Counter-Terrorism: The Reality Check Comes Due

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February 13, 2018: European nations have a problems with the many widows and children of ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) fighters now under arrest in Syria and Iraq. Many of these widows are asking to be returned to their European homelands and raise their children in the place denounced as the women left to join ISIL in Syria or Iraq.. This is most frequently a problem in Iraq where the government there wants to prosecute some of the widows who were known to have worked for ISIL, usually by making videos urging other European Moslems to join ISIL. Some of the widows had administrative jobs with ISIL and some are accused of murder and other major crimes. The European nations have no problem with prosecuting the widows but the main concern is the children. Research has shown that mothers are more effective at radicalizing children than fathers. Another reality is that “deradicalization” programs are a failure, especially in situations like this. Then there are the public exhortations by ISIL leaders for these widows to return home, help organize new attacks and radicalize their children for future attacks. That has already been happening in several European countries and is not a theoretical threat.

European nations have finally come around to acknowledging that Islamic radicals and their supporters, especially those in Europe, are eager to radicalize their children and produce another generation of Europe based Islamic terrorists. For a long time European governments either ignored or denied that this was a problem. But in the aftermath of ISIL recruiting and the thousands of European Moslems who went to Syria and Iraq and the manner in which ISIL successfully indoctrinated children to be Islamic terrorists, Europe now agrees that it is best to separate the children from their mothers and raise the kids in an atmosphere free of Islamic radicalism.

Many in Europe still see the children as innocent but the majority of Europeans and now their governments agree that radicalization of their Moslems and especially children is a very real problem. This has been seen by the fact there have already been cases of Islamic terrorism in Europe involving children. It is not a minor problem. Germany alone had over a thousand of their citizens who went to join ISIL and at least 300 are now seeking to return, including fifty women. Many of these are ethnic Germans who converted. There have already been cases where some of these children have returned and attempted to recruit other children to the cause.

Even before ISIL became a major problem in 2014 there was growing popular resistance in the West to accepting Moslem refugees based on the fact that this would increase the number of Islamic terrorists in the West. That has already been proven, but not because Islamic terrorists are trying to get into the West by pretending to be refugees fleeing Islamic terrorism. No, it is worse than that. Since the 1990s opinion polls of Moslems living in the West indicated that, overall, these Moslems were getting less enthusiastic about Islamic terrorism. Yet despite the majority (sometimes over 80 percent, as it is in the United States) of Moslems opposing Islamic terrorism a small percentage believe such violence is justified. Typically ten percent or more of Western Moslems believe suicide bombing, and similar violence against civilians can sometimes be justified to defend Islam. Even more Western Moslems report witnessing other Moslems expressing, or calling for, support of Islamic radicalism. The majority of Western Moslems, especially those in the United States, are concerned about the rise of Islamic radicalism among Moslems in the West even if their governments were not..

Moslems often stress that attacks that are "justified" mainly because of Israel. Moslem media and politicians have been preaching virulent anti-Semitism for over a century now, and it only got worse when Israel was established in 1947. This is pretty nasty stuff, and you can pick it up on al Jazeera or the Internet, although the worst of it is only available on Arab language sites. Al Qaeda, which originally did not see Israel as a primary target, eventually changed its mind and found that Moslems conditioned to hate Israel can be converted into general purpose Islamic terrorists. This anti-Semitism often expresses itself in the form of physical assaults on Jews or damage to Jewish religious or educational buildings in the West. This makes it easier to convert and radicalize non-Moslems in the West. There are not a lot of these murderous converts but they get a lot of media attention. Less well publicized is the larger number of children or grandchildren of Moslem migrants who are radicalized in the name of religion and attracted to risking their lives in a holy war against non-Moslems. This is not a unique situation now or historically but it is more common among Moslem populations.

There are about 25 million Moslems in the West, most of them in Europe. American Moslems are much more successful economically, and optimistic about living in a non-Moslem culture, than their more numerous European counterparts. The European Moslems are about twice as likely to justify terrorist acts. European Moslems are much less optimistic about their prospects in a non-Moslem culture. For that reason, Islamic leaders who back an Islamic takeover of Europe are quite popular over there.

Countries with higher percentages of Moslems also tend to have a higher proportion of people in favor of Islamic terrorism. There, the main reason for such violence is the "defense of Islam." Despite the fact that Moslems are attacking non-Moslems all over the world, Moslem media and politicians get away with proclaiming that Islam is "under attack." This accusation is hardly recognized in the West, which is supposed to be the chief aggressor. But in the Moslem media, there are endless screeds calling on Moslems to help defend Islam. How can this be? A lot of it has to do with cultural attitudes towards logic and fantasy. Even in the United States, you have a lot of people who believe in conspiracy theories, including ones about the 911 attacks being a plot by the U.S. government to get the nation into a war. This is believed by a majority of people in some Moslem majority nations, and a quarter of U.S. Moslems, do not believe that Arabs were responsible for the 911 attacks, despite forensic evidence, and al Qaeda leaders bragging about it on videos.

While many Europeans believed Islamic terrorism in their midst was caused by the American invasion of Iraq, the local police knew better. Islamic terrorism has been a problem in Europe for over three decades, and in the 1990s it was getting worse. After September 11, 2001, and especially after the 2003 invasion of Iraq, it was fashionable for more Moslems, especially young ones, to declare America an "enemy of Islam."

More thoughtful Moslems realized that the Islamic terrorists were screwing up things for everyone. All Moslems were now tainted. Sure enough, the Islamic terrorists soon began killing Moslems in Moslem countries. This was nothing new for most Moslems, because this kind of terrorism had been going on for over a decade before 2001. Egypt, Algeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan were all suffering from Moslem-on-Moslem violence in the 1990s. All in the name of religion.

In Europe the Moslem populations were often allowed to exist as a very foreign presence. Sort of ethnic enclaves, and within these areas Islamic radicalism flourished. There were only a few terrorist attacks, and it was only because the security forces hustled that there weren't more. While (most of) the politicians continued to preach ethnic diversity, they were told by their security people that over one percent of their Moslems were willing to get involved in terrorist activities, and that there were thousands of European Moslems that needed to be watched. These included Islamic radicals who had fled the United States, or the Middle East. Europe was a convenient place for Islamic radicals to hide out. The social welfare benefits were excellent and the police unprepared to deal with Islamic radicalism. If an Islamic radical could afford it, his wife (or wives) and kids could be brought in, and the European governments would take care of them. However, after September 11, 2001, it was no longer easy to get in as a political refugee. But there were professional people-smugglers who, for a fee, could get just about anyone into Europe. The smugglers are still doing big business bringing Moslem refugees, and the increased risk of Islamic terrorism, in to the West. But in the aftermath of ISIL in Syria and Iraq these refugees are seen in a different light and no longer as welcome as they once were.

 

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