The Islamic State Attacks Hong Kong Family in Southern Germany
“He was described as a devout Muslim, but not in any way one who was a radical or fanatic.”
On July 19, a family of five from Hong Kong was attacked by a 17 year-old Afghan refugee who swore fealty to the Islamic State. The family (the elderly parents and their 26 year-old daughter as well as her boyfriend, and their younger son who was unharmed) had traveled from Hong Kong to Britain to attend their other daughter’s wedding. After the wedding, the group decided to travel to Germany as a vacation. While on a train heading to southern Germany, the young Afghan man attacked them with an axe, shouting “Allahu Akbar!” He then used an axe and assaulted all of them. The young Afghan refugee was chased by German police and promptly killed. The family all remains in intensive care, according to the South China Morning Post. Upon further investigation, German authorities have determined that the young Afghan was, in fact, a member of the Islamic State. Yet, much like the recent horrific Nice Attacks, there seems to be a disturbing trend of threat denial from the German government.
“You can see I have lived in your own home and have planned to behead you in your own territory.” – The German attacker shortly before he performed his horrific attack in Germany. What must these individuals do, I wonder, to convince the Politically Correct authorities that they are acting this way on behalf of their interpretation of Islam?
As I reported on Germany earlier this week, the German government’s decision to allow over a million refugees fleeing the wartorn Middle East and North Africa has directly led to the political instability and burgeoning regional disunion within Europe. Indeed, the center-right coalition that Christian Democrat German Chancellor Angela Merkel is (for the first time in a long time) under serious threat from a growing alternative Right-Wing Party (the Alternative for Germany Party, or AfD). This party is implicitly anti-immigration and explicitly anti-Muslim. Since Chancellor Merkel’s humanitarian decision to allow millions of refugees to resettle in Germany, the economy in the areas where the refugees have resettled has been damaged, violent crime and sexual assault rates have increased, and the backlash from the German public has been to gravitate toward these nationalistic, Right-Wing parties, such as the AfD.
Just this last winter, there was a mass rape attempt on the part of Muslim immigrants in Cologne that resulted in scores of women being molested or groped by roaming gangs of lustful Muslim refugee men. While the German people maintain an even-keel view on Muslim-German citizens, they are not so keen on accepting mass immigration waves from the Muslim world. What’s more, the population is becoming increasingly antipathetic toward Islam in general (see my aforementioned German article.)
Enemy Threat Denial
Aside from the violent nature of the attacks, and the fact that the Islamic State has taken credit for being behind both the Nice and now German attacks, there is another commonality that binds them together. That commonality is what Dr. Sebastian Gorka refers to as “Enemy Threat Denial.” We in the West, particularly those of a more Leftist bent (of the sort that dominates the political culture in Europe today), seem incapable and, more gallingly, unwilling to accept the religious nature of our enemy today. When we fought the Nazis and Communists in the last century, we had no problems identifying those threats and their ideology as they identified themselves (although to be sure, there were plenty of highly influential Western apologists for not only Communism, but also mass murderers like Stalin, Mao, and Castro).
“We are aware of the claim of responsibility by Islamic State, but … the investigation has not produced any evidence thus far that would indicate this young man was part of an Islamist network.” – Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann
Yet, today, the stifling culture of Political Correctness that pervades the upper echelons of elite society in the political classes of both the United States and Europe prevents us from directly acknowledging the enemy and his beliefs. We cannot accept that there is an entire group of people who will, in today’s modern world, take up arms and wage grisly religious warfare. Our enemies identify themselves as members of such groups like the Islamic State of Iraq and Al Sham and claim that they are on a Jihad. However, our leaders cannot–will not–accept this and insist that these individuals are merely extremists engaged in the creation of “manmade disasters.”
Thinking such as this will get you killed. Indeed, it has already gotten many innocents killed.
The fear, I suppose, on the part of the Politically Correct is that to identify the Jihadists as they identify themselves would be to disparage an entire religion (of about a billion people worldwide) and bring about negative consequences for those of that religion who (mostly) practice innocently. This is a fair point to make. Indeed, the adversaries we face belong to two specific subsets of Islam–they are minorities within minorities. As I have articulated previously, the Islamic State and al Qaeda (and other similar groups) belong to a specific branch of Sunni Islam known as Wahhābīsm. The Iranians, on the other hand (as well as Hamas and Hezbollah) belong to a specific branch of Shia Islam known as the Twelver, or Mahdī branch of Shia Islam. These are both puritanical, millenarian, and militant branches of both Sunni and Shia Islam, respectively. Most Muslims, I think, understand that when we talk about Jihadists, we are talking about the Whahābīsts and Mahdīsts.
What’s more, as I identified in our live assessment of the Nice Attacks last week, the French government was hesitant to identify the attacker as having acted on Jihadist beliefs. Indeed, there was an ongoing spat between the French interior minister and French President Francois Hollande as to whether to attribute the Nice Attacks as having anything to do with Islam, or whether it had more to do with the man being deranged. Well, deranged he certainly was, but for derangement to escalate into something like the Nice Attacks, one needs an inciting factor. Much like the German attacker, the Nice Attacker was not very religious. Yet, he became enamored with the Jihadist narrative and the call to arms for Islam that the Wahhābī Islamic State had articulated. He spent his time on the internet, just like the Boston Marathon bombers, learning a radical form of Islam–becoming self-radicalized. Indeed, as I previously reported, as the Nice Attacker initiated his despicable assault, he exclaimed “Allahu Akbar!” just before killing all of those people in Nice. The German attacker did the same.
Yet, as evidenced by the above quote from the Bavarian interior minister, the German government has been slow to acknowledge the fact that this young man was inspired by IS. He had a hand-painted IS flag in his home and he had sworn allegiance to their cause. What’s more, like the Nice Attacker, the Islamic State took credit for the attacks. While it is certainly true that IS can always take credit for any attack, the fact is that there is no denying that their ideology encouraged and served as the motivation for the attacks on both Nice and on the Hong Kong family in Germany. Unfortunately, though, getting either the French or German governments to acknowledge the Jihadist connection to the attacks was like pulling teeth, and when they did finally acknowledge that the attacks were due to the Islamic State’s online propaganda presence, they were quick to add a retinue of caveats which seemed to undercut their acknowledgement of the Islamic State connection.
The fact is that, I believe, the governments in question are all unwilling to acknowledge the religious nature of these attacks because such an acknowledgement is at odds with their Leftist postmodern worldview. These cultural elites have denied the importance and influence of religion in their own lives for so long that they cannot accept the importance and influence of religion on the lives of others around the world–especially those young, dispossessed, and deranged young men looking for purpose and meaning in their own lives.
Attacks like these will continue to occur and continue to be as jarring as they are because our governments refuse to acknowledge the root causes of these attacks. How can our security services protect us if they are prevented from looking into–let alone even acknowledging–the prevalence of extreme Wahhābī views as the driving force of our adversaries in the (poorly named) ongoing War on Terrorism? How is anyone served–particularly other Muslims, who tend to be the number one victims of Wahhābīst violence–by continually ignoring the enemy’s threat doctrine? If we are to win this war (and it is totally winnable), we must not only fight the Wahhābīsts kinetically overseas, but we must also combat the pernicious scourge of their propaganda machine–particularly the so-called Cyber Caliphate.
If we cannot do this, if we continue ignoring the threat we will have no legitimate defense against these attacks. The more we are unable to counter these attacks, the more that the Wahhābīsts will believe that they are winning, and the greater the danger will be to our countries and, more importantly, our citizenry.
Blaming guns for the Orlando Attacks, or Global Warming, as the Obama Administration did after the Orlando and San Bernardino shootings; insisting that attacks like those in Nice and Germany are simply the work of petty thugs and criminals, misses the point entirely. It misses the point on something that we all–temporarily–seemed to acknowledge after 9/11: that we are at war and that war is against a radical form of puritanical Islam. Our prayers go out to the victims of the Nice shooter and the German attacker. But, our shock should be directed at the Western governments who ignore and downplay the nature and significance of the threat.
They do so, at our own peril.