent and Local news correspondent. She currently writes a regular column in AlSharq AlAwsat. She also wrote for Al-Hayat Newspaper and Al-Wasat Magazine, besides producing news bulletins and documentaries for Reuters TV. She can be found on Twitter: @dianamoukalled.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:51 - GMT 06:51
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