Robert Spencer: The Free World Under Siege

Twelve cartoonists are dead in Paris for violating Islam’s blasphemy law. Four Jews are dead for being among the people that the Qur’an claims are “the most intense of the people in animosity toward the believers” (5:82). Muslims have recently attacked and killed police officers in New York City, Canada, and France. And Thursday, Muslims fired on police who were raiding their terror operations, and two of the jihadis were killed. Europe is under siege. As is the free world.

Murderous jihad attacks are coming more frequently than ever, and there is no reason to think they’re going to slow down. In a new Islamic State video, a jihadi declares: “I say to all French people who think that the Islamic State won’t arrive in Europe, with God’s help, we will arrive in Europe. We will expand across all of Europe, to France, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and also the USA. I say to all my brothers that cannot immigrate and join the Islamic caliphate, try to resist with all means, kill them, slaughter them, burn their cars and homes. I say to my brothers, if you see a police officer—kill him. Kill them all. Kill all infidels that you see in the streets.”

Regarding Belgium in particular, “three Islamic State militants threatened attacks on Belgium in a video broadcast on Wednesday, the Belga news agency reported.” And the next day jihadis carried through on their threats. “I heard a sort of explosion, followed by several gunshots,” said a witness. Another added that “machine guns were firing for about 10 minutes.” A third said he saw two North African men “dressed all in black carrying a bag of the same color.” Still another said: “I heard two explosions. I left, then I saw two young people run — Arab types between 25 and 30 — who hurtled down in the dark with woolly hats on their heads.”

Said Thierry Werts of the Belgian federal prosecutor’s office: “This operational cell of about ten people, some of whom had returned from Syria, was on the point of launching significant terrorist attacks in Belgium. During the search, certain suspects immediately opened fire at special forces of the police with automatic weapons. They opened fire for several minutes. Two suspects were killed and a third was arrested.” He added that “even after one of the suspects was lying on the ground injured, he continued to fire.”

They were, in other words, what Western authorities have shown no indication of being: determined and tenacious, even to the point of death. In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo jihad murders, there have been very few Western media outlets with the courage to stand up to the jihadis’ violent Sharia intimidation and demonstrate their commitment to defending the freedom of speech by republishing the Muhammad cartoons. Instead, most have given the jihadis exactly what they killed for: submission to Islamic laws forbidding criticism of Muhammad.

This submission heralds the death of free society. Once an idea – any idea — is established as beyond criticism, its adherents are free to exert their will on the larger population unchallenged. If that idea is Islam, it involves the imperative to kill or subjugate unbelievers that jihadis worldwide are acting upon. The shared objective of groups like the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and of jihadis who kill cartoonists is to intimidate the West into criminalizing criticism of Islam, which will hinder or obliterate altogether the ability of Western officials to understand the motives and goals  of the jihadis. Then the jihad can proceed unopposed.

That’s why it isn’t just ill-judged, it is nothing short of disastrous that so many Western media outlets declined to reprint the cartoons, and that so many Western leaders have made statements assuring us that they believe in free expression, but of course within proper limits, and one should not offend people’s religious sensibilities. The free world is under siege. And its appointed guardians are swinging wide the gates.