Europe’s misguided approach to preventing radical Islamic terrorism on its own soil may be the definition of insanity – repeating the same behavior over and again while expecting different results.
We visited Manchester, where the radical Islamic extremist suicide bomber Salman Abedi blew himself up killing 22 innocent people and injuring 116 others, to speak with residents of Manchester whose lives have been forever changed by this jarring act of cowardly terrorism.
Western values, traditions, and beliefs are under assault in Europe, according to them. And a terrorist attack targeting young music fans, which is in and of itself emblematic of Western pop culture, is just the latest in a growing pattern of radical Islamic terrorism endemic to Europe. It cannot be treated as an isolated incident. A wave of radical Islamic terrorism is trending in Europe’s major population centers, and is worsening.
At what point will European leadership witness enough brutal and deadly wake-up calls in the form of radical Islamic terrorism to fundamentally modify their counter-terrorism strategy? That is the question on the minds of men and women in Manchester, London, and Paris.
For far too long, dangerous people have secured passports and settled into new lives in the United Kingdom where they have been welcomed with open arms into England’s democracy. However, instead of assimilating and adopting Western values, many of these immigrants have settled into mosques where they have been indoctrinated and radicalized, taught to hate the very society that is providing them with the freedom of religion.
So today, many people in Manchester and Europe feel like they have been victimized not once, but twice. One man told me that he was betrayed by the government granting access to would-be terrorists without enough scrutiny, and simultaneously persecuted by radical Islamic terrorists seeking to murder and destroy his way of life.
Where is the red line for the United Kingdom and its European allies when it comes to enforcing more stringent immigration safeguards as part of an effective counter-terrorism tactic? What is also rarely discussed is that many of the terrorist are born in areas where the destruction occurs , i.e. France, Belgium, and the U.K. How many more terrorist attacks will it take for long overdue immigration reform to be enacted?
I am deeply unsettled by the feeling that some of the concerns expressed by the people of Manchester may be easily transferable to America. While we must always remain a democracy, we also have a moral obligation to safeguard the freedom and lives of all Americans from radical Islamic terrorism. We must be vigilant about who we let into our country, and proactively prevent our own society from following the European path to terrorist entrapment.