And complicating their already deep seated bigotry, they’re getting influenced by all the wrong people who share similar views.
WESTERN RATIONALIZERS OF MUSLIM TERRORISM
Muslim terrorist actions in the Western world are directly linked to the major physical violence and incitement in certain areas of the Islamic world. Despite this, time and again we find some Westerners explaining and rationalizing the terrorists’ actions. Others differentiate between the targets of acts of terror in discussing the legitimacy of terrorism.
Islam is a complex of religion, culture and political ideology. Several of the worst cases of mass murder, extreme incitement and other crimes in the past decades have emerged from sections of this composite entity. The Spanish liberal philosopher Jose Ortega Y Gasset said that “Civilization is nothing else than the attempt to reduce force to being the ultima ratio [last resort].” 1 Indeed for democrats, violence should be initiated only as a last resort; for barbarians, it is in practice often the first option of choice. Nowadays many Muslim communities contain a disproportionate number of such barbarians. Their main targets are other Muslims
Fifty years ago, the Indonesian government and military suppressed the country’s communist party. About half a million alleged communists were killed.2 Over a million people were killed in the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s.3 In Afghanistan’s two wars during the last thirty-five years roughly a million and a half people were killed. The first was the war between Soviet forces and the America-backed mujahideen from 1978-1987. The second war continues until today with slaughter carried out mainly by the Taliban.4 The Algerian civil war of the 1990s resulted in the deaths of at least 150,000 people at the hands of fellow Algerians.5
US Secretary of State John Kerry made a very warped statement about the Paris massacres. He said “There’s something different about what happened from Charlie Hebdo, and I think everybody would feel that. There was a sort of particularized focus and perhaps even a legitimacy in terms of – not a legitimacy, but a rationale that you could attach yourself to somehow and say, okay, they’re really angry because of this and that. This Friday was absolutely indiscriminate. It wasn’t to aggrieve one particular sense of wrong. It was to terrorize people.”8 Here we have one of the highest ranking U.S officials, who through mental confusion attempts to differentiate between terrorist acts, immorally offering partial justifications of some murders as opposed to others.
Gérard Araud, the French ambassador to the United States made a somewhat similar differentiation. After the Paris murders, he said: “These are the foundations of our model of society that the terrorists seek to destroy: Yesterday journalists and Jews; now ordinary citizens whose only crime was to enjoy life on a Friday night in Paris.”9 French Jews may well understand from this that where terrorist murders are concerned, they do not count as ordinary citizens.
Araud should have known better. He served in Israel from 2003-2006 and does know some of the realities of Arab terrorism. In fact the Palestinians have often been trend setters in ‘innovative terrorist’ acts. There was a precedent for his mode of expression. In 1980 a bomb exploded next to the Paris liberal synagogue in the Rue Copernic. Among those killed were three passers-by. Raymond Barre, prime minister at the time, suggested that the murderers hit the wrong targets. He said that it was “a scandalous attack which wanted to hit Jews who were in the synagogue and hit innocent Frenchmen who were crossing Copernic Street.” He added that these people were killed despite lack of any connection to “this issue,”10 upon which author Claude Lanzmann called Barre an anti-Semite.11
In 2011 a lone terrorist, Anders Breivik, killed 77 people in Norway. The then Norwegian Ambassador to Israel, Svein Sevje, implied that Palestinian terror against Israelis is more justified than terror against Norwegians.12
Some left wing anti-Israel inciters linked the Paris massacre to the Palestinian conflict. One was the Swedish Social Democrat foreign minister Margot Wallstrom. She remarked “To counteract the radicalization, we must go back to the situation such as the one in the Middle East of which not the least the Palestinians see that there is no future: We must either accept a desperate situation or resort to violence.”13 The same was true for Jan Marijnissen, the outgoing chair of the extreme left Dutch socialist party. In a radio program, he said that it is important to understand the psyche of the attackers. In fact their behavior is also related to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.“14 These are two examples of people who knowingly ignore the central component of ideological violence in parts of the Muslim world.
In 2012 the Muslim criminal Mohamed Merah murdered three French soldiers and thereafter a Jewish teacher and three children. Tariq Ramadan, a professor at Oxford and Muslim turned him into a victim.15 He said that the “poor boy” was “guilty and to be condemned,” but then added “However, he was himself a victim of a social order which had already condemned him and millions of others to marginalization, to the non-recognition of his status as a citizen with equal rights…”16 s
One has to be careful when attempting to predict the future. Yet it is unlikely that the recent attack in the London underground will be the last case of Muslim terrorism in Western Europe. One can only wonder how many more European terrorism victims are required to shame the Kerrys, Wallstroms and the like into silence. This even though they may be incapable of grasping the obvious, that for the most part Muslim terrorist violence is directly linked to the perpetrators’ ideological views.
1 José Ortega y Gasset, The Revolt of the Masses, (La rebelión de las masas), (New York: Norton, 1932.)
2 Laksmi Pamuntjak,”It is 50 years since the Indonesian massacre of 1965 but we cannot look away,” The Guardian, 30 September 2015.
3 Ian Black, “Iran and Iraq remember war that cost more than a million lives,” The Guardian, 23 September 2010.
4 Imtiyaz Gul Khan, “Afghanistan: Human Cost of Armed Conflict since the Soviet Invasion,” Center for Strategic Research, Government of Turkey, 2012.
5 Jonah Schulhofer-Wohl, “Algeria (1992–present),” University of Virginia, 6 December 2006.
6 “Global Terrorism Index: 2015,” Institute for Economcis and Peace, 2015.
7 “Global Terrorism Database,” University of Maryland, June 2015.
8 John Kerry, “Remarks to the Staff and Families of U.S. Embassy, Paris,” US Department of State website, 17 November 2015.
9 Ruthie Blum, “French Ambassador to US Outrages Jewish Expats Over Post-Paris-Attack Message,” The Algemeiner, 25 November 2015.
10 “Barre: ceux qui réagissent et ceux qui se taisent!” CRIF (Conseil Représentatif des Institutions juives de France) 7 March 2007.
11 Claude Lanzmann, “J’accuse Raymond Barre d’être un antisémite,” Liberation, 6 March 2007.
12 Eli Berdenstein, Interview with Ambassador Svein Sevje, Maariv, 26 July 2011.
13 “Dutch politician: Paris attacks result of frustration over Palestinian-Israeli conflict,” The Jerusalem Post, 17 November 2015.
14 “Marijnissen (SP) linkt aanslag aan Palestijns-Israëlisch” Reformatorisch Dagblad, 14 November 2015.
15 Manfred Gerstenfeld, “Killer becomes a ‘victim,’” Ynet, 29 March 2012.
16 Ian Hamel, “Les deux visages de Tariq Ramadan,” Le Point, 9 April 2012.