“This week’s events are a grim reminder that Canada is not immune to the types of terrorist attacks we have seen elsewhere around the world.” — Canadian Prime Minister Steven Harper
This past week was indeed a “grim” reminder to the entire Western world of the true threat radical Islam poses, but how many more “reminders” do we need?
The rational world is at war with an evil perversion, even if some choose to bury their heads in the sand. Where Prime Minister Harper has no problem calling these types of attacks what they are, terrorism, some of our American leaders seemed to be confused as to who the enemy is, and how to deal with them. Therein lies the problem. If you can’t acknowledge the simple truth of radical Islam, you play right into the hands of those who would do us harm, serving only to embolden them. Appeasement, denial and ignorance together are a dangerous mindset in the face of a determined enemy, yet this is where America finds itself today.
If we have learned nothing, we know that groups like ISIS, Al Qaeda and Boko Haram, have attempted for years to create unrest in countries such as Britain, Canada, America and Australia. We have seen the rise of radical Islam in countries such as France, Denmark and Sweden. These terrorist groups purposely target what they perceive to be an alienated sector of the population, striving to create small cells or foment the “lone wolf,” and it is working. However, we cannot even call it what it is, jihad.
Jihad is here, and has been here for a while, but out of some warped sense of conciliation, our government has either downplayed the severity of the threat or has been content in its own ignorance.
In 2009, Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad shot and killed Private William Long and wounded Private Quinton Ezeagwula in front of a U.S. Army recruiting offices. Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad was a follower of imam Anwar al-Awlaki, and confessed to committing the attack in the name of Islam. Later in 2009, U.S. Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan walked into a military facility, screamed “Allah Akbar! (Allah is supreme),” then started shooting at his fellow soldiers, many who had survived battles in Iraq and Afghanistan, killing 13 and wounding more than 30. Hasan’s business card listed himself as a “soldier of Allah.” Hasan was also a follower of the radical imam Anwar al-Awlaki (now deceased).
British soldier Lee Rigby was attacked by an Islamist radical in 2013 and hacked to death. The assailants attempted to behead Rigby as onlookers used their mobile phones to film the gruesome attack. Just a few months ago, recent convert to Islam Alton Nolen walked into his former place of employment and beheaded Colleen Hufford, a 54 year-old-grandmother. Nolen was stopped while he was attempting to behead another woman. Nolen had been active on Facebook and other social media where he wrote about his conversion to Islam and his disdain for America.
This past week three Canadian soldiers were attacked in two separate incidents, by two radical Muslims. Muslim convert Martin Rouleau killed one soldier and wounded another when he purposely ran them over with his car. Another soldier, Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, was killed by “lone wolf” Muslim convert Michael Zehaf-Bibeau while guarding a military memorial.
The Hasan and Nolan attacks were dismissed as “workplace violence” by President Obama’s administration. Both attackers had their mental state challenged publicly, but neither prosecuting team supported the insanity defense. They were neither insane nor disgruntled. They are lone wolf attackers motivated by Islam. Denying this reality is to ignore the early warning signs of a dangerous enemy and the events to come.
We now know more than 100 Americans and at least 2,000 British are fighting alongside ISIS terrorists. It is believed a British convert to Islam was responsible for the beheading of New Hampshire resident Jim Foley and American journalist Steven Sotloff. To bring the crisis home even more, three Colorado teens were recently stopped as they were attempting to travel to Syria to fight with ISIS. Yet, far too many people in this country choose to ignore the facts in front of them, which have served to put us on unstable footing to address the crisis of radical Islam.
One only needs to look at the most recent U.S. Senate debate between Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and Scott Brown to understand the stark differences. When asked about ISIS, Brown responded “ISIS is the size of New England right now, and you (Shaheen) and the president have taken ground troops off the table. Taking the greatest fighting force off the table is not what I would have done.” ISIS, Brown continued, “is getting bigger and badder.” Brown cited former CIA director and defense secretary Leon Panetta’s recent criticism of Obama’s grasp of ISIS.
Shaheen accused Brown of “fear-mongering” and stated it was irresponsible for politicians “to repeat ISIS talking points.” Shaheen repeated the talking point that many in this country have regurgitated when she said: “The threat of ISIS is real, but again we should not be fear-mongering about the threat of ISIS. The fact is my opponent ran weeks of ads that said radical Islamic terrorists threaten to cause the collapse of America. Well, that’s just not true. We have the strongest military in the world and we are not going to let ISIS or any other terrorist group cause the collapse of this country.”
The collapse of Western civilization has long been the goal of radical Islam. Whether they can achieve it is not the issue; whether they believe they can and have a plan is the point. For all the talk of whether groups like ISIS can defeat America, no one can say with confidence and integrity that America is safer today than six years ago, nor can we say we have been able to stop radical Islam from affecting our daily lives.
To dismiss those who would commit these atrocities in the name of Islam as possibly mentally disturbed or not representative of the larger body of those who practice Islam once again does nothing more than ignore the methods our enemies will use against us, and the weapons they will create and exploit. These lone wolf terrorists believe they are serving the will of Allah, and they are driven by the message that groups like ISIS are delivering. Whether mentally ill, or willing participants is not the issue. They are the means to end for groups like ISIS. ISIS targets them, crafts their profane message to land in the ears of the disenfranchised, and perverts their minds. ISIS does not care about the well-being of those they convert and manipulate, because people are nothing more than a commodity, a weapon to be used to strike at their enemies, which is everyone who does not practice their twisted interpretation of the religion they follow.
The ancient Greek playwright Aristophanes once wrote that “The wise learn many things from their enemies.” Which begs the question, what have we learned as Americans?