Earlier this week, Timon Dias wrote on these pages that the Dutch authorities have ordered Dutch soldiers not to wear their uniforms when they are using public transport on their way to the barracks. But the Dutch are not the only cowards in the West. Unfortunately, the Netherlands is not the only country that, for fear of attacks by Muslim extremists, has advised its military to no longer wear their uniforms in public. Apparently, Australia, Belgium, Britain and France have done the same.
As Dias wrote, the order in the Netherlands was a response to a threat by a Dutch jihadist known as Muhajiri Shaam, who is currently fighting in Syria with al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda. After the Netherlands announced that Dutch F-16s would participate in the allied offensive against ISIS in Iraq, Shaam tweeted that the Dutch people had now become a target for jihadists.
In Belgium, a country that has also sent F-16s to participate in the attacks on ISIS, soldiers have also been advised not to wear their uniforms when using the Belgian public transport system. According to General Tom Middendorp, the Dutch supreme military commander, the British and French authorities have made similar recommendations. In May 2013, after the murder of Lee Rigby -- a British soldier hacked to death by two Muslims outside his military barracks in London -- the British military commanders already told their troops not to wear their uniforms outside their bases.
It seems that the Europeans are terrified by the presence on their soil of jihadists targeting the army. Last September's assault on a uniformed Australian Navy officer in Sydney reinforced these fears. Immediately after the Sydney attack, Australia's defense chiefs also issued a warning, advising the military not to wear uniforms while off duty.
The result is that the military in Australia and Europe are currently behaving like cream puffs. If trains and buses are no longer safe places for soldiers on their way to work, surely they are no longer safe for ordinary citizens, either. Jihadists are also threatening to murder ordinary citizens.
Brave today, cream puffs tomorrow? Three Australian Navy sailors receive a Group Citation for Bravery, May 10, 2012. (Image source: Royal Australian Navy)
Three weeks ago, ISIS spokesman Mohammed al-Adnani called on jihadists worldwide to assassinate citizens from the Western countries belonging to the international coalition fighting ISIS in Iraq and Syria. "The best thing you can do is to make an effort to kill any infidel, French, American, or any of their allies. ... Smash his head with a rock, slaughter him with a knife, run him over with a car, throw him from a high place, choke him or poison him," al-Adnani said.
What will the cowardly authorities in the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Britain and Australia do when terrorists randomly kill the first citizen on the streets of their countries? Advise them to cover themselves in hijabs when female, or grow beards and dress in djellabas when male?
Instead of telling their soldiers to hide themselves, Western governments should tell their soldiers to show themselves in order to make it clear to the jihadists, and to frightened citizens, that we in the West are not afraid of terrorists. On the contrary, we will root them out and come down on them with all our military might.