The attack by al-Shabab on the Westgate mall in Kenya should not have come as a surprise to those charged with preventing such atrocities.
On September 21, gunmen linked with the terrorist group al-Shabab attacked the upscale Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya. The attack, which lasted three days, and which appears to be strongly motivated by militant Islam<, resulted in at least 72 deaths including 61 civilians (most of whom appeared to be non-Muslim), 6 Kenyan soldiers, and 5 attackers. The assailants took and held hostages and engaged in gun battles with Kenyan security forces. More than 200 casualties were reported with wounds of varying degrees in the mass shooting. According to the Brookings Institution, Al-Shabab claims the attack was retailation and revenge for Kenya military force involvement in driving al-Shabab out of Mogadishu, Somalia in 2011:
In 2011, Kenyan military forces entered a Somalia that was severely fragmented and unstable due to the terrorist activities of militia groups—primarily al-Shabab. Together with other African troops, Kenyan forces were able to stabilize Somalia, which included reducing incidents of piracy that had reached unprecedented levels. In addition, al-Shabab was increasingly involved in acts of terror within Kenya’s borders. The large scale intervention by the Kenyan military was, therefore, an absolute necessity for Kenya as al-Shabab was increasingly affecting the security in Kenya and the region.
Unfortunately, Kenya has been left largely alone to deal with al-Shabab and continues to face the greater part of its terrorist activities. Although many countries have, over the last few years, pledged to support Kenya in its war against terrorists, support has only been marginal daysand largely inconsequential. In many cases, governments of these countries are quick to recycle the same statements pledging to support the country after each attack. The most immediate action by those governments has been to issue security warnings to their citizens to avoid travel to Kenya. Unlike in the Middle East, where European Union and United States take terror threats seriously and are quick to mobilize their own forces and resources, this is not so for the East African region—especially as pertains to al-Shabab attacks. For unexplained reasons, there is clear reluctance for these powers to confront al-Shabab with the force that is called for.
This latest failure to recognize and accept readily identifiable threats extends to the nation of Kenya what has become a sad hallmark of American (less so European) policy with regard to the War on Terror. America and Europe have a long, sorrowful history of refusing to acknowledge the threat presented by radical, militant Islam until a devastating attack results in loss of life that leaves the nation reeling, seeking answers that are few and far between.
In London earlier this year, an attack took on a particularly gruesome cast when two militant Islamists decapitated a British soldier in broad daylight on a public street. Via the Telegraph:
“On Wednesday, May 22, 2013 in the first terrorist murder on the British mainland since the 7/7 suicide bombings of 2005, the men attempted to behead the soldier, hacking at him like a “piece of meat” in front of dozens of witnesses, before both were shot by police who took around 20 minutes to arrive.
After the killing, one of the men, believed to be a British-born Muslim convert, spoke calmly into a witness’s video phone. Speaking with a London accent, holding a knife and a meat cleaver and with his hands dripping with blood, he said: “We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you until you leave us alone. Your people will never be safe.”
There were also questions over why it took around 20 minutes for armed police to arrive on the scene, during which time the killers calmly walked up and down the road, carrying their bloodied knives and a pistol, while members of the public confronted them.
As they attacked the soldier, one of the men shouted “Allahu akbar”, or God is Great, according to the BBC, while another witness said they appeared to pray next to the body as if the solder was a “sacrifice”.
Their victim, thought to be aged around 20, had reportedly been on duty at an Army recruitment office in central London and was on his way back to the barracks when he was murdered at 2:20 pm.”
In a culture in which these terrorists feel they have nothing to lose and certainly nothing to fear, certainly not an armed citizenry such as they would confront in America, these two sadistic butchers strutted around brazenly waving their blood-drenched hands, knives, and meat cleavers. The multicultural experiment of moral and cultural relativity has reduced the once proud people of Britain from warriors to mere spectators limited to merely “confronting” the killers, while butchers crow about their deed.
In America, in light of so many attacks carried out by seemingly assimilated citizens of Muslim faith, the question we are forced to ask ourselves is two-fold; not only why did attacks happen, but what can be done to prevent such tragedies in the future? We are facing an enemy who lives among us. The cultural melting pot that has been the foundation of a society that holds E Pluribus Unum as one of its most treasured ideals never fully incorporates them into a community that by their own definition is completely contrary to their most cherished and deeply held beliefs. Take a long, hard look at Fort Hood, Boston, or New York.
The failed British experiment shows the folly of believing that Liberalism, Democracy and Western-style freedoms are key to cooling the anger and fanaticism of radical Muslims, whether in the United States or abroad. In America, where the values of “tolerance and acceptance”, have been co-opted by the left in their desire to bolster a far-reaching and self-perpetuating welfare state, the officially sanctioned persecution of traditional patriotism, faith and values, which lies hidden in bureaucracies and in the halls of academia as moral relativism with a globalist-leftist disregard for the Judeo-Christian worldview, has proven to be a colossal, self-defeating failure at every single level it has been tried. Worse still, the jihadists recognize this and take advantage of the opportunity this affords them, attacking the weakest targets they can find: the innocents and the vulnerable.
To make matters much worse, those terrorists seem at first glance to be part of the society in which they live. People who resemble the local barista, the guy who works at the deli, the polite clerk in the copy store, the cashier at the gas station. These men no longer necessarily look like their favorite erstwhile jihadist, Osama bin Laden, or their favorite imam, the Blind Sheikh. Instead, they look like polite, young, ordinary Americans, Brits, or Kenyans with whom anyone would happily be friends.
“We had no idea. He seemed so nice,” “He was always so polite and kind. My kids played with his family,” “They were just good neighbors, always helping when somebody needed it.” These are the exact kinds of things that were said about Major Nidal Hassan, Faisal Shahzad, and the Tsarnaev brothers.
“If only,” think those who embrace this delusion, “if only they got to know us, and we could find middle ground, everyone would get along.” Nothing could be further from the truth. For those who embrace radical, militant Islam, their guiding principle is the most fundamental tenet–Islam’s very definition–is “submission”. Submission to Allah. Submission to the Koran. Submission to the Imams in the mosques. Submission requires rejection of all that one previously held: ideals, faiths, freedoms. Jihadists take the consequences of defiance into their own hands and raise it to the next level: submit or die. That is the choice. By bomb, by knife, or by gun. Submit.
Radicals hate the other because of what they believe. They desire to destroy the other’s way of life not to take it for themselves, but because they consider it to be evil. The culture that arose from the teachings of Jesus is markedly different from the one that Mohammed engendered. While liberal enablers of global jihad resent western, Judeo-Christian values and the societies they created (especially America), they are sorely mistaken if they believe that their complicity and collaboration with these nihilistic forces will exempt them from extermination.
They have sown the wind. They are reaping the whirlwind.
Vladimir Davidiuk | University of St. Thomas | @VladDavidiuk