The Institute of Economics and Peace (IEP) has recently published a study about countries that are most often targets of terrorist attacks. While in Portugal or Switzerland the risk is minimal, in Germany, France or Britain, the risk is steeply rising. Why is that so?
Robert Simox from the Heritage Foundation believes that we should pay attention to the size of the Muslim population in the individual countries.
“When you look for example on Switzerland, Ireland, Portugal and Norway, you will find that there are roughly half a million Muslims living in these four countries. On the contrary, put together the UK, Germany and France. There are almost thirty times more Muslims in these states,“ Simox said.
In some countries, there are more people who can be approached by the Islamic State and pose a potential threat. Professor Jonathan Laurence of Boston University also agrees with this. However, according to him, the problem is deeper.
“It depends whether there is the second or even the third generation of the original migrants in these countries. In such an environment, a subculture can develop that will want to fight for IS. Moreover, there is the problem of those who “convert” to Islam and join the terrorist forces. Such people do not convert for the sake of religion, but rather for the political point of view. Therefore, it cannot be said that when a person is a Muslim, then he or she must be a terrorist,” says Laurence. Both France and the United Kingdom have also actively participated in military retaliation against the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda, which may play its part.
“Violence will cause another wave of violence (…) But honestly, it is in the hands of those countries. If they stop interfering with foreign affairs, violence in their territory can be avoided altogether,” concludes Trevor Thrall, a Cato Institute member and professor at George Mason University.