Personal tools


Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Cinema for Peace Berlin
Cinema for Peace
Cinema for Peace
Lighting of the World Peace Flame
Cinema for Peace
Special Award for Opposing Anti-Semitism
Ai Weiwei Konzerthaus installation
Ai Weiwei Konzerthaus installation
You are here: Home / Trailer of the Week: THE ISLAMIC STATE HAS ARRIVED IN EUROPE


PARIS - The Paris area reeled Friday night from a shooting rampage, explosions and mass hostage-taking that President François Hollande called an unprecedented terrorist attack on France with 129 victims


The attacks happened one day after the deadliest attack in Beirut since the civil war: A devastating double suicide bomb that ripped through the heart of the city and killed at least 43 and wounded 239 people.

Both the attacks in Paris and Beirut are being considered a concerted attack by the Islamic State. In the recent days IS has fallen in serious distress in Syria and Iraq. Kurdisch People's Defence Units (YPG) and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) recaptured Raqqa and were only held back by the Turkish Air Force from the conquest of Jarablus. The reconquest of Sinjar has also cut off an important IS route. The IS is far from defeated in the region but they are, however, in trouble. Regardless of this, from the very beginning it was likely that the IS would attempt terrorism in Europe, and now they have had enough time to develop their structures and grow, it has happened. Since the West has hesitated and the UN failed to intervene and help the people of Syria, the deaths caused by IS will continue; not only in the region but also in Europe, which is inextricably linked to the conflict. Around 500 French citizens are currently fighting in Syria and 250 more are "returnees" - many of them young, influenced by radical Islam and the mission to kill, brainwashed by IS, Al-Qaida or their followers. The gunmen at the concert hall in Paris were according to a survivor "no older than 25".

The former and first prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Luis Moreno Ocampo, has started a shame campaign on the UN Security Council who have allowed the killings of hundreds of thousands in Syria and enabled the Islamic State to continue their violence. Instead of protecting the world, the UN Security Council has endangered global security with its constant vetoes against attempts to stop the war in Syria by Russia and China.

As the war in Syria has not been stopped by the global community, hundreds and thousands of refugees have been welcomed in the West for humanitarian reasons – and seemingly because of the guilty politicians that have done nothing against the war for four years and now want to appear caring in the media limelight -, and some radical islamists come with them. The clash of cultural practices between Syria and the West makes integration difficult for these refugees, for example, when Julia Klöckner, a potential successor to chancellor Merkel, wanted to greet new refugees arriving in Germany, she was told by a refugee Imam that he would not shake her hand and accept a welcome by a woman. Afterwards she expressed in her anger that there will be imposed benefit cuts for refugees who do not fully commit to integration. However, it is important to remember that many of the refugees may be of Muslim religion or have different cultural practices but they are not extremists and they are not terrorists.

The attacks in Paris were an assault on our secular values, our freedom, our women's rights and our liberal way of life. We may be afraid, but we should not allow the poison of the assassins to continue, we should not start hating Muslims and refugees, we should not use methods used by the terrorists. If we do we make ourselves accomplices of terror just as the US government did after 9/11 by allowing torture – as opposed to the times of the Cold War where opponents and foreign agents were granted the rule of law. This is remembered in Steven Spielberg’s new film "Bridge of Spies" with Tom Hanks, where his character says: "There is only one thing that unites us as Americans: our rule-book - the constitution."

The same applies to the uniting of the global community. The United Nations will only serve its purpose if its members are prepared to stand up for its values when they are at stake. In a global world we can not look away when people get killed abroad - and we can not hope that it will not affect our countries and just go away.

Beside fighting the roots of terrorism there are also practical questions: Why is the arms industry allowed to block intelligent weapons that can be activated only by fingerprint of an official and legal owner? These weapons could be shut down if stolen, tracked by GPS and every use recorded with a camera. Why is nobody collecting and destroying weapons? As long as there are millions of conventional firearms and dozens of wars all over the world, killings and terrorism will rise and the attacks in Paris will become only the beginning of a new age of terrorism.

Cynics might believe that a few hundred terrorist victims per year are not worse than a few thousand people killed in car accidents, and that the best thing is not to get involved with wars in foreign countries. But what about the next step? When "dirty" chemicals or nuclear bombs will be used successfully to kill hundreds of thousands of people in cities like New York, London, Paris or Berlin? The next step should be stopping wars, ending extreme poverty and preventing the influence of religion on governance and society, enabling education and democracy and - most of all - implementing the global rule of universal law and justice that is not anymore just a question of ethics and moral (which has not proven very effective). It has become a question of life and death, a question of survival for all of us.

Governments will not succeed in protecting their citizens by increasing military budgets and mass surveillance, but by creating global legal accountability, by making trade and aid dependent on human rights and democracy (e.g. with a human-rights-trade-tax), by abolishing the veto right in the UN Security Council and making the "UN responsibility to protect" with its member states legally binding. If there is no war, no extreme poverty, no religious interference with governance and no discrimination, there is no terror. What sounds like a dream already has a roadmap: 193 member states of the UN signed 17 Global Goals in September. Unfortunately the world‘s leaders have forgotten to create budgets and enforce accountability and as long as governments only pretend to do the right thing and fail to fight global problems, people will keep dying and every announcement that we read in current times about how hard we will fight terrorists and terrorism will be known for what it truly is, just a phrase in a media spectacle.

Our film trailers of the week are Cinema for Peace nominated films that show how muslim societies suffer from radical islamists and how they can free themselves from this threat. Our 2015 honouree "Timbuktu" includes a scene where children play football without a ball - because the Jihadists have told them that the Quran forbids playing with a ball and they will punish them. These films show that the vast majority of muslims obviously do not want to be terrorised by this religious fanatics and they oppose this as much as we do. We are not facing a war of civilisations or a war of religions, but a war against fanaticism and the radicalisation of people through war.


Trailers of the week:

Following the recent jihadist takeover of northern Mali, a proud cattle herder comes into fateful conflict with the fundamentalist rulers of the provincial capital, in this luminous, lyrical and poetic drama from the great African filmmaker Abderrahmane Sissako.  >> Watch the Trailer of 'Timbuktu'

Set in a remote village in North Africa, the story does focus on women who go on a sex strike against having to fetch water from a distant well.  >> Watch the Trailer of 'The Source'

A look at the events leading up to the Taliban's attack on Pakistani schoolgirl, Malala Yousafzai, for speaking out on girls' education followed by the aftermath, including her speech to the United Nations.  >> Watch the Trailer of 'He Named Me Malala'

Ai Weiwei for Cinema for Peace

Ai Weiwei's 'Safe Passage' installation with life-vests from Lesbos for Cinema for Peace.


Upcoming Screenings:


August 13th 2018, at the Schikaneder Kino in Vienna / Address: Margaretenstraße 24, A - 1040 Wien