The question of how to solve terrorism is a question about idealism. Hence, we should also be idealistic when looking for an answer.
We can stop terrorism by chanting La Marseillaise minutes after a deadly attack takes place in Paris. This is exactly what the French did, even when they were still frightened and unaware of their own security escaping the attack area.
We can stop terrorism by opening cafes only three days after an attack takes place in central Paris. We can stop terrorism by sticking to our lifestyle and enjoying a glass of white wine in the cafe despite of everything that happened.
We can stop terrorism by shouting out “Je suis Charlie”, when the terrorists attempt to go after the freedom of expression.
We can stop terrorism by illuminating the Tricolore on the Eiffel tower, the White House, the Sydney Opera House to show that we stand strong across the world.
We can stop terrorism. By showing we are one. By showing we are not afraid.
Fighting against terrorism doesn’t mean that it is only the government, the military, the police and the secret services that must do the work. Fighting against terrorism starts from every single one of us. Only when we are able to show that we stand against terror as a unified society, can these institutions do the rest of the work properly.
The society has to be able to make some sacrifices as well. These sacrifices include giving up on some of the privacy. It is hypocritical to fight blindsightedly for your privacy rights, while also demanding that the investigators must track every single lone wolf out there.
It is impossible to turn a blind eye to the threat of terrorism. We can’t ignore it, but we also can’t deal with it only by “winning hearts and minds” in the failed states. Only when things are in order in our own backyard, can we go out to win the hearts and minds of other people.