The vicious attack on the cultural and historical heart of Europe has changed the dynamics of the continent again. Never since the World War II, has Europe been gripped with such terror and uncertainty, and the world leaders are responding in the manner to echo the French people’s as well as Europe’s sentiments. A week after terrorists from the self styled Islamic State (IS) killed 129 people in carefully-orchestrated, simultaneous attacks in Paris, Brussels was put on its highest alert level on Saturday and Belgian officials warned the public to avoid crowds because of a “serious and imminent” threat of an attack.

Belgium, and its capital in particular, have been at the centre of investigations into the Paris attacks after it emerged that two of the suicide bombers had been living in the country. Three people detained in Brussels are facing terrorism charges while the brother of one of the suicide bombers, who was also living in Brussels, is still on the run and a large manhunt is underway.

There is fear among the Syrian refugees in particular, as they fear strong backlash and rightly so. The arrival of some million migrants this year and their subsequent mass movements across Europe’s borders has shaken the Schengen system. Security fears after the Paris attacks have also seen states reintroduce checks at once-untended frontiers. And it’s not just the newcomers who will be hit by Europe’s darker anti-Muslim mood. The massacre in Paris has threatened the safety and acceptance of the 20 million strong minority of European Muslims as they brace themselves for the worst.

But perhaps the worst wave of Islamophobia has been directed at the Muslims in America as they are again on the defensive since post 9/11, both in terms of their beliefs and their physical safety. A mosque in Texas was defiled with feces and torn pages from the Quran. Verbal and social media threats were made against mosques in Houston and Tampa Bay. A Nebraska mosque was vandalized; shots were fired at a Muslim’s Florida home, and a Christian Uber driver in North Carolina was attacked by a passenger who thought he was Muslim. The republican candidates are cashing in on the situation and have been seen increasing in popularity in the poll numbers.

The world community is highly fragmented at this moment with both an outpour of hate and those defending the innocent Muslims who are running away from the terrorist organization. The airstrikes conducted by France in Syria is resulting in heavy casualties of innocent civilians. Are drone attacks the solution? Hate has become the solution to hate.