Europe bleeds again as terrorists in Spain plowed their vehicles into crowds of pedestrians in tourist areas in Barcelona and Cambrils. The men killed 14 people and injured more than 100.
Spanish police are currently investigating a local imam for possibly having radicalized the terrorists. The imam had apparently been preaching at a mosque in the town of Ripoll for two years, but stopped just a few months ago. The question has arisen if the mosque administration may have found out something about the imam and fired him, but never bothered to report the information to the local police and to clear the mosque of blame.
The day after the attacks in Spain, two people in Finland were hacked to death in another Islamist terrorist attack, leaving some eight injured.
We hear yet again the promises to root out the terrorism, with a warning from security agencies that they cannot stop each and every terrorist attack -- words that translate into the admission that terror has gone beyond the control of European governments.
Yes, there were candlelight vigils for the victims; flags of Spain and Finland on social media profiles; there might even be a "Je Suis Barcelona" campaign -- and then the long silence as if we are all in a loop, waiting for another terrorist attack..
We have seen -- and these are just the recent ones -- Islamist-inspired attacks in London, Manchester, Paris, Brussels, Nice, Berlin and Stockholm, all of the violence leaving scores of women, children and men dead, and even more injured and possibly disabled for life.
It does not take much common sense to understand that individuals cannot commit mass murder without any training, support and most importantly, indoctrination.
The gutless response of world leaders to so many terrorist attacks suggest that the world has apparently bought into the "victim narrative" of these extremists, who first set their own countries on fire and then entered Europe with the baggage of their totalitarian ideology, aiming to enslave the masses here too.
One can measure the effect of sympathetic propaganda towards these extremists across the globe by looking at the two very different responses towards Charlottesville attack and what followed in Barcelona and Turku, Finland.
For the Charlottesville attacker, the whole world wanted the toughest crackdown against the organizations and supporters of right-wing marchers. CEOs of giant multinational companies abandoned the US government for not immediately having provided moral clarity by denouncing reprehensible organizations by name.
The critics of the US right-wing wanted their government to tear down each and every group that showed sympathy towards right-wing ideology, while they criticized President Trump for not being specific enough; unfortunately, they seemed to prefer overlooking similarly unattractive speech on the left, such as "Pigs in a blanket; fry 'em like bacon," accompanied by a rash of just-as-real murders of equally innocent people.
They also seem to overlook a call to blow up the White House; a display of the president's severed bloody head and "hope" from a sitting state senator that the president is assassinated.
The media get exercised when President Trump does not parrot their scripts, but they never minded that Barack Obama would not call out leftist rioters and violent leftist organizations by name. As inner cities would burn, with innocents watching their life savings go aflame as mobs burned down their stores in cities from Baltimore to Ferguson, the Obama Administration avoided planting blame or naming hate groups. When a jihadist murdered Americans serving our nation faithfully at Fort Hood, Obama attributed the murders to "workplace violence." Obama never could articulate the term "radical Islamist terrorist," as though he were Lou Costello fearing what would happen to him if he said "Niagara Falls."
Many of these people, however, would probably rush to defend extremist Islamist organizations -- whether Hamas, the Council on American-Islamic Relation (CAIR), Hizb ut-Tahrir, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) and so on -- by stating that these poor people had nothing to do with the criminals who carried out the terror attacks in the name of their religion.
No global CEO would resign, and many of the same people would probably be very tough on President Trump for being "too tough" on Islamists in his tweets and public statements, as they were when he announced that people who applied to move to the US should first be vetted.
Moreover, the so-called "political wing" of the notorious organization Hezbollah, was allowed to join the so-called Al-Quds Day march in the streets of London just a few weeks back, on June 18.
If a terrorist organization has a political wing, does that make it less of a terrorist organization or does just legitimize its terrorism? What about inventing "political wings" for al-Qaeda and ISIS?
On Al-Quds Day, the marchers chanted slogans such as "boycott Israel" and "Zionism = Racism" but the local authorities choose to keep their eyes shut despite appeals by thousands of concerned citizens to Mayor Sadiq Khan to cancel the event. Perhaps officials thought it was not harmful for Britain if somebody spews venom against "other people" on their soil.
Former commander of British forces in Afghanistan Col. Richard Kemp tweeted Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May:
"If Enough is Enough, why does the government continue to appease Jihadists by allowing the so-called 'Al-Quds Day' march through London?"
The march even tried to incite the public against Jews by falsely accusing Zionist people and supporters of Israel for the Grenfell Tower apartment building fire, which left 58 people dead. One speaker was reported saying:
"Many innocents were murdered by Theresa May's cronies – many of which are supporters of Zionist ideologies. Some of the biggest corporations who are supporting the Conservative Party are Zionists. They are responsible for the murder in Grenfell. The Zionist supporters of the Tory Party."
It was a shock to see people from other faiths joining a rally with these Islamists, and so-called human rights activists who were joining with the members of a terrorist organization, Hezbollah.
At the recent Al Quds Day march in London, it was a shock to see people from other faiths joining a rally with Islamists, and so-called human rights activists who were joining with the members of a terrorist organization, Hezbollah. Pictured: The 2014 Al Quds Day march through central London. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
In a separate event in Australia, one television anchorman asked Wassim Doureihi, the local spokesman of an Islamist organization, Hizb ut-Tahrir, to condemn ISIS, but Doureihi simply kept juggling the debate around and avoided condemning the group. He even went on indirectly to endorse ISIS by stating, as Palestinian terrorists do, that organizations such as ISIS and Al-Qaeda consider themselves a "resistance" force:
"Groups like ISIS or al-Qaeda don't exist in vacuum. They exist as a reaction to Western interference in Islamic lands. And they view themselves, rightfully or wrongfully, irrespective of my opinion or otherwise, as a resistance effort to what they regard as an unjust occupation."
Hizb ut-Tahrir is an extremist organization that believes in imposing an Islamist caliphate on the world using all available means. It is declared a terrorist organization by countries such as Germany and Pakistan, but ostensibly in the name of "freedom of expression", allowed to grow across the West.
The same is true for organizations such as the Muslim Brotherhood and its offshoots, which manage to survive in West despite being loathed by enough Egyptians to have gathered 22 million signatures to overthrow its rule there in 2013.
The demand to end support for the Muslim Brotherhood is also the issue at the heart of current standoff between Qatar and many other Middle Eastern states known as the "Saudi coalition," presumably for its potential of overthrowing their governments.
It is in the atmosphere of this openly-stated wish for global political hegemony that Islamic hardliners successfully operate and indoctrinate local Muslim youths to further anti-democratic agendas.
The world cannot win this war by trying to catch only the minnows. As we have seen, if government agencies try to stop terrorists from bombing, they pick up machetes and knives or plow down the public with vehicles.
The terrorists are already doing their job by striking the fear in civilians. They appear determined first to establish their dominance in the minds of people through terror, probably in the hope that the public, scared and tired, will, as the terrorist Khalid Sheikh Mohammed told the psychologist James Mitchell, "eventually expose her neck for us to slaughter"
The free world, if it would like to win this war, will first have to give up its duplicity. It will have to target the nurseries of terror indoctrination without cherry-picking and keeping its favorites. If it does not, global security organizations will find themselves exhausted running after individual suspects, but each time looking just at the "minnows", never the pond they swim in.
Khadija Khan is a Pakistani journalist and commentator, currently based in Germany.