#BrusselsAttacks: How Vulnerable Are We to Terrorist Attacks?
There was a suicide bombing incident in Brussels. About 34 people died and many more are injured. The Evil State of Iraq and Syria has claimed responsibility. Last Friday, one of the prime suspects who was believed to be the mastermind in the Paris Attacks in November was arrested in Molenbeek, Brussels. He said that they were planning to attack on Brussels.
Western countries — especially the United Kingdom and United States of America — had already given Belgian authorities tips that an attack was imminent in Brussels. However, the Belgian authorities said, ‘Until something happens, we cannot do anything.’ We should ask them, ‘Now that something has happened, what are you going to do now? Is it of any use doing anything now when so many innocent people have lost their lives?’
There were devastating scenes. It is a very worrying sign that this took place inside an airport. There were serious securities lapses.
If you know the addresses of the people who have not committed any terrorist activity as yet, but who you know to have links with terrorists and who follow terrorists ideologically, this should be enough for you to arrest them.
The man who masterminded the Paris Attacks in November, Saleh Abdesalem, fled from Paris to Brussels. It is now towards the end of March and he was only arrested three days ago. He lived for five months in his house in Brussels as if nothing happened! How did he manage to go to Brussels unnoticed when his pictures were all over the media? Their police and security forces are slow.
When you do not punish the offender, you are indirectly encouraging him to do more crimes.
Somebody brought hand grenades, explosives and an automatic rifles inside Zaventem Airport! This is unbelievable. I am an international traveller and every now and then, I have to go through security. I know that even if there is a penny in my pocket, the security scanner will bleep when when I walk through it. How can somebody go through that scanner with hand grenades and explosives in his luggage?
We’re not talking about India’s, Pakistan’s or Bangladesh’s airports. Brussels is the capital of the European Union.
This is terror. People will now be scared to go to the airport or use the airport. Flying in and out of the airport will become a horrible experience in everybody’s life. People will be quite tense.
Many times, coming back to England from the United States of America, there would be two different queues when we were passing through security. They select which passenger will go through which queue. In one queue, there is next to no security; in the other, there is tough security.
If 10 000 passengers are going through tough security and 1000 are going without any security, what is the point of sending those 1000 people through security? It only takes one man to create the mishap.
When we were travelling to Mexico from the Toronto Pearson Airport, I needed a nail cutter. You cannot bring a nail cutter or anything sharp in your carry-on luggage, so I looked for a nail cutter in the airport’s duty-free. I noticed that besides nail cutters, knives were also available for purchase. Once somebody has checked in, passed through security and goes inside the duty-free near the departure gates, everything is available. What if he buys something from duty-free and does something wrong during the flight — who will be responsible?
Security guards at the airport pose as if they are really concerned.
At the same airport, when we were going to Mexico, I put my hand-carry through the scanner. Then, I took off my belt and jacket so there was no metal on my person. I went through the scanner and it bleeped. The security guard said, ‘We have two methods of checking you out. Which one do your prefer?’ I replied, ‘This is a silly question. You are responsible for security; do your job. Do what is best.’
When you talk about security, you have to deal with every passenger with the same level of scrutiny. If you show leniency to one passenger and that passenger happens to be a terrorist, then you will be responsible for what ensues.
Combatting the Ideology of Hatred and Death
On Twitter, since the morning of the Brussels Attacks, the most active trending topic was #StopIslam.
You can say, ‘No, Islam is a religion of peace,’ however, when a criticism is made about a religion, that criticism is not made on the academic religion. It is made on the practical religion: what you practise.
In these modern times, religions have become monsters. Under the guise of your faith, you do anything and you get away with it.
The problem is: what should the world do now? You cannot ban a religion, including Islam. I personally do not know what to do for except a few things.
The driving, motivational force behind these atrocities and terrorist activities is an ideology of hatred and death. This ideology of hatred and death must be stopped.
Governments should be involved in academic Islamic debate. They should ask all the famous Muslim clerics to hold a conference in every Muslim and western country. They should, in the light of Quran and Prophetic Traditions, explain that what ISIS is doing is not Quranic teachings. There should be programmes in which people debate on the issue in the light of Quran and Prophetic Traditions.
When the young generation watches these programmes and are given references from the Quran and Prophetic Traditions, only then will you defeat the ideology of hatred and death.
These security forces and governments are doing everything else but what they should do.
The wrong interpretation of the religion has led [Muslims] in the wrong direction. There is a need for the world leaders to seek help from Sufi scholars.
I must tell you that this problem, ideologically speaking, is not new. This problem is very chronic.
It is not just Wahhabism: Wahhabism has its roots in a group of people who were declared by the Prophet Mohammad to be Khwarijeen (the Outsiders). Then, every now and then, among Muslims, individuals were born with the same mentality, such as Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn Kathir.
Muslims do not know that even at the time Imam Abu Hanifa, who was born in Iraq, there were Wahhabi-minded people who used to call themselves Takhfiris. He was sent into prison because of them. The Takhfiris, who were Khwarijeen, said, ‘Imam Abu Hanifa is mischief.’ He spent a considerable amount of time in prison because of them.
Imam Ans Bin Malik was born in Medina, lived all his life in Medina and he was imprisoned in Medina for 25 years. He was not allowed to go to the Mosque of the Prophet or even come out from his house because of the Khwarijeen.
This is not a new problem. If you ask me, ‘What is this terrorism?’ Then in two words, I will tell you, ‘This is mischief in Islam. This is nothing else.’
Moulana Fazlur Rehman (of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam in Pakistan) and Moulana Sami ul Haq are fathers and mentors of Taliban. Similarly, Ibn Taymiyyah was the mentor of Abdul Wahhab Najdi.
The War Against ISIS
Even if they weren’t making silly mistakes, it is not possible to guard every school and public place in the country. Even if it is done, life will become a terrible thing on Earth. People’s freedom will be lost, they will always be tense and under terror. If they see policemen and army personnel everywhere, it will feel like a battlefield. There will be no sense of security.
The way world leaders are waging a war against ISIS is a joke. We say, ‘Do not do anything halfheartedly,’ but this war against ISIS doesn’t even appear to be a halfhearted war. It is like a part-time war.
Their interest is not invested in this war. Forgive me if you take the wrong impression from what I am going to say now, but it appears to me and my senses as if every time a terrorist activity takes place, world leaders use that terrorist activity as an instrument for their political interests. Everything has been politicised now. Politics is like a business for these world leaders and they are trading in corpses.
Turkey is an American ally. Even then, people from Syria are entering Turkey. Through Turkey, they are coming to Greece and Europe. This means the borders are open and not just the refugees, but anybody can go through.
After the influx of Syrian refugees and other refugees into Europe, only God knows how delicate the situation has become and how vulnerable we are to any potential atrocity or attack.
About 10–15 years ago, you could recognise a terrorist by their large, unkempt beards. Now, we can’t tell what a terrorist looks like.
Every time a terrorist attack takes place, my heart has to go through different kinds of aches and pains. Firstly, the pain of the loss of innocent lives. Secondly, another blame will be placed on the religion of Islam. Thirdly, a majority of Muslims who don’t care about Islam will have to go through more problems; more suspicious eyes will be hovering around them. Fourthly, international travel will become even more difficult. There are many more things.
Even the newscasters were angry. They said, ‘When the western countries informed the the Belgian government and security agencies that there is an imminent attack in Brussels and these are the addresses, why didn’t they do anything about it?’ The only answer that came from them before the attack was, ‘They may be terrorists, but we cannot do anything until something happens.’ The only thing to be done after something happens is to pick up the corpses and take the injured to the hospital.
There are antiterrorist laws legislated after 9/11 both in the USA and England. Under those laws, the police can pick up anyone and keep that individual in their custody for at least 180 days, just on suspicion.
Is it not enough to be declared an ISIS supporter if someone has ISIS flag in their house and are chatting with ISIS members? In their Google history, if there are questions about how to make a bomb, is not sufficient for the Belgian police to arrest them?
If anybody living in United States of America has a link with even a supporter of ISIS, I don’t think the FBI will spare them, and rightly so. The same thing will happen in the United Kingdom. What are they doing in France and Belgium?
Further Comments from Younus AlGohar
The problem is that the world leaders are not addressing the issue. They must Ban Wahhabism! Every now and then, there will be a terrorist attack and we will talk about it and then forget. Root out the evil Wahhabism now. Only if Donald Trump knew what brand of Muslims to ban, it would be heroic an act from him.
We must salute British police that foil potential terrorist attacks forehand. The French and Belgian police seem incompetent.
France and Belgium have to legislate strict anti-terrorism laws to combat Islamist terrorists.