Munich: The spectre of jihad

There is a saying in Hindi, ‘Aa bael, mujhe maar’ (Literally: Hey, bull! Come and hit me. Meaning: Asking for trouble). German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to open the doors of her country for the Muslim refugees from the Middle Eastern region was akin to the saying. Despite ample warnings regarding the concomitant problems, she stubbornly stuck to her decision. Every word of caution and wisdom was dismissed as scaremongering by far-right politicians and Islamophobic authors. The so-called xenophobes and chauvinists, however, have proved to be correct; chickens are coming home to roost. The attack at a busy Munich shopping centre by (apparently) a lone teenage German-Iranian gunman, Ali David Sonboly, killing nine and wounding 16, is yet another testimony to the folly of Merkel and politically correct (PC) elites. A spectre is haunting Europe—the spectre of jihad.

And the sole task of political and intellectual elites of the continent is to claim that there is no such monster. So, while conceding the possibility of a connection between refugees and terrorism, Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière said, “But the danger was high before and remains high, regardless of questions about refugees.”

Sonboly was surely not a refugee; he had dual citizenship—of Germany and Iran. But that does not make certain facts irrelevant—that he was a Muslim, that he cried Allahu Akbar at the time of the assault. Yet, the authorities in Germany seem eager, if not determined, to show that the Munich massacre was not an Islamist attack.

The cops are following suit. Hubertus Andrae, the Munich chief of police, seems convinced about ‘nothing-to-do-with-Islam’ conclusion. “Not even a day had passed since a shooting rampage on his patch of southern Germany had left nine people dead, most of them teenagers,” wrote Time. “But the chief already felt confident enough in the investigation to dismiss any links to Islamic extremism. The young killer, a dual citizen of Germany and Iran who was born and raised in Munich, had an ‘obsession’ with indiscriminate violence, Andrae said, and apparently decided to ‘run amok’ outside the city’s biggest shopping mall.”

In fact, efforts are on to show that Sonboly was inspired by Anders Behring Breivik rather than by the Islamic State. Breivik, a Norwegian far-right terrorist, massacred 77 people, mostly youngsters, on July 22, 2011. That books and articles about mass shootings have been found from Sonboly’s possession is said to be evidence enough for exonerating jihad. The fact the Munich outrage happened on the fifth anniversary of the massacre by Breivik suggests an “obvious” connection between the two incidents, according to Andrae.

If he and his political masters are to be believed, all connections are obvious expect any with jihad. Even in the case of the less bloody July 18 assault, the authorities tried to keep Islam out of the picture. This was despite the fact that the 17-year-old was a Muslim asylum seeker. Using an ax and a knife, he badly wounded five people on a train in the town of Würzburg. In an online video, the boy unambiguously announced his allegiance to the ISIS; the latter gleefully accepted its responsibility for the ghastly incident.

But the German authorities refused to see any connection. “It is in a grey area between a rampage and terrorism,” said de Maizière. If Nero fiddled when Rome burnt, German politicians are indulging in semantic excesses as jihad threatens their country.

The mainstream media too is often guilty of obfuscating the truth; in this case, for instance, BBC tried to conceal the religious identity of the Munich murderer; the broadcaster reportedly omitted ‘Ali’ from his name. This is despite the spate of attacks by Muslims on Europeans, especially after the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris on January 7. 2015.  City after city has been targeted—Grenoble (France), Istanbul, Brussels, Nice, and now Munich. Earlier, too, there were Madrid and London.

Yet, political and thought leaders have adopted an ostrich-like attitude.

Photo courtesy: abcnews.go.com