Saving Europe Yet Again

Political analyst, professor of Belarusian State University Alexander Chelyadinsky speaks on terrorism, one of the scourges of the 21st century
— We have no clear definition of international terrorism. Moreover, I believe Russia and the U.S. are facing different “terrorisms”. Any policy that does not agree with the international stance of the U.S. or runs counter to the political, economic and social models imposed by the U.S. could be labeled “terrorism” by the United States. At the same time, the Department of State does not seem eager to include real terrorists in this list; I mean those who masterminded the explosions in Moscow and the act of terrorism in Beslan.

— What about the terrorist acts in Europe? Is there any explanation?

— Europe is getting less and less Europe-ish, it turns into a Asi-ope. Asia is coming to Europe. It is Germany now, but tomorrow it will be Lebanon. France looks like Algeria more than ever, and the United Kingdom that used to be so puritanical is almost the same as Pakistan.

— So what does Asi-ope strive for by placing bombs in the London Tube and Madrid railway station?

— Here goes an example: is there any difference between a young Belarusian and a native of some Asian country? A student from Belarusian State University aims to have a career, nice job, money and hobbies. The same is true for young Germans, Frenchmen and Americans. If we are talking about Asians, their main value is the family, and if an Algerian likes a Frenchwoman he would very much like her to wear a hijab. But she will never understand him: she has got a career to think about until she is 30. I tend to overdo a little bit, but this difference between the traditions of Asia and good old Europe, this inability to understand and tolerate European values and Islamic values may provoke violence.

— What should be done to help white people get rid of this fear to fly in the same plane with Arabs?

— We need to change the coexistence pattern. We need a dialogue. We must give up the debate about the best development model. Belarus, the U.S., Russia, Iran and Japan all need to compromise. They could discuss issues, compare stances and have debate. Intellectuals must play their role at the junction of civilizations in order not to allow conflicts. We need a real dialogue, and no one is eager to have it now.

— What are Belarus’ instruments to protect itself from terror?

— Terrorism does not threaten our country because of the unique mentality of our people. There are no innate reasons, as they say. There are other challenges that we must focus on: Belarus is a transit territory for illegal drugs going from Asia to Europe. The same is true for weapons. And even though our country filters most of the dangerous traffic to Europe and many border guards that I talked to assured me that this is a matter of their professional duty and honor, transboundary crime has turned our country into a collector bunk for very bad problems. Asia is coming to Europe, and we are bound to stop the illegal migrants from Asia saving time, money and efforts of law-enforcers from Poland, France and Germany. We form a barrier to protect Europe, and Europe should be grateful…

Nina Romanova
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