On June 26, a solitary gunman walked onto the beach at a Tunisian resort popular with Europeans and started shooting. During nearly half an hour of carnage, he killed 38 people, all of them white. He wounded 39 more–32 of them white. Amateur video taken during the attack shows a large number of Tunisian hotel staff running about. Some of them reportedly protected tourists by standing in front of them, so it is clear that the killer, Seifiddine Rezgui Yacoubi, deliberately targeted Europeans.
That same day, a Muslim living in France named Yassin Salhi killed and beheaded his French boss, and impaled his head on a fence at an industrial gas plant. He also put up Muslim and Islamic State flags, and tried to set off explosions at the plant.
Both attackers were more or less conventional Muslims. The Tunisian gunman had a girlfriend, drank alcohol, and was a dab hand at break dancing. The French attacker had been under surveillance for radical views, but had a wife and three children and a steady job as a truck driver. Both men were apparently responding to calls from the Islamic State (IS) to carry out jihad during the holy month of Ramadan, when Muslims fast from sun down to sun up, and turn their thoughts to Allah. IS especially likes attacks on tourist hotels. It calls beach resorts full of underdressed white women “brothels.”
Are these attacks, like those in Britain, France, the United States, Belgium, and even Australia, a sign that jihad is turning increasingly anti-white? Probably not.
On the very same day as the French and Tunisian attacks, a bombing at a Shia mosque in Kuwait City killed at least 27 people, an Al-Shabab attack in Somalia left 70 dead, and an IS fighter blew himself up in Hasakeh, Syria, taking 20 Syrian Army soldiers with him.
In the attack on the tourist resort, whites were the immediate victims, but Tunisia–a Muslim Arab country–will suffer the long-term damage. The shootings came just three months after jihadis attacked the Bardo National Museum in the capital city, Tunis, killing 22 people. Twenty were foreign tourists, as were almost all the wounded. The result has been thousands of cancelations by European tourists, which will hit the country hard. Tourism and related employment account for as much as 10 percent of GNP. It would take only an occasional attack to eliminate Tunisia almost completely as a European tourist destination.
Nevertheless, IS represents something new for violent Islam. Muslims have been hijacking airplanes and blowing people up for decades, but they have almost always had specific political objectives. At the time of the 9/11 attacks, there was a lot of mush about how Al-Qaeda attacked us because it “hated our freedoms,” but Osama bin Laden clearly explained his reasons: He wanted US troops out of Saudi Arabia, an end to sanctions against Iraq, and no more support for Israel.
IS is different. It has political objectives, but they are subordinate to religious objectives. Its leaders take seriously the Koranic injunction to spread Islam to every corner of the globe and to slaughter infidels who reject Islam. They believe they are following in the footsteps of The Prophet, and they are right. IS does not single out the West for special hostility, except for the fact that Europeans and Americans are bombing their strongholds in Iraq and Syria. When France joined the airstrikes IS stepped up its call to kill French infidels.
For IS, Islam is what matters; race is a detail. Perhaps IS’s most grisly televised spectacular has been the death by burning of a Jordanian pilot–an enemy of IS but a fellow Arab and Muslim. The Libyan franchise of the Islamic State videoed the beheadings of 21 Egyptian Christians–men who looked like typical Middle-Eastern Arabs. And earlier this month, the Egyptian group in what IS calls its “Sinai Province” killed dozens of Egyptian soldiers in coordinated attacks. IS has killed far more Muslims and Arabs than it has Europeans.
Latest estimates are that there are 5,000 to 6,000 Muslims from Europe fighting for IS and other jihad movements. France alone is thought to have contributed 1,500 fighters. The handful of white converts to Islam who have gone to fight for IS appear to be welcomed. The question is: Why do European jihadis bother to go to Iraq and Syria when there are so many infidels they could kill right at home?
Here is a typical IS call to action:
Likewise, we renew our call to the [Muslims] in Europe and the disbelieving West and everywhere else to target the Crusaders in their own lands and wherever they are found. We will argue, before Allah, against any Muslim who has the ability to shed a single drop of Crusader blood but does not do so, whether with an explosive device, a bullet, a knife, a car, a rock or even a boot or a fist.
The attacker in France did as he was told: He carved off his employer’s head with a kitchen knife. Imagine what those 6,000 jihadis could do if they had stayed in Europe. They wouldn’t even have to act together. A series of uncoordinated, copycat attacks would terrify the continent. Even minor assaults would be magnified 1,000-fold under the glare of panicked media. Surely even a few killings would be more satisfying–and qualify for just as many posthumous virgins–as dying anonymously in a firefight with Kurds.
There are said to be an estimated 3,500 Tunisians fighting for IS in the Middle East. Why do they travel to Iraq when the Bardo and beach-resort attacks prove that there are plenty of targets right there in Tunisia?
It is clear that IS fascinates young Muslim men looking for adventure and authentic Islam. It may be that the desire actually to live under the first modern caliphate is stronger than the desire to stay in Europe and kill infidels. But for as long as IS exists, it will send its message of murder to Muslims all over the world, and some will act on it.
If IS grows stronger, it may send its own killing missions to the European countries most involved in bombing it. The Islamic State has something called the Khilafa army that it uses for foreign operations and training. And if IS is destroyed, there is no telling what the survivors will do when they get back to Europe.
Whatever happens, some number of Muslims everywhere are open to IS’s injunction to kill infidels wherever they may be found. This has opened a new chapter in relations between Islam and the West. The larger the number of Muslims in any population, the larger will be number who decide to kill their infidel neighbors. This new threat only underlines the folly of allowing Muslims into non-Muslim countries.