Since Daesh has performed several attacks in Europe by now, a same pattern of responses emerge. “Lefties” tend to respond to the usual backlash of Islamophobia and nationalism from both governments and reactionary citizens. Although challenging their narrative and ideology is important, it often happens in a way that poses false dichotomies, resulting in “lefties” taking a wrong position in this matter. “Why aren’t you mourning the victims of Beirut or Ankara”, they exclaim, more often pointing a blaming finger rather than actually asking that question to find and answer to it.
It’s not so weird that when something happens close to you, it has more impact on you than something that happens far away. The fact that Brussels gets mourned here more than victims of terror attacks in far away countries is not really the issue.
What is the issue is governments abusing terrorist attacks to make the police state infrastructure stronger and deeper rooted in society; people not being able to identify the enemy or differentiate religious fascism from Islam (and the ruling class encouraging this); nationalism and fascism becoming more accepted as a result of this (which is exactly what Daesh wants btw).
What is the issue is that these attacks are a direct result of the combination of imperialist policy abroad and, on a domestic level, deep racism and marginalization of young urban poor people with migrant background. The West – in the form of the EU, NATO, USA, etc – has a lot of blood on its hands. We have a horrible legacy of colonialism, slavery, genocide and exploitation. The targets of this state terrorism are bound to want to take revenge.
It’s not hypocritical to be more affected by the attacks in Brussels more than, say, Mogadishu or Kabul if you live here and you have no emotional connection to those places. It is hypocritical to neglect solidarity with victims of imperialism and fascism abroad. It’s hypocritical to pretend the danger comes from outside or to see Islam as the enemy.