Slowly Awakens to Terror Threat
and the British seem incapable of learning from their own history. In the last
century, they stumbled into World War I and then declared it “the war to end
all wars” until, of course, they discovered appeasing Nazi Germany only led to
World War II. Until recently, they have been reluctant to admit that the
worldwide Islamic Jihad included them.
years following WWII and the divestiture of former colonies, the population of
Muslim immigrants from northern Africa and the
began to grow. Typically, they tended to resist assimilation. This resulted in
high rates of unemployment and discontent with their host countries.
French took the tack that you’re welcome to come here, but you had better
become more French than whatever former nationality you had. In 2004
passed a law forbidding the wearing of the Muslim headscarf, the hijab, in
educational institutions. Muslim leaders said this was tantamount to a war on
Islam. It will surprise many to learn that Islam is the second largest religion
. However, the native French are proud of their national heritage and the result
has been harsh laws and procedures aimed at Muslim troublemakers that make our
USA Patriot Act look tame.
World War II, the reward the British received for granting independence to its
former colonies was a wholesale invasion. Unlike the French who created a
top-secret counterterrorism center, code-named Alliance Base, the British
decided that letting the radical Islamists say and do whatever they wanted would
establish an unspoken rule that blowing up Brits was bad. They learned
differently on July 7.
not like Europeans didn’t know they had a problem, but they were busy creating
and, of late, rejecting the European Union. This year, the French and Dutch both
refused to ratify its constitution and the British put off any vote. However,
the EU isn’t the only game in town. The Council of Europe was founded in 1949
and is the continent’s oldest political organization, bringing together 46
nations, including 21 from Central and
. It has its headquarters in
, in northeastern
aim of the Council was to insure post-war
did not become Communist. It functioned primarily as a human rights watchdog
and, since 1989, has paid close attention to
’s new post-communist democracies. In 1993, it held a summit to insure
democratic security and, in October 1997, it reaffirmed its devotion to
democratic values and “cultural diversity.”
the British embrace of “cultural diversity” proved to be the fuse on the
time bombs that went off in
. To a true Muslim, cultural diversity is anathema. One is either a Muslim or an
infidel, an unbeliever. The lives of unbelievers count for nothing.
have seen, even among themselves being Muslim is no guarantor of tolerance. In
simple terms, Sunnis don’t like Shiites. Killing each other, including blowing
up each other’s mosques is no big deal. Why should Europeans have been
surprised when they brought these bad attitudes with them?
they were surprised. In 2002, Pim Fortuyn, a maverick Dutch politician, was
murdered for warning against the Muslim immigrants whose views, not
surprisingly, were contrary to Dutch traditions. Then in November 2004 a Muslim
radical assassinated Dutch filmmaker, Theo van Gogh. “The jihad has come to
”, said one Dutch parliamentary leader. For twenty years the Dutch had
welcomed growing numbers of Muslim immigrants, including known radicals. It’s
going to be harder for Muslims to immigrate to the
and one suspects this will prove true throughout much of
is home to 3.5 million Muslims, three times more than the
, but so far they have been spared terrorism because most are from
(2.6 million) or
(170,000) where a more moderate form of Islam is practiced. The Germans,
however, are not indifferent to the threat.
requires all immigrants take language classes and is quick to expel anyone
suspected of Islamic radicalism.
like England, has been a convenient transit point for the planning of terrorist
attacks, the movement of funds to finance them, and, of course, the
“martyrs” who can’t wait to blow themselves up in order to convince people
they should not support the US or British military in the Middle East.
has been asleep, it took 9-11 to wake up Americans. The difference between the
and Europe is that we put troops into the field in
as fast as we could to kill as many Taliban as we could. Then we invaded
so we could establish a military base from which we could strike at any other
Middle Eastern nation that thought 9-11 was a good idea. Most, with the
, have gotten the message.
has been reluctant to conclude a holy war was occurring. While we might not
have been at war with Islam, Islam was most assuredly at war with us. And that
includes the Europeans and just about anybody else on the face of the Earth who
does not want to convert to Islam.
good thing to come out of all this bloodshed is a growing unity of purpose and
sharing of information between Europeans, the British, and the
that will improve whatever efforts it takes to end the Islamic jihad. Another
good thing will be less criticism of the American approach to terrorists, i.e.,
find them and kill them before they can kill us.
Caruba writes a weekly commentary, “Warning Signs”, posted on the website of
The National Anxiety Center, www.anxietycenter.com.
Alan Caruba, July 2005