The pandemic may have stalled the horrific menace that is terrorism for a bit, but in the latter half of 2020, it seems terrorism too has reared its ugly head again. After attacks in France and Afghanistan, the European country of Austria was also subject to a devastating terrorism incident. The attack occurred in Vienna, with a series of shootings by a lone gunman, who opened fire with an automatic rifle in the historic city centre. Four civilians were killed in the attack and 22 others were injured.

The attack was devastating, yet it could be made worse if world governments do not act with restraint and caution. These series of incidents do not mean that these governments are at war with radical Islam. ISIS has taken responsibility for the attack but its claim cannot be taken seriously since the group has shown a tendency of claiming lone-wolf attacks just to exaggerate its reach.

From the facts, this appears a case of a troubled youth who chose a radical path because of isolation—the government, while taking measures to deal with this incident, needs to consider these conditions before it makes any statements blaming an entire group for a single person’s actions. Lashing out on Muslims could just exacerbate the situation, especially if it turns out the attack was planned by ISIS. In order to defeat ISIS, Europe needs the help of other Muslim countries, as well as the cooperation of its Muslim population. Amplifying hostile rhetoric against Muslims will only increase isolation and push more of the population towards a radical path.

It should be noted that the Austrians who intervened to aid wounded people during the attack were also Muslims. The governments in the EU need to bridge gaps with the Muslim community in order to deal with the menace that is terrorism.