A Kosovar Albanian Muslim, Arid Uka, murdered two American airmen outside the Frankfurt Airport in Germany last Wednesday. “I did it for Allah,” he explained.
Like so many jihad attacks these days, this one was initially dismissed as having nothing to do with terrorism. Boris Rhein, interior minister for Germany’s Hesse state, almost immediately declared that there were no indications that the shootings had been a terror attack. After Uka’s openly jihadist statements, Rhein had to reverse himself. But his initial reaction was indicative of the general tendency toward denial of the reality of the Islamic jihad among government and law enforcement personnel in the West.
What actually would constitute a terrorist attack for enlightened liberal Westerners such as Rhein? Would the murderer have to announce that he was about to carry out a terrorist attack before he started shooting? Would he have to be carrying an al-Qaeda membership card? In the case of the Frankfurt Airport shooting, Uka appears to have acted alone. Thus German security analyst Bernd Georg Thamm noted: “We have a new … perpetrator of terrorism, the lone wolf. Terrorism experts have dreaded this for a while, and now it’s happened. And it won’t be the last case.”
Indeed. Yet it is abundantly clear that even if Arid Uka acted alone in the Frankfurt Airport, his view of the Koran is not eccentric among Muslims worldwide. Yet nearly 10 years after Mohamed Atta and his crew flew a plane into the World Trade Center out of love for Allah, we still don’t see any sustained or concerted effort by self-proclaimed peaceful Muslims in the United States or anywhere else to disabuse their coreligionists of this jihad ideology and its globalist, supremacist, totalitarian political agenda. Such an effort should not be seen as optional or incidental. Without it, the very commitment of these self-proclaimed moderates to the United States and its Constitution can and should be called into question.
This week, analysts keep focusing on the question of whether or not Uka was or should be called a “terrorist.” I don’t care whether you call him a cantaloupe. The real problem here is that anyone anywhere at any time can read the Koran and come to the same conclusion that Uka did—that is the element of the “lone wolf” terrorist threat that no one wants to face. If American officials were really serious about preventing a future attack, they would address that fact. If American Muslim advocacy groups were really serious about being loyal, patriotic Americans, they would address that fact too.
Barack Obama quickly issued a statement saying, “I want everybody to understand that we will spare no effort in learning how this outrageous act took place, and in working with German authorities to ensure that all of the perpetrators are brought to justice.” Yet it is absolutely certain that if Uka turns out to have been a pious, devout Muslim who read the Koran and cited it as a justification for the idea that Muslims have a responsibility to fight against infidels, that is one lead that Barack Obama will not follow up. No matter how many Muslim gunmen shout “Allahu akbar” as they open fire on non-Muslims, at this point the dogmatic lines have been drawn: Analysts in the top military and intelligence posts in the U.S. and Europe understand that Islam is a religion of peace that has been hijacked by a tiny minority of extremists, and they have been taught to understand that that fact somehow frees them from the obligation of understanding the enemy’s belief system and formulating effective ways to combat it.
There needs to be now an honest public discussion of the elements of the Koran and Sunnah of Muhammad (his words and practices) that jihadists use to justify violence and Islamic supremacy. Muslim spokesmen in America, if they’re really as moderate as they claim, need to explain how they are teaching Muslims to reject these elements of Islam in favor of the principles of the equality of dignity and rights of all people—women as well as men, non-Muslims as well as Muslims. And they should follow through on these explanations with real action.
Only then might we be getting somewhere against the phenomenon represented by Arid Uka. But I am not holding my breath.