Brussels, March 23 - The deadly terrorist attacks in the Belgian capital yesterday morning have sparked a fierce desire across the Continent to depart from the complacency and accommodation of the past in the face of growing Islamist violence, and instead engage in a new form of more severe, harsher cowardice.
After dozens of people were killed in bombings at an airport and subway station in Brussels Tuesday morning, political leaders in the European Union voiced frustration with the multicultural model that has for so long defined Europe's attempt to foster tolerance, and called for a sharper practice of avoiding potential offense to Muslim immigrants by implying that Islam has anything to do with the deadly Islamist violence that has plagued France, Germany, Sweden, Britain, Belgium, Denmark, Turkey, and other European countries.
"We're going to have to step up our game," admitted EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini at a press conference in Amman, Jordan. "When terrorist opposition to European values of tolerance, liberalism, and democracy rears its head in ever-increasing fury, we have no choice but to find the strongest possible way of shrinking from confronting it."
European leaders acknowledged the difficulty of the prospect, but vowed to persevere. "Our ancestors did not fight the Nazis so that we could surrendre our future to latter-day Nazis," insisted French President François Hollande. "We know better than to let a fascist ideology creep across the continent without taking forceful measures of abject surrender in response. France intends to take a lead role in such endeavors, as it has for most of the last century and a half."
US President Barack Obama offered whatever help the Europeans would find appropriate in pursuing their new, uncompromising line of compromise. "We are here for Brussels, for Paris, for Istanbul," announced Obama from Havana, Cuba. "Our resources will be made available to our allies in the way they feel is best suited to avoiding the issue in the most decisive manner."
Analysts see a new maturity on the part of European leaders in response to the ongoing terrorism. "It takes a certain threshold of emotional growth to acknowledge one's limitations, and that humility is part of the core of European tolerance," explained commentator Rella Tivist. "The newly emerging approach evidently involves a strict adherence to open-mindedness, such that, for example, it is considered bigoted to assert that the Nazis were evil, or developed and implemented evil policies. The mature European asks, 'Who are we to judge?' That humble, tolerant attitude will now also govern all major European policy decisions regarding Islamist terrorism, instead of merely informing it."
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