(This column originally appeared in the Toronto Sun)
A jihadist terrorist targeted and murdered children and young adults enjoying a pop concert in Manchester. Among the 22 killed was eight-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos.
According to a teacher at her school, “Saffie was simply a beautiful little girl in every aspect of the word. She was loved by everyone and her warmth and kindness will be remembered fondly.”
It’s difficult to make sense of a heinous act like the killing of children. It’s hard to fathom how anyone could look at the face of a sweet and innocent little girl and see an enemy target.
But understanding that tells us everything we need to know about jihadist terrorists.
We are fighting an enemy that purposely targets not just civilians, but children.
They cheer and celebrate on social media when these attacks are carried out. They taunt us and laugh at our despair.
They have no sense of decency, no honour, no shame, no code of conduct, no rules of engagement.
We are fighting a war against a barbaric death cult.
And so far, we’ve failed to admit these basic facts.
Instead, we hold vigils, we light candles, we offer our condolences on social media and we maintain that tolerance and diversity will help us overcome this evil.
We pretend it was an isolated attack, carried out by a mentally ill “lone wolf”.
We insist that a self-declared devout Muslim attacker wasn’t really Muslim.
We’ve become more concerned about a backlash of so-called Islamophobia than we are about helping families that have been robbed of their children by an enemy within.
After this horrific attack in Manchester, the UK’s leftist newspaper, The Independent, told the public to ignore the attack. It said: “There’s only one way Britain should respond to attacks such as Manchester. That is by carrying on exactly as before.”
This is utter nonsense.
We cannot carry on as we did before, because before we were not doing enough to stop barbaric jihadists from committing deadly attacks.
Instead, we should do the opposite. We should act.
First, we need to come to terms with the world around us. Rather than living in fear of offending Muslims, we should all (including peaceful Muslims) find the courage to identify and name the enemy: violent Islamists.
Not just terrorists, but jihadist terrorists.
Second, our authorities cannot walk on eggshells while pursuing our enemies.
They need to arrest or deport all known radical Islamists and wannabe jihadists living in the West.
If you’ve been to a jihadist training camp, be it in Libya, Pakistan or any other Islamist stronghold, you should immediately be arrested and charged upon returning to a Western country.
No more monitoring. No more waiting. We need to stop these thugs before they act.
Finally, we need to take steps to disrupt this hateful ideology.
We need to stop the poisonous worldview that permeates throughout isolated and fundamentalist Islamist communities in the West.
No more ignoring hate-preaching in mosques. No more tolerance of values and cultural practices that are fundamentally at odds with life in the West.
We need a transformational shift in the way we view this problem.
This is a generational struggle. It requires a joint effort across civil society.
If we carry on exactly as before, these attacks will...(READ MORE)