If the storming of the Bastille triggered and symbolized the French Revolution, the attack against the Bastille Day celebrations on Thursday signifies the magnitude and despicability of the jihadist threat that looms large over not only France but the entire Europe.
The 12-tonne truck Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel drove was loaded with explosives and hand grenades; the idea was to cause far greater bloodbath; it was the alacrity of security men that checked more casualties by gunning him down in time.
Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, who was of Franco-Tunisian origin, drove the truck to mow down the people celebrating Bastille Day on the seafront in Nice, killing 84 people and wounding over 200, many of them seriously. It was an assault not only on the innocent men, women, and children but also, to paraphrase a slushy liberal usage, the ideas of France—liberty, equality, and fraternity.
Only after proper investigation we would come to know whether or not Lahouaiej-Bouhlel was associated with the Islamic State (though the result would be of little consequence, for the impulse surely comes from the IS-type thinking). What is indisputable, however, is the fact that he was a Muslim who had many a brush with the law. Equally indisputable is the fact that he had a visceral, inveterate hatred for France. This is despite the fact that France provided a much higher standard of living, much greater civic liberties and democratic rights that the country of his origin, Tunisia, or any other Muslim country could have provided. This is how he, like other jihadist murderers, paid back to the country that gave them so much.
Jihadists hate France—as they the rest of Europe, the US, and the entire non-Muslim world—because it does not follow the principles and practices of Shariat or Islamic law. France in particular, despite its flawed policies emanating from political correctness, not only loudly rejects the Islamist supremacy but also refuses to give up its ideas and ideals. It banned burqa; it did not act against Charlie Hebdo, even after the ghastly attack on its office last year.
The Islamic State issued a call in September 2014: “… do not let this battle pass you by wherever you may be. You must strike the soldiers, patrons, and troops… Strike their police, security, and intelligence members, as well as their treacherous agents. Destroy their beds. Embitter their lives for them and busy them with themselves. If you can kill a disbelieving American or European—especially the spiteful and filthy French—or an Australian, or a Canadian, or any other disbeliever from the disbelievers waging war, including the citizens of the countries that entered into a coalition against the Islamic State, then rely upon Allah, and kill him in any manner or way however it may be… If you are not able to find an IED or a bullet, then single out the disbelieving American, Frenchman, or any of their allies. Smash his head with a rock, or slaughter him with a knife, or run him over with your car, or throw him down from a high place, or choke him, or poison him…”
Lahouaiej-Bouhlel did better; he chose a truck instead of a car.
While the French have shown considerable resilience, their policies have made their country much more vulnerable than it should be. Like most other democracies facing the Islamist menace, France is also afflicted with the pathologies like political correctness and multiculturalism; there is reluctance to name the threat by its name. As Stephen Brown wrote in www.frontpagemag.com (http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/261444/2016-jihad-starts-france-stephen-brown, January 14, 2016), “The closest anyone came to mentioning Islam or jihad as a factor in the attack [on four French soldiers] was when an official said ‘he (the assailant) uttered a certain number of words, showing there was a connection between his action and a certain religiosity’.”
Things are little better in India. Nowadays it seems to be the sole purpose of Leftists and liberals to somehow dissociate Islam from jihadist violence; they are fond of screaming homilies lie ‘every Muslim is not a terrorist.’ While that is true, it is equally true that almost every terrorist is a Muslim. It is time public intellectuals pondered over this fact. After all, people of other faiths—Hinduism, Sikhism, Christianity, Buddhism—are also spread all over the world as minorities and immigrants. They also face all kinds of discrimination—racism, parochialism, etc. But why is it that only Muslims bomb, shoot, and mow down innocent people?