Candels and Cartoons Will Not Stop ISIS

By Rachel Ehrenfeld
Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016 @ 11:38PM

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Defeating Islamist terrorism in Belgium with cartoons of the Manneken Pis statue urinating on ISIS fighters will be as effective as the cartoons following the attack on Charlie Hebdo, or the candles to mourn the people who died when ISIS attacked the Bataclan concert hall in Paris last November.

Despite the evidence that ISIS has declared war those who do not adhere to the fundamentalist interpretation of the Koran, Europe included, many Europeans continue to argue that ISIS “is not fighting a true war in Europe,’ and acknowledging ISIS’s growing attacks on Europe as war, “amounts to handing Isis the victory it seeks.” Fighting ISIS and destroying it bases in Iraq, Libya and Syria remain unthinkable for most Europeans.

Law enforcement in Belgium had known about the growing Islamist terrorist threat before al Qaeda attacked the United States in on September 11, 2001. Al Qaeda used Antwerp to launder “blood-diamonds” to help finance their operations. And on September 22, 2001, two Islamist terrorists were arrested in Brussels, and large quantities of explosive chemicals were found in their apartment. Two years later, 23 alleged Islamist terrorists went on trial on trial in Brussels for plotting to bomb the Kleine Brogel military base, murdering the Afghan opposition leader Ahmad Shah Massoud, and ‘planning attacks on American targets in Europe.”

In March 2003, in Brussels to brief members of the EU on Islamist networks financing terrorist groups, I was warned by the local police to keep a low profile and keep out of Molenbeek. Several officers complained, off the record, they were instructed to stay away from the heavily Muslim areas.

By 2015, Belgium Muslims, who joined the police force, did not hide their support for terrorism against Jews and Israelis.  One identified as Mohamed N. posted on his Facebook: “The word Jew itself is dirty. If I were in Israel, frankly, I would do to the Jews what they do with the Palestinians – slaughter each and every one of them,” he was later dismissed. However, allowing anti-Semitism and anti-Israeli hostilities, even the attack on the Jewish Museum on May 24, 2014, killing two Israeli tourists and two Belgian Jews, was explained – if not justified – as a reaction to Israel’s “occupation” of the Palestinians. The assassin, Mehdi Nemmouche, a French-Algerian was trained by ISIS in Syria.

In May 2004, Javier Solana, then in charge of foreign and security policy at the European Union, acknowledged that the radical Islamist terrorist “movements seem willing to use unlimited violence and cause massive casualties. Europe is both a target and a base for such terrorists.”  Unfortunately, money from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf added fuel to anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli policies at the EU.  This, in turn, led to willful blindness and forceful denial of the spread of radical Islamist ideology. When Islamist terrorist attacked, the Europeans ignored the ideology that motivated the attackers.

By now, Europeans should have learned that arresting radical Muslim terrorist will do little to stop attacks in Europe or elsewhere. To prevent further attacks, Europeans should stop drawing cartoons. Instead, they should join forces to destroy the Islamic State bases in Iraq, Libya and Syria. At the same time, European and other Western-minded governments should reach out to their pragmatic Muslim communities to help quash the virulent Islamist plague.

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