Europe’s Terrorist War at Home
Learn from Israel, end the open-borders policy, and dig in for a long war of ideas against Islamists.By Ayaan Hirsi Ali, WSJ
Nov. 15, 2015 5:27 p.m. ET
French President François Hollande declared the Nov. 13 terrorist attack in Paris an “act of war” by Islamic State, and he was right, if belated, in recognizing that the jihadists have been at war with the West for years. Islamic State, or ISIS, is vowing more attacks in Europe, and so Europe itself—not just France—must get on a war footing, uniting to do whatever it takes militarily to destroy ISIS and its so-called caliphate in Syria and Iraq. Not “contain,” not “degrade”—destroy, period.
But even if ISIS is completely destroyed, Islamic extremism itself will not go away. If anything, the destruction of ISIS would increase the religious fervor of those within Europe who long for a caliphate.
European leaders must make some major political decisions, and perhaps France can lead the way. A shift in mentality is needed to avoid more terror attacks on an even bigger scale and the resulting civil strife. Islamic extremists will never succeed in turning Europe into a Muslim continent. What they may well do is provoke a civil war so that parts of Europe end up looking like the Balkans in the early 1990s.
Here are three steps that European leaders could take to eradicate the cancer of Islamic extremism from their midst.
First, learn from Israel, which has been dealing with Islamist terror from the day it was born and dealing with much more frequent threats to its citizens’ security. True, Islamic extremists inside Israel today resort to using knives and cars as their weapons of choice, but that is because attacks like those in Paris last week are now simply impossible for the terrorists to organize. Instead of demonizing Israel, bring their experienced, trained experts to Europe to develop a coherent counterterror strategy.