Islamic jihad struck Brussels Tuesday morning – first at Brussels Airport and then at a metro station 400 meters from EU headquarters – leaving at least 34 people dead and 230 injured.
It was an apocalyptic scene, according to survivors, "with blood and dismembered bodies everywhere," even "thrown into the air." One man recalled the "horror. I saw at least seven people dead. There was blood. People had lost legs. You could see their bodies but no legs."
Witnesses heard the attackers yelling in Arabic moments before the bombs – one of which contained nails – detonated. Other jihadi trademarks – including an unexploded suicide vest and a Kalashnikov rifle beside the body of a slain terrorist – were found. Islam's ancient war tactic of blending in with non-Muslims was also implemented.
Horrific as the attack is, its inspiration and Western responses to it are all too typical – meaning, as I opined last year after the Paris massacre, "many more such attacks and worse will continue. Count on it."
First, as happened on 9/11, Muslims around the world – those unnamed millions the media refer to as "ISIS supporters" – celebrated, including by once again handing out candy and shouting Islam's victory war cry, "Allahu Akbar." Yes, that ancient Islamic hate was back in the air and rampant on social media. "We are not just clapping, but we are happy again. We are smiling, we are laughing, and we are joyful like it's a day of celebration," tweeted one ISIS sympathizer. Another wrote: "#Brussels, if you continue your war against the religion of Allah then this is our response." Another wrote: "What a beautiful day today. F*** Belgium." Yet another wrote, "A lot of duas [Muslim prayers] were answered today."
Still, most Muslim sympathizers were quick to portray their bloodlust as a product of grievances against the West: "the most common remark under the hashtag was 'You declared war against us and bombed us, and we attack you inside your homeland.' Another popular reaction from ISIS supports on Twitter was that the Brussels attacks were intended to avenge the Muslims' blood that was spilled in Mosul in a series of airstrikes by the Western coalition over the weekend."
Meanwhile, and as usual, in its communiques to fellow Muslims, ISIS articulated the attack through a distinctly Islamic paradigm. It even signaled the attack with the words, "We have come to you with slaughter" – an assertion based on the Muslim prophet Muhammad's words to a non-Muslim tribe that refused to submit to Islam: "I have come to you with slaughter."
If this assertion is not clear enough concerning the intent and mission of Muhammad – and those who seek to follow him – another canonical assertion attributed to him and regularly quoted by jihadis, including over a decade ago in the opening paragraph of al-Qaeda's "Declaration of War against Americans," has the prophet saying:
I have been sent with the sword between my hands to ensure that no one but Allah is worshipped – Allah who put my livelihood under the shadow of my spear and who inflicts humiliation and scorn on those who disobey my commandments (The Al Qaeda Reader, p.12).
Unfortunately, this one aspect – that Islamic scripture clearly, plainly, and unequivocally promotes violence against all who refuse to submit to Allah – is the very same aspect most vehemently denied by Western elites. Already, as always happens after an Islamic terror attack in the West, the talking heads are warning against "rampant Islamophobia" and a backlash against Muslims. Media are hosting professional liars, like Ramadan Foundation's Muhammad Shafiq, who insists that "terrorism is forbidden in Islam" (even though the Koran calls on Muslims to terrorize those who resist Islam, e.g., 3:151 and 8:12).
Still, due to these growing numbers of jihadi attacks on Western soil, increasing numbers of politicians are responding with tough – but ultimately meaningless – words: "We are at war," responded French prime minister Manuel Valls. "We have been subjected for the last few months in Europe to acts of war."
This is true. But just like George W. Bush's famous "war on terrorism" – a war on a method, not its motivation – Valls doesn't indicate whom "we are at war" with, even though the most elemental step in winning a war is to "know your enemy."
One of the few American political aspirants who need not revise his tone in light of this attack is Donald Trump. Over two months ago, he said, "Go to Brussels. Go to Paris. Go to different places. There is something going on, and it's not good, where they want sharia law. ... You go to Brussels – I was in Brussels a long time ago, 20 years ago, so beautiful, everything is so beautiful – it's like living in a hellhole right now."
This latest terror strike in Europe will likely reignite the refugee debate, which, while important, also minimizes the significance of the issue. The common denominator among all these recent terror strikes throughout the West is not that the culprits were all refugees, but rather that they were all Muslim. Many terror attacks were homegrown. Muslim citizens of America were responsible for Fort Hood (13 murdered), the Boston Marathon (four murdered), Chattanooga (four murdered), and most recently San Bernardino (14 murdered).
Of course, Europe could have spared itself if only it would've looked to the plight of non-Muslim minorities living in Muslim-majority nations. As far back as 2012, after Western supported jihadi/freedom fighters were unleashed on Assad's formerly stable Syria, intentionally displacing hundreds of thousands of Christians, the Syrian Christian archbishop correctly predicted "the jihadis will not stop here [Middle East], the war will spread to Europe." Four years later, and the war has certainly begun.
Consider the 2010 massacre at the Our Lady of Salvation Church in Baghdad. Armed jihadis stormed the church during Sunday worship service, opened fire indiscriminately at the Christian worshipers before detonating their suicide vests. At least 58 Christian worshippers, including many women and children, were murdered, and nearly 100 wounded – many, like in Brussels, losing their arms or legs (see here for graphic pictures). If the Brussels jihadis used nails in their bombs, the Baghdad church jihadis wore vests "filled with ball bearings to kill as many people as possible."
Now, if Brussels – or New York, or London, or Madrid, ad infinitum – was really "intended to avenge the Muslims' blood that was spilled in Mosul in a series of airstrikes," as aggrieved Muslims regularly claim, then one must ask: why are immensely weak, outnumbered, ostracized, and politically disenfranchised Christian minorities living in the Muslim world, who are wholly incapable of hurting any Muslim, also being terrorized and slaughtered, to the point of genocide?
The answer should be clear. So long as Islam calls for jihad against those who reject Allah and his prophet, attacks like Brussels (and the countless before it) will continue. Before the age of political correctness, the Encyclopaedia of Islamput it this way:
[The] spread of Islam by arms is a religious duty upon Muslims in general[.] … Jihad must continue to be done until the whole world is under the rule of Islam[.] … Islam must completely be made over before the doctrine of jihad [warfare to spread Islam] can be eliminated.
This is the one ugly fact that few want to accept, much less act on – and understandably so, for the ramifications are immense.
Raymond Ibrahim, author of Crucified Again, holds fellowships at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and the Middle East Forum.