Global isolation not the cure for terror

Do the European exchange trip cancellations succumb to fear?

RATHER THAN PROTECTING US, OUR FEAR keeps us from connecting with others around the world and those in need.

Diane Huang

RATHER THAN PROTECTING US, OUR FEAR keeps us from connecting with others around the world and those in need.

The Rubicon Staff, Editorial

Spring Break plans changed for two dozen language students with the announcement from the Language Department and Administration that trips to Austria/Germany and France would not take place as planned. The decision to cancel the trips, in light of the safety issues posed, is completely reasonable and understandable, as is the disappointment felt by both the teachers and the students who had been looking forward to the trips.
In France, heightened security resulting from the ISIS attacks would make getting a large group of students through the airport and the usual sightseeing difficult, if not impossible. France recently extended their state of emergency for another three months, meaning extra police and armed guards in public spaces as well as extra restrictions in train stations and airports.

Now, more than ever, is the time to bring people together to defend against fear, not to tear them apart.”

— The Rubicon Staff


In Germany, an influx of Syrian refugees and tense debates and protests over these protestors creates a legitimate concern for student safety. ISIS has made subsequent threats towards Germany, Italy, and Belgium which “add another level of serious concern” according to US German teacher Jutta Crowder, in her letter to families.
Cancelling the trips is understandable, but regressing cultural respect and global awareness is not. Already, increased fear has caused widespread destruction as global unity degenerates and people are torn apart by disagreements about related political issues. It is natural to experience fear, but when this fear becomes targeted at Muslim individuals in particular, it becomes a problem. Now, more than ever, is the time to bring people together to defend against fear, not to tear them apart.
When an attack by ISIS or another extremist group leads to hate and prejudice against the entirety of the Muslim community, it creates feelings of fear, resentment, and anger within the community that only further the tensions between people. These feelings only make it easier for terrorists to recruit more people, beginning the vicious cycle again. Now is the time to be a community, mourning those who have been lost together, not blaming an entire religion for the actions of a few people who claim to adhere to it. ISIS is not a culture or a religion- it is a terrorist group.
Students will have the opportunity to travel to France and Germany next year, and Language teachers are already encouraging students to plan for these opportunities. In the interim, we must be careful not to allow the school’s decision to shape our personal decisions and viewpoints. It is essential to pay attention to international news, continue to build global connection in classes and lives, and support those who are hurting in these crises.