‘Terrorists trying to split French society & alienate Muslim community’

© Youssef Boudlal
Terrorists are using a divide and conquer strategy to target alienated Muslim communities in France and elsewhere with radicalization propaganda campaigns, political analysts told RT. They insist only a united anti-terrorist front can solve the problem.

“What terrorists are trying to do is basically antagonize the Western people and Islam in general. And because France is home to the largest Muslim community in Europe, I think that Paris was a designated target for that very reason. I think that what they are trying to do is essentially to drive the wedge in between the French society and the Muslims by making Muslims feel as they do not belong to French society and that they are foreign agents in many ways, and that Islam is a foreign religion,” political analyst Catherine Shakdam told RT.

In Shakdam’s view, France must get rid of all the negative sentiments towards the Muslim community, which Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) is targeting with their propaganda campaign.

“And I think that is the main issue because we all know that this disfranchisement and all the ostracization from the society is leading youths to engage with radicals and it leads them to being caught into those words of terror. And I think what they are doing is recruiting more by funding into those seeds of fear, ignorance and racism,” she told RT.

While the French politicians have issued loud rallying calls, vowing to avenge the attacks and increase their fight against IS, Shakdam believes there is a huge gap between these words and actions. “France should align with Russia in their fight against terror in Syria, to eliminate the root source of radicalization at home,” she added.

“I think there is a big dichotomy between what the Western officials are saying, and the policing that they are pursuing in the Middle East essentially,” Shakdam said. “Because indeed if they wanted to oppose terror and defeat ISIS, I would imagine that they would already by now have aligned themselves with what Russia is doing.”

‘Manifestations of confused & inconsistent anti-terrorist policy’

The alienated Muslim communities have become a perfect “breeding ground” for radicals, according to the editor of the Pan-African news wire Abayomi Azikiwe.

“In Paris you have a huge, Middle Eastern, Afghan, Muslim population that is heavily discriminated against, that is alienated from the mainstream of the French society. Therefore these communities are in essence breading grounds for this type of extremist ideology,” Azikiwe told RT.

France as a part of the Western coalition in Syria, is suffering the repercussions of its inconsistent anti-terrorist policies, Azikiwe mentioned, pointing out that it is impossible to battle terrorism and supporting armed formations of all sorts at the same time.

“[The coalition] is a very loose word. It is fragmented. It does not have a consistent policy,” says Azikiwe.

“We are seeing the impacts of this policy with hundreds of thousands migrants that are flooding southern and Eastern Europe. We are seeing increases in industrial capitals in Western Europe and there are going to be other manifestations of this confused and conflicting policy,” he concluded.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.