Conservative Review, by Benjamin Weingarten, April 2, 2017:
A jihadist attacks individuals in the public square of a Western town.
The media refuses to provide a description of the attacker, reporting only the weapon he used.
A physical description of a man of African, South Asian, or Middle Eastern descent leaks out in the ensuing hours.
Law enforcement authorities deliver a press conference confirming the attacker’s Islamic name and stating that at this time, his motive is unclear.
Rumors on social media percolate about the man screaming “Allahu Akbar.”
Mainstream reporters ask local Muslim community leaders and neighbors about the attacker. They express universal shock, describing him as a decent man who might have been rough around the edges but never showed signs of being a terrorist. The man came from a middle-class family, liked playing video games with friends, and by all accounts lived a normal existence. Toward the end of the stories, those close to the attacker note that he had grown increasingly devout in recent years.
Bloggers begin to research and quickly find that the attacker was a member of a mosque led by an imam who had been recorded preaching hatred and violence toward the West. The attacker posted violent verses from the Quran and railed against the “Crusaders’” wars in the Levant on social media pages captured by screenshot before they were taken down. It emerges that he had spent months in the Middle East during recent years.
Several days later, law enforcement authorities report that the attacker in fact appears to have been a terrorist. But he had no direct ties to IS or Al-Qaeda, so there is no reason for alarm.
Politicians plead with the public that this man perverted one of the world’s great religions – Islam, “the religion of peace” – and that his acts were “non-Islamic.” They urge us all to come together in a shared belief in tolerance and diversity. Love trumps hate. Lone wolves are a fact of life, and their efforts only underscore the need for community engagement to “counter violent extremism.”
How many times are we in the West going to see the above script play out before something changes?
How long will we live a naïve fantasy in which we act as if all is well as the global jihadist movement metastasizes, bringing the violent murder of infidels to our shores?
If the murder of 3,000 innocents on American soil has not caused the West to openly and honestly examine who the enemy is and what animates him, and to develop a comprehensive strategy that mobilizes all of our resources and capabilities to defeat him, do we expect anything to change the next time we experience a mass attack?
Meanwhile, those who do understand the enemy are dismissed as cranks or called bigots. Those who assert that jihad is the motive – that violent subversion with the goal of world domination is justified by core Islamic texts, as the jihadists themselves clearly illustrate – are told to pipe down.
If you offend by speaking truth, you will cause violence. Shut up, and maybe you can keep your head.
Government service predicated on an understanding of the theopolitical Islamic supremacism that animates jihadists is simply out of the question. Heaven forbid that national security and foreign policy officials have any understanding of the Sharia law that both de facto and de jure governs the lives of hundreds of millions of people worldwide.
What will it take for the West to flip this script?
To date, murder, bloodshed, and fear abound. In spite of that fact, much of the West would rather cling to a narrative that makes it feel good about itself than recognize the reality of a global jihadist menace that threatens its very survival. This insane delusion will continue to have fatal consequences until we wake up.
Ben Weingarten is Founder & CEO of ChangeUp Media LLC, a media consulting and publication services firm. A graduate of Columbia University, he regularly contributes to publications such as City Journal, The Federalist, Newsmax and PJ Media on national security/defense, economics and politics.