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Where Does it End?

The unrest that can be seen to have originated in the Middle East, most notably this year, has evidently been felt in many other far away corners of the globe. The consequences of the various uprisings which took place across the Middle East, which all came to be labelled as the Arab Spring, are still very much being felt today. Radicalised terrorists with strong ties to the Middle East have quite noticeably been causing unrest in many other nations. Although the Arab Spring will go down in history as a series of incidents with no particular group or figurehead to hold entirely responsible, it goes without saying that the rest of the world watched in anticipation, choosing sides and exchanging heated opinions in relation to blame.

In March of this year, terrorist shootings took place in Toulouse and Montauban, both in France. The tragic incidents were quickly attributed to the ongoing tensions between the Palestinians and Zionists. During this struggle, over the past half a century, it is Western Europe and the United States who have suffered the most. Zionism is a form of nationalism of the Jewish culture and Zionists are strongly opposed to the assimilation and integration of Jews into other societies. They believe that for Jews to evade persecution, they should return to Israel and thereby exclude themselves from other societies. Zionists have been historically forcing others from Palestine by extremely forceful means for many decades now. The struggle continues unresolved as revenge attacks are commonplace.

News of the shootings in France spread quickly around the world thanks to translations from French. Because of the nationalities of those involved, it was all the more important that events were made clear in a multitude of languages. Although the media in France is dominated by the French language, the interest from the Middle East also influenced how the news was spread and interpreted. During the attacks, in both Toulouse and Montauban, a lone gunman killed seven people and injured two more in three separate attacks. Police were quick to track down their suspect after he used a stolen scooter to make his getaway. Following a raid of his home, gun-man, Mohammed Merah, 23, was shot dead by police.

Before he was shot and killed, Merah, who was a French citizen of Algerian origin, told police he wanted to avenge Palestinians and threaten the French army. Of those targeted in the shootings, two were soldiers and three were children from a Jewish school.

On the very same day that the murders at the school in Toulouse took place, Catherine Aston, head of foreign policy for the European Union, gave a talk in Brussels in relation to those who “suffer the consequences of events over which they have no control”. In her talk she discussed the events of Syria, Norway, Gaza and the day’s events that had happened in Toulouse.

Murder that can be attributed to religious extremism is becoming increasingly commonplace. The Arab Spring demonstrated this on a much more terrifying scale than has been seen in recent years. As dangerous ideas are bred, so too do they become contagious around the world, leading to incidents such as the deaths in Toulouse and the rampant killing spree of Anders Breivik in Norway in 2011.

As long as religions continue to be so divided, what is the answer to stop the suffering….?

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