From the Hamburg Cell to Paris 2015: The Resurgence of Fear
It seems as if fear has once again taken precedent over logic in the European psyche following a terrorist attack on French soil. Eerily present are the similarities in French President Francois Hollande’s public speeches in the days after the Paris terrorist attacks and those of former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and Angela Merkel following the discovery of the “Hamburg Cell” after the terrorist attacks of 9/11 writes Andrew Chrismer.
The resurgence of violence in Western Europe over the past six months has also reopened the door to public fear about Muslims. Just last week, this was partly reflected in Front National’s regional increases, and conservative American Presidential hopeful Donald Trump’s fear mongering language targeted at Muslims.
However, this return to fear within the public discourse, hastily calling for swift action on the part of governments, is following the same patterns that failed U.S. and German policymakers following 9/11. Before jumping into action, U.S. and European leaders must look to the history books for clues, so as to not repeat the post-9/11 policies that further marginalized Muslim communities, infringed on civil rights, and led to mistrust, community separation, and most importantly, perpetuated fear and illogical action by law enforcement.