CHARLOTTE, NC, October 23, 2014 – Is it really any surprise that the shooter in the attack in Ottawa, Canada this week was a Muslim convert?
So far Canadian officials have determined that Michael Zehaf-Bibeau was the lone shooter in the incident, but they continue to investigate whether or not there were any accomplices.
As usual, in the aftermath of such events, there was the traditional fear of backlash within the Muslim community. Does it not seem odd that most other circumstances require far less evidence to be recognized as a “trend” than it does for Islam to be regarded as violent?
How many beheadings, bombings, rapes, shootings, church burnings, crucifixions, stonings or other despicable acts of horror levied at innocent victims is it going to take for so-called “civilized” societies to admit that Islam is inherently violent?
The Islamic State has the West’s number. So far their strategy is working to perfection. While the core military operation gains land in the Middle East with varying degrees of success, its willing allies are able to operate in the Western world on an individual basis to spread fear and disruption.
What Western leaders do not seem to comprehend is that killing someone like Michael Zehaf-Bibeau is part of the ISIS strategy.
It didn’t matter to the Islamic State or to Zihaf-Bibeau whether he killed one person or several. It didn’t even matter to Zihaf-Bibeau whether he was killed in the process. Zihaf-Bibeau expected to be gunned down.
Zihaf-Bibeau was, in essence, on a suicide mission. If he survived, so much the better. He would live to kill another day. But the mission was to strike fear in a place where it had not existed before.
Therefore, even in death, Zihaf-Bibeau succeeded.
Consider the fact the Canada was a perfect target.
It is situated in North America and close enough to the United States to send a message to both countries without having to launch an attack on American soil.
Because Canadian security was not as tight as in some other parts of the world, the site was easier to target. Furthermore, the shooter was able to take advantage of the element of surprise because Canada has been largely terror free in the past.
Though only one death resulted from Zihaf-Bibeau’s rampage, the fear factor of his actions grew exponentially because it demonstrated that such incidents can happen at any place at any time.
Those types of distractions allow ISIS to maneuver with greater mobility throughout Syria and Iraq due to a greater Western focus on its own self-preservation.
As usual, President Barack Obama responded by saying “we have to wait until all the facts are in” blah, blah, blah.
One of the first things Canadian Prime Minister Steven Harper did was call Barack Obama. Given the American president’s track record regarding worldwide terrorism that would seem to be a futile conversation.
On Monday of this week, another “radicalized” convert to Islam, identified as Martin Rouleu Couture, was arrested for running down two soldiers with his car in Quebec.
Both Couture and Zihaf-Bibeau had been under surveillance by Canadian officials and both had had their passports confiscated due to travel plans to the Middle East.
The fact is that strategies of Islamic extremism are constantly evolving to adapt to Western reactionary methods of dealing with the problem.
Despite the fact that the West now recognizes that global terrorism is a fact of life in our modern world, we still will not accept the idea that Islam itself is the problem.
That is why we continue to get statements like, “the Islamic State is not Islam.”
It is why we continue to call converts to Islam “radicalized converts.”
We continue to defend Islam by saying that ALL Muslims are not terrorists when such statements have little to do with the truth or with solving the problem at hand.
The war against terror has been raging for centuries, but if you take only the years since 9/11/01 all a reasonable person needs to do is count the number of extremist incidents perpetuated by believers of Islam and compare those numbers with attacks committed by all other religions combined.
If such percentages do not emphasize the massive disparity between Islam and other religions, then there is simply no hope for the West to defeat terror.
Sugarcoating reality will not alter a terrorist’s concepts of his Islamic beliefs. It will only provide greater leverage to continue his war of ideology.
Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe.
Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
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