The reaction of the Western world to the act of violence in the office of Charlie Hebdo is quite a complicated question, says the German politologist Andreas Umland in his comment to the “Gordon” .
“In Germany, for example, there is a new relatively strong anti-Islamic movement, the so called PEGIDA. We should apprehend that anti-Islamic attitude will increase after these murders. I don't think there will be some global reaction, as it involves terrorists, not the opposition of the West versus Islamic governments.
Of course there are people who consider it a conflict of civilizations, but the western mainstream stands against such interpretation, making clear distinctions between terrorists on the one hand and Muslims – on the other, claims Umland.
According to him, politics should not be confused with religion.
The policy of multiculturalism is sometimes criticized, as Western governments fail to do enough to integrate immigrants into their societies. In this sense multiculturalism may lead to a dead end as it leaves immigrants without any help and doesn't make enough efforts to implode them into normal life of Western countries. In particular, it concerns teaching the language of the country they came to and the rules of everyday life. I don't think there is a connection between the policy of multiculturalism and terrorism. There is fundamentalism and terrorism in all religions, there are also atheists who commit the acts of terror, we should not mix up terrorism and religion”, the politologists stated.
According to Umland, the main purpose of terrorism is to intimidate people.
“The general feature of such acts is that they are not aimed directly at the victims of violence. Their main sense is symbolic and lies beyond the act itself. The purpose of such acts is to intimidate people and generate the atmosphere in which they would dread. In this sense there are some parallels between terrorist acts in Ukraine and European Union, but this resemblance concerns all the acts of terrorism”, Umland claims.
At the same time, according to the politologist, we should not draw parallels between Islamists and the gunmen in Eastern Ukraine.
“I would not draw distinct parallels, because traditionalism and Orthodoxy in “DNR” and “LNR” are far less strong, I guess, than in Islamic countries. In “DNR” and “LNR” it is more of a show, and terrorist acts are just for intimidation. In Moscow, of course, there are Orthodox fundamentalists, but the accent on religion is in general artificial, because piousness of Russians is weaker than that of Ukrainians. It all takes place at a different background. Although Orthodox fundamentalism exists and in some sense we may talk about Orthodox terrorism, but I see no connection here as between Islamic fundamentalism and Islamist terrorism”, Umland believes.