New York Post
March 21, 2012
French police’s dramatic pursuit of Mohammed Merah, an Islamic radical, for Monday’s terror murder of a rabbi and three Jewish schoolchildren should remind us here in New York and elsewhere that Islamic terror hasn’t taken a holiday.
Even if the ACLU, the Obama administration and some other politicians think that Muslims are being persecuted, events both here and abroad show that there is no wave of hate crimes against Muslims, but rather a continuing case of hate crimes against Jews and Israel.
We need to be aware of this continuing danger, even as our chattering classes insist it’s all a figment of our imagination, a case of Islamophobia.
Alert New Yorkers have noticed the NYPD stepping up its presence around New York synagogues and Jewish schools recently, as Iran and al Qaeda have both promised to escalate actions against Jews and those who support Israel.
Yet our own intellectual elites have chosen to ignore this escalation of Islamist terror, and instead target our own law-enforcement and security agencies, demanding that they treat Islamic institutions with kid gloves.
Over the past few weeks, Iranian-funded agents of Hezbollah have attacked Israeli targets in India, Thailand and Kazakhstan, as Iran itself speeds its program to build a nuclear bomb that will endanger Israel, Jordan, Egypt, oil routes and America itself.
That same see-no-evil-hear-no-evil approach didn’t work in France, which has suffered a tremendous escalation of violence by its own Arab-Muslim community, much of it directed specifically against Jews.
There were 389 reported acts of anti-Semitism in France last year, reports the Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions.
The last decade has seen many riots by French Muslims, mostly from the Algerian community. Notably, the 2005 riots saw 9,000 to 10,000 vehicles and about 300 buildings and stores burned down.
Yet French officials and the French press often behaved as if there is no serious anti-Jewish or anti-French undercurrent to the violence, while the police and security officials feel beleaguered and unsupported.
The French police admit they fear entering many Arab neighborhoods, even in Paris. Officially there are more than 700 urban “no-go zones” or zones urbaines sensibles. Thus about 8 percent of France's total population — some 5 million people — basically live in the realm of Islam, while living in France.
French Chief Rabbi Gilles Bernheim said he was “horrified” at Monday’s murders, which follow the killing of three soldiers in two separate shooting attacks by a motorcyclist in the prior week, a tactic widely used in Syria, Lebanon and Algeria. Police now suspect Merah in all seven murders.
One of the most damning elements of the French terror spree is that the terrorist was able to carry out his murderous attacks even though he was under some form of French government surveillance. Merah had contacted jihadist groups in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and yet he was not apprehended, nor were his weapons confiscated.
This episode begins to resemble the Fort Hood massacre, where Major Nidal Malik Hassan had contacted al Qaeda and “acted out” his radical passions, yet was allowed by the US Army to continue in his position and to carry a weapon with which he murdered 13 people.
Clearly, being politically correct is costing lives on both sides of the Atlantic.
Just as clearly, the people of New York and New Jersey should be giving unstinting support to our law-enforcement and security officials in this regard — and ignoring if not denouncing the continuous criticism from the chattering class, which can only undermine them.
Michael Widlanski, formerly strategic-affairs adviser for Israel’s Ministry of Public Security, is the author of the new book “Battle for Our Minds: Western Elites and the Terror Threat.”