Europe of today, in many ways, resembles the Europe during the run up to World War II.
In the 1930s, large tracts of Europe began to ponder over the "Jewish question," egged on by vicious propaganda; today many Europeans today believe that something "needs to be done about these Muslims," again egged on by vicious propaganda.
And when society internalizes the idea that a set of people, however peaceful they may be, must be weeded out, vigilantism presents a serious challenge for law enforcement agencies, as this recent video shows.
The video was captured during a vehemently anti-Islamist protest in Brussels, Belgium, this week. More than 400 masked protesters, barking anti-immigrant chants, gathered in the Molenbeek neighborhood of the city, which is not only home to a large Muslim population, but is also the place where the recent Brussels terror attacks were allegedly planned.
Hearing the slogans, the area’s Muslim population came out to counter the protesters. The police, fearing a clash, put up cordons to separate the group.
However, one white Audi casually drove through the obstacles, and even as plain-clothes police officers aimed shots at it, the car did not stop. The driver plowed straight into a woman wearing a hijab. The victim fell off the hood of the car and onto the road.
The injured woman was transported to the hospital for treatment while the driver, who is reportedly a far-right activist, was arrested.
When trying to a claim a life in such a casual, public way unfolds right before our eyes, we all need to stop and ponder: Where did we lose our way as a society?
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters