Nous devons tous être Charlie
After Paris, we have to remember that the EU was founded on solidarity.
The events in Paris were shocking, but religion was not at their core. Criminals who use Kalashnikovs as their holy texts have nothing to do with Europe's Muslim communities. They do not represent any one group. Everyone, from all backgrounds, do reject and should reject these heinous acts.
Europe has rejected prejudice before. It's time we revisited that discussion, because loud voices are once again playing on our fears for easy political gain. And once again, it's empty populism. Le Pen in France, Salvini in Italy, the Pegida anti-Muslim marches in Dresden – these aren't the answers we need.
The economic crisis has fundamentally changed how people view their relationship with Europe. Our new social structures have reinforced the marginalisation of some communities. Social tension is its direct result, and we can't keep it seperate from discussions about the economy any longer. If we're serious about building an inclusive Europe with shared political values like free speech and freedom of religion, we need to create social policy that fully embraces all Europeans.
Solidarity is crucial, both economic and social. We need to step past the lazy tropes – Germany always pays its way, Greeks are innocent victims, Italy is about to be overrun by refugees, Muslims are out to destroy western culture. They're dangerous falsehoods and we need to challenge them every single time.
Solidarity is crucial. It is crucial if we're to prevent hateful acts like those seen in Paris.