TCS Daily

Europe's Enemy Within

By Stefania Lapenna - July 18, 2005 12:00 AM

Two weeks after the tragic bombings in London, the future doesn't look good for the UK or for Europe as a whole. Decades of tolerance toward a growing number of non-integrated Muslim immigrants have allowed extremists based in Europe to establish ties with terrorist networks like Al Qaeda.

The events of July 7 have once again shown that appeasement doesn't work and will never work. For too long, British governments and municipalities granted Islamic fanatics the freedom to preach Jihad in the streets of big cities, including London. By doing so, they believed they would keep them quiet and "moderate".

The current mayor of the British capital, Ken Livingstone, had on several occasions defended the "freedom of speech" of Sheikh Al Qaradawi, an extremist imam notorious for his pro-suicide-bombers stance. Even in the aftermath of the London attacks, Livingstone seems to have learned very little. Expect him to continue ignoring or apologizing for the threats coming from the Islamists.

Despite statements like "We are not afraid," Blair and other European leaders keep showing the terrorists that their strategy works. On the final day of the G8 summit, and the day after the London bombings, Western leaders redoubled aid to the Palestinian Authority and did not even mention the threat posed by the Mullahs of Iran. Despite this appeasement, Palestinians celebrated the attacks and the Mullahs blamed them on the US, Israel and the UK itself and have even congratulated one another during sermons and prayer.

Judging by their attitude, it seems that European leaders don't want to recognize the fact that the entire continent is now the target of the terrorist organizations. Recent arrests in Spain and Germany revealed plans for new attacks in Madrid and Berlin. Regardless of the political decisions taken by their leaders, these two countries are still believed to be under Islamist threat.

Soon after the events in London, it became clear that Italy might be next. The Italian government warned citizens to be careful and reassured them about the effectiveness of the intelligence system and security measures. In spite of these assurances, Italy seems unlikely to avert any likely terrorist attack. What is more baffling is that almost no Italian political leader and minister seems to take the threats seriously. Recently, the Italian Parliament approved a very soft anti-terror law proposed by the interior minister, Giuseppe Pisanu.

The law was endorsed by the center-left opposition, except the Communist and the Green parties. Before the approval, Pisanu had affirmed that "even though we know that terrorists have warned us, we won't approve any sort of special legislation" modeled after the anti-terror laws in force in the 1970s to protect the Italian state against the Red Brigades. The law does nothing to prevent any terror attack. In fact, it makes it more probable. The minister and all who endorsed the law have shown deep ignorance of the nature of the enemy, which does not ask for permission when it wants to kill.

Italy is sadly unprepared to adopt laws like a Patriot Act,. which has helped prevent attacks on American soil and will likely continue to. The political culture of continental Europeans is one based on the "politically correct" way to handle almost every aspect of daily life. It is because of this attitude that Jihadists established their headquarters in European cities and from there they declared war to the continent.

Europe is fostering its self-destruction. Who knows how many more innocents will die before their leaders wake up?

Stefania Lapenna is an Italian activist and author of the weblog Free Thoughts


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