Certainly since September 11, 2001, if not earlier, the “war” against terrorism has become the central worries and the principle action of international community. Now, with the last terrorist attacks in Paris and the rampant crisis in Syria, which has involved Russia and Turkey above all, it is very important to reflect on integration dynamics and on dialogue.

The commitment, in these cases, is right how managing balances between strongly condemning violence, especially on innocent and defenceless victims, on a side and the need of deepening analysis on these acts which demonstrate to be not isolated and foolish but belonging to a huger and well planned strategy, on the other.

I wish we pause to reflect since the problem has deep roots and cannot be dismissed with a tweet. Pronouncing few words like “solidarity with France” or “condemn terrorism” or something similar is like not saying anything at all.

Terrorism is a complex phenomenon that is difficult to pin down. The polarity of the international system has sharpened the not only the political and military differences between States, but also the economic and the cultural fault lines between humanities.

Islam is one of the biggest spiritual and cultural powers on this planet, systematically undervalued and often relegated to one of the less explored areas of the global dynamics. Terrorism could emerges right from these areas, in the most degenerate and sick shapes that must be fought without escape. We need to be confident with the idea that globalized world is made of balances among strong powers, more stable these balances will become, more comfortable and safer world will be.

A solid balance is based on the principles of wisdom and fairness and policy of all the big global players (including Islamic countries) has been anything but wise and fair. Power politics is never wise. Politics only addressed to short-term interest is never wise. Violence, by anyone and in any form practiced, is never actually something wise.

The politic from international community acted against the insurgent terrorism has been not effective since now, mainly because the States in the polarized world have not identified the same solutions.

The only wise and possible response to terrorists’ madness is keeping the bar steady toward a building process for a new relation with Islamic communities on local and global level, enforcing an open long-lasting dialogue; keeping the bar steady on a patient work of daily reaffirmation of democratic principles, on concrete projects of social integration and integration among states as well, building common houses which involve institutions, personalities, intellectuals, civil society, entrepreneurs and young leaders achieving all together path of sharing and democracy.

Instead of the black wave of terror and violence, we must oppose a white wave of wisdom, cooperation, mutual understanding, education programs, respect and dialogue. Blind attacks without knowing “who” and “what” is not a choice that leads to overall balance, this is a principle that has to be taken, instead, as a model of action playing on international stages.

In my opinion, it is duty of the civil society’s forces as IASEM and of Europe institutions to play a role as a “balancer” in the choices of the great powers.

This is our commitment and will continue to be.


Giuseppe Papaleo

President of IASEM – Istituto Alti Studi Euro Mediterranei

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