Thursday, 3 December 2015

The challenge of dialogue in opposing Daesh

By accident, as the House of Commons was debating (or indeed actually voting on) the motion to extend RAF air strikes to Syria yesterday evening, I re-read Fr Julian Carron's article published in the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera after the earlier Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris. It bears re-reading. Do read the whole at the website of Communion and Liberation - The challenge of true dialogue after the attacks in Paris - to put the following extracts in context:
We Europeans have what our forebears desired: Europe as a space of freedom where each person can be what she or he wants. The Old Continent has become a crucible of the most varied cultures, religions and visions of the world.
The events of Paris [ie the Charlie Hebdo attacks, though the reference might equally have application to the more recent attacks] document how this space of freedom should not be taken for granted as self-perpetuating: it can be threatened by those who fear freedom and are willing to impose their own vision of things with violence....
....the problem is primarily within Europe and the most important part is played here at home. The true challenge is cultural, its terrain daily life. When those who abandon their homelands arrive here in search of a better life, when their children are born and become adults in the West, what do they see? Can they find something able to attract their humanity, to challenge their reason and their freedom? The same problem exists for our children: do we have something to offer them that speaks to their search for fulfilment and meaning? In many young people who have grown up in the so-called Western world there reigns a great nothingness, a profound void that constitutes the origin of the desperation that ends up in violence. Just think of the Europeans who go to fight in the ranks of terroristic formations, or of the lost and disoriented life of many young people of our cities. This corrosive void, this far-spreading nothingness, requires a response.
It makes interesting reading compared to my earlier post in which I argued that aerial bombardment did not offer a proportionate - ie correctly directed - resistance to the evil of Daesh.

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