In the wake of the terrorist attack in France, India has to be wary and take conscious efforts to tackle the issue. However, it is almost impossible to fight the battle single-handed, and the Paris attack has laid the ground for an alliance with Europe and the USA.
Terrorism has now become a global phenomenon and is no longer confined to the poor and developing countries in the East. It has spread to the European and other influential States as well. We can no longer avoid the Islamic State, as it is not just an organisation but has become a full fledged State that has occupied about 35% of Iraq and Syria.
There are three immediate reasons for the attack in Paris, that I would like to put forth. The first being political and security reason: France is a part of the coalition against Islamic State, a member of the NATO force. This is the second attack on the country this year, after the attack on Charlie Hebdo. France is thus on the radar and hit list of the ISIS.
Socio-economic factors too can be cited as an important reason for the attacks. France has taken a very generous stand as far as the immigrants from Gulf countries are concerned. As a result, a large portion of population in France comprises of the Muslims. However, France has failed to assimilate the immigrants in the mainstream socio-economic process of the country. The economic recession in France for the past three to four years has had devastating effect on the minority population. The immigrants, who are largely wage labourers, have lost their jobs and due to unemployment, have fallen prey to the Islamic State propaganda.
Also, when we look at the demographic structure of Paris, the concentration of Muslims is in the ghettos, that have developed in the isolated outer parts of the city. Indoctrination spreads very fast in these areas and the population is polarised. There have been incidences of communal violence in the past as well.
The third and a very important aspect is the literary aspect. An increasing number of books being published in French are creating an Islam phobia. For example, according to a book called ‘The Submission’, in 10 years, France will witness a Muslim President or a Prime Minister, if the trend of immigrant domination continues. Islam is thus being projected as a threat to France, and a suspicious attitude has been developed towards the Muslim population. Consequently, the minority feels alienated and neglected giving rise to a social polarisation.
In spite of all this, Europe and the United States have not been able to identify their real enemies. They are in a dilemma about their security policies towards West Asia. They have been targeting the Syrian head instead of the Islamic State. Additionally, the United Nation has failed in establishing a common front on the issue. There is a lack of consensus on the issue of terrorism and collective action is needed against those nations who are aiding and abetting the ISIS. India has been voicing this concern for a long time now and it is high time that India’s voice be recognised, and the member-states work hand in glove to combat terrorism.