After the Manchester attack it is clear that yet another act of terror moves us less than previous attacks. We discuss less, we are less outraged, there are fewer expressions of solidarity. We start accepting it as a “new normal”.
Accommodation to an existing situation is a human’s habit. We could observe it in even such extreme conditions as German Nazi Death Camps. That happens also in media outlets. After the invasion in Iraq, every suicide bombing was noticed. But as months were passing by and there was yet another, and another, numbers of casualties got… boring.
On one hand terrorists want us to be shocked, outraged, they want to provoke conflict. So one can claim that less excitement about another attack will make achieving their goals harder. But that can also mean that they will try to find out something more attractive for media, means more violent.
But there is also another side. Politicians, security officials, journalists want to convince us that it is part of risk connected to life. We hear London’s mayor Sadiq Khan saying it is “a part and parcel of living in a big city” to be at risk of becoming a terrorists’ victim. We hear that those lone wolves are unpredictable and impossible to spot, although they are on police watch lists. Making us belie it will make politicians’ lives easier. And that is exactly the opposite of what we should do.
In that sense it is worth to notice Maajid Nawaz kicking lazy bottoms which hide their ineffectiveness behind the freshly coined phrase “lonely wolf”. Politicians, who use it to say that there is no good solution. Security officials who say that they are unable to monitor the whole society. Finally Muslim communities, who can claim that there is no general problem with radicalization there, just single cases.
However, there is another “new normal” being accepted – Islamism and Salafism. Specialists and security officers are not targeting antidemocratic groups. They claim they are unable de-radicalize them. They are focused on ‘disengagement’ meaning they want to pull out radicals from being violent. They finally are afraid that targeting those groups will lead to escalation of violence.
So in result we have various Muslim organizations labeled by security organizations as fundamentalists, extremists, but they operate without obstacles. For instance IGD (Islamic Community of Germany), which BfV (Federal Bureau for Constitution Protection) believes to be a part of the Islamist movement, but at the same time it is one of the major partners in dialogue between the government and Muslim communities.
If we are going to accept that as a new normal presence, we are also going to accept that kind of future. With the current demographics and immigration patterns it means we are going to accept the end of democratic states.