Police vehicles line the street around a vehicle in which two suspects were shot following a mass shooting in San Bernardino, California.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
As details began to emerge from the mass murder in California on Wednesday, it became perfectly clear that the perpetrators had set out to emulate the behavior of their Islamist brethren throughout the world.
Even before it was established that the Muslim Bonnie and Clyde – hiding in plain sight by “living the American dream” in San Bernardino – had sworn loyalty to Islamic State (IS), the method to the madness of their political-religious ideology was unmistakable. Leaving a six-month-old baby behind to commit the kind of slaughter that was likely to result in their own deaths is not something that most parents outside of a mental institution, a radical mosque or the Palestinian Authority could understand.
Nor is endangering that baby every single day of its short life during the period leading up to the massacre, by concocting explosives and booby traps in its vicinity, fathomable to Western couples recently blessed with a child. They are too busy worrying about getting some sleep in between feedings and keeping the new member of their family safe, sound, healthy and happy, while trying to adjust their marriage to accommodate it all.
But Syed Farook, a Pakistani-American, and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, had more than a mere infant on their minds. After all, what is the value of one little baby compared to the greater good of global jihad in the name of Allah? This is not to say that Farook and his mail-order Wahhabi bride – whom he met on the Internet, before marrying her in Saudi Arabia and bringing her to the United States – was willing to forfeit a single iota of the benefits awarded to American men. No, the “devout” killer whose co-workers at the Inland Regional Center he slaughtered, had recently returned from paternity leave. Now there’s a concept that would be utterly foreign to his fellow jihadists in the Middle East. But hey, new dads need time to accrue assault rifles with which to mow down fellow employees who threw him a baby shower.
Nevertheless, every argument is being raised around this horror to deflect from its larger significance.
President Barack Obama and The New York Times are treating it like a gun-control issue. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) marched out Farook’s distraught brother-in-law to say he was in shock, as part of its first and main order of business: to announce that Muslims are peace-loving citizens who should not be blamed collectively for the actions of individuals. Never mind that CAIR has been accused of having close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. Obama welcomes its members in the White House, so that should serve to reassure us that it is simply an ethnic lobby like, say, AIPAC.
One revealing testimony that initially got buried in the tragedy was that of Farook’s next-door neighbors, who noticed suspicious activity going on at the couple’s home. This included deliveries at all hours of the day; Middle Eastern-looking visitors during the night; and strange noises emanating from their garage. Put together, all of the above caused the neighbors to consider contacting the police. But, they said, they were afraid of being accused of ethnic profiling.
The sad part about their tale, and feelings of deep guilt in the aftermath of the killings, is that they were right. The California climate may be mild where the weather is concerned; it is freezing and stormy for citizens thought of as “Islamophobes.”
In Israel, where Islamic terrorism is as familiar as office parties and young couples with babies, it is understood that even limits on gun licensing cannot protect the innocent from those bent on death and destruction. Knives, fire-bombs and makeshift rockets do just fine, thank you very much.
Parisians got a nasty taste of this last month, causing Europe to be on semi-lockdown, and leading to France, Germany and now the UK to join in the bombing of IS strongholds in Syria.
Now it is America’s turn to wake up and smell the danger. The World Trade Center and Pentagon bombings on September 11, 2001, should have sufficed.
And they did, for a time.
But the beauty of the West is liable to be its downfall, because endless freedom and the championing of human rights causes a combination of amnesia and blindness.
Indeed, as the blood in the streets of Paris barely had had a chance to dry, world leaders convened there last week – for a climate-change conference.
Yes, as Iran races towards nuclear weapons and jihadists gain strength wherever they hang their hats, it is global warming, rather than global jihad, that is topping the agenda.
Mourning the 14 innocent people gunned down at a Christmas toast in San Bernardino will mean nothing if the right conclusions are not reached.
There is a war going on, and it is not restricted to the confines of Syria or the Palestinian-controlled territories. It is in the midst of all of us everywhere.
The writer is the web editor of The Algemeiner (algemeiner.com) and a columnist at Israel Hayom.