This latest insult to the sensitivities of Western culture with the unconscionable slaughter by Islamic murderers in Paris, France of the editors, writers and cartoonists at the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo with a total toll of twelve murdered including two Parisian police officers and injuring ten with a number in serious condition has awakened the public of the free world. This severe cost in lives of these at the edge of the media who died for the freedom of thought, freedom of the press, freedom period is far from the first such spilling of innocents for thought by Islamist murderers. There was the murder of Theo Van Gough on 2 November 2004 at about 9 o’clock in the morning on the corner of the Linnaeusstraat and Tweede Oosterparkstraat in Amsterdam, Holland also stirred the ire of Western society but for only a brief period before all returned to their slumbers. Even the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001 where almost three thousand were murdered, many burning to death while others launched themselves from the top floors to avoid such an end drove a public resolute to never forget and to fight the evils which drove this horrific act. Within a few years those who were tasked with providing the defensive actions to fight those evils lost the support as political points and winning elections and following the winds of the ever fickle and forgetful public soon sapped all the promise and impetus to fight for Western freedoms against a determined assault. Then in Madrid, Spain the slaughters came in the form of the attacks on the trains during the morning commute of 11 March 2004 where the bombs killed 191 people and wounded 1,800 more in what was the worst terror attack in the Western world outside the World Trade Center terror attacks once more waking the slumbering Western determination to defend the freedoms they enjoy and hold dear. The silence was broken next in the London, England tube terror attacks on 7 July 2005 also awakened the drive to stand up for the right of the innocent to ride the subways and busses, walk the streets and live free from the fears and horrors from Islamist terrorist onslaughts on their lives and safety but soon the daily slog dulled the sensitivities and awareness and the promises once again fell silent. Then there was Mumbai, India terror assaults of Wednesday, 26 November lasting until Saturday, 29 November 2008, killing 164 people and wounding at least 308 across a wide area and venues of assaults including tourist hotels district, the Jewish Assistance Chabad House and a major train station whose preplanned and well executed military styled assault temporarily caught the attention of the world which soon, with eyes glazed over, went back to sleep. We could continue this list with the Trolley Square terror attack of 12 February 2007, the Ft. Hood terror attack of November 5, 2009 where Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan murdered fellow soldiers, the Boston Marathon assault of 15 April 2013 and the Beslan school hostage crisis and massacre in Russia from 1 September 2004 until its tragic result on 4 September 2004 where too many of the injured and murdered were young children plus too many other terror attacks robbing people of their lives and livelihoods all through the world that it is unfathomable that somehow the world finds a path every time and everyone seems to simply return to their routine and daily lives no longer giving even a second thought to horrors which gripped them so dramatically and horrified them just a few days earlier. The cycle of the world public waking to this threat and then returning to their peaceful slumber until the next wake-up call only to fall asleep once again, is almost beyond reason.
There is one society which also appears to return to their routines after each Islamist terror attack as to not do so would mean there could be no routine, no normal life, no even getting from one day to the next, so finding a way to continue to return to a routine is a necessity. The difference is that in this society they do not forget even for a second that there exist terrorists who would be assaulting and murdering in terror attacks not just daily but every moment of every day thus they do not have that relative comfort to simply forget if they are to survive. The public I refer to are the Israelis, or at least the majority of Israelis realize that terrorists are attempting to murder as many as they are able and also know that their security personnel are also aware and doing that which is required to keep the people as safe as they are able. That place is, of course, Israel. Where the numbers of attacks in the Western world are on the rise, the threats of such assaults are minimal by comparison but will eventually rise to the same level frequency thus of similar importance if this awakening and the horrors being experienced from this assault do not jolt the people of the West and the world to demand that their government finally take whatever steps are necessary to protect the people and address the roots of terror. By roots of terror I do not mean that the West must forfeit their rights and freedoms and that the Western world must adopt the ways these terrorists demand we apply to and by which we must transform our societies. We must insist and protect those freedoms and liberties while fighting against those who desire to transform the Western societies into simply reflections of the oppressive realities of many of the lands from where they originate while compassionately returning those who refuse to adjust to the ways of the Western world to whence they came. It is time for the people to awaken, which most are after this terrorist slaughter of cartoonists, editors and two brave public servants, Paris gendarmes, may their memories be extolled.
The truth is that each and every one of us has the important responsibility to remain alert, remain awake, remain cognizant, remain the reminders to others every day in every way. We need to be living, speaking, all-alert and stalwarts as the conscience of our little corners of the world. Yes, the average person will not appreciate such efforts as they wish to remain asleep until the next Islamic terrorist assault when they will immediately become the loudest and most ardent fighter demanding actions for almost three or ten days and they return to their slumber. The daily water cooler talk will soon sound so similar to snoring once you join the alert few and your own conversations take on an urgency that standing for things truly important, life-changing and potentially societal-changing as their main topics. You will find ways with time to raise the awareness of those around you even if initially for just moments at first; continue the new task of gadfly constantly urging awareness. With time your becoming educated will grant you stories and other effective manners and subjects which imparted in an enticing and acceptable way will begin to awaken even one, as then they might awaken one and then eventually you will be surprised how contagious being part of a solution can be in spreading the cause of protecting our homes, workplaces, shopping centers and the places throughout our lives which we hold dear and protect something even more important, our ways of life and their freedoms and liberties. The other choice is to surrender to Islam. I was once threatened that I would one day surrender before Allah and accept Islam into my life. What my answer lacked in politeness it made up for in the excessive and threatening voice and mannerisms which shocked my Islamic coworker. Fortunately, when he complained to his immediate supervisor, he said he would address the situation and the result was for both of us to avoid speaking to each other. This was observed though I rarely missed a smirk when within eyeshot of this coworker. The confrontation would never have occurred had my friend whose devotion to friends overshadowed his mere five-foot and five or six-inch frame who this coworker had caused great discomfort and a feeling of a direct threat. That too ceased, remarkable. Sometimes remembering that there may be those who believe it is their urging to press their beliefs on others is another part of fighting the good fight includes and the immediate results are greatly empowering. I welcome those who share the high levels of awareness and live the life informed and informing, a sometimes lonely life but those who join you will be some of the closest and most supportive friends you will ever find.
Beyond the Cusp