RENAULT : Major Strasser's been shot.
Renault pauses and looks at Rick. Rick returns Renault's gaze with expressionless eyes. RENAULT: Round up the usual suspects. GENDARME: Oui, mon Capitaine.
The last days have been a mix of happiness and sadness...
I was so happy to see my parents again after 3 months but during their stay in Casablanca terrorists attacked the Belgian national airport and two metro stations killing at least 31 innocent people and injuring hundreds more.
After the first shock of the news and watching friends updating their safety check via Facebook I was taken by another kind of fright.... The ugly other side of terrorism; the ultimate goal of terror.
Textbooks on terrorism define its effects in four stages: first the horror, then the publicity, then the political grandstanding, and finally the climactic shift in policy.
The first stage was unfortunately possible because Belgium and Europe have for too long been arguing about what to do next with recent geopolitical developments and the war(s) in the Near and Middle East regions.
But what is happening now is that we are following textbook reactions as well...
I already hear the "us versus we" rhetoric. I read and see the political - shameful - recuperation of a terrible act to move political agendas nobody voted for. I am terrified by right wing extremists using violence against people who had nothing to do with the attacks.
Simon Jenkins wrote what I consider the best piece on the topic:
Above all I am saddened about the amalgam media and the public make about Islam, Muslim, Islamists, fundamentalism and terrorism.
The very first people who offered their condolences and sympathy when I heard the news from Brussels were my Muslim friends here in Casablanca. It were my Moroccan colleagues who offered support and who themselves were frightened about their family in Belgium.
Let's be very careful and keep our heads cool. Let's talk more, love more and reach out to "the other" more. Let's travel more and discover other cultures. Let's be very concrete about our next steps and take on the root of the problem, not the symptoms.
The traditional greeting I use every day here in Casablanca takes on a very special meaning now... That's why I'll use it here:
"As-Salaam-Alaikum" - "Peace be unto you"