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We must not play into ISIS’s hands

Far-right parties, extreme nationalism, xenophobia, Islamophobia and racism on the one hand, and ISIS on the other, are two sides of the same coin

Maria Dubovikova

Published: Updated:

Pork at the doorsteps of mosques, abusive behavior toward Muslims, and readiness to see a terrorist in each one - that is how the enlightened, civilized world is starting to look. “Islamic terrorism” does not just make our lives uncomfortable and dangerous - it makes people suspect all Muslims of being potential terrorists. It makes societies give up basic values, and pushes the world toward a clash of civilizations.

The Charlie Hebdo attack failed to break France, Europe or the West. There was shock but not fear. The Muslim community condemned the attack and demonstrated solidarity with France. However, after the Paris attacks in November the unity and fearlessness cracked, and the far-right National Front gained popularity. Muslim societies are considered the root of all evil. France is far from coming to its senses after the attacks.

U.S. presidential hopeful Donald Trump’s terrifying nationalist statements about Muslims are finding support among Americans. The terrorist shooting in San Bernardino has added to the ranks of his supporters.

Far right

Apparently the terrorists are on their way to achieving their goal, which is to spread fear so as to push the civilized world to abandon its fundamental values, and to boost far-right parties and extreme nationalism. The rise of far-right parties will lead to the collapse of the European Union (EU) and the oppression of Muslim communities.

Far-right parties, extreme nationalism, xenophobia, Islamophobia and racism on the one hand, and ISIS on the other, are two sides of the same coin

Maria Dubovikova

Together with failed Western policies in the Middle East, this will give further ammunition to the propaganda machine of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which aims to radicalize Muslims so they join its ranks amid sustained oppression, humiliation and outrages against their religion and beliefs. Terrorist attacks and reactions to them are forming a vicious circle.

Far-right parties, extreme nationalism, xenophobia, Islamophobia and racism on the one hand, and ISIS on the other, are two sides of the same coin. Extreme nationalism can also be violent and deadly if it is allowed to gain ground. Nazi Germany killed 6 million Jews, and millions of other people.

ISIS and terrorism are not about Islam. ISIS just manipulates the religion for its own purposes. Islam is not the criminal, it is a victim - this needs to be widely explained. The world should not yield to ISIS’s game. Evil does not reside in religion, but in humans.

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Maria Dubovikova is a President of IMESClub and CEO of MEPFoundation. Alumni of MGIMO (Moscow State Institute of International Relations [University] of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia), now she is a PhD Candidate there. Her research fields are in Russian foreign policy in the Middle East, Euro-Arab dialogue, policy in France and the U.S. towards the Mediterranean, France-Russia bilateral relations, humanitarian cooperation and open diplomacy. She can be followed on Twitter: @politblogme

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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