In late 1970s Vienna, a father bought his little girl a baby crocodile for her birthday. The child had become enchanted with the reptile after seeing a picture of it in a storybook and when all the other presents were opened, her new pet was presented to her.
The little girl was delighted with the present. She tried to kiss the crocodile. The croc bit her on the nose. The little girl began to cry and had to be taken to the hospital. And the angry father went off to dispose of the nasty little beast.
On the next day, the police responded to reports of a strange creature floating in the Danube canal. The crocodile was rescued from the canal and the father was reprimanded for nearly causing the creature, used to the warmer climes of the east, to catch a cold in the chilly waters.
Animal lovers complained that the crocodile had been misunderstood. They urged readers to empathize with it. Imagine, they said, that a giant creature a hundred times your size brings you close to its parted mouth. Could they not see that the crocodile was only defending itself?
Not long after the crocodile controversy, two Muslim terrorists armed with machine guns and grenades attacked a synagogue where a Bar Mitzvah celebration for children was taking place. Hesham Mohammed Rajeh, a mathematics student, had been living in Austria for two years. When he was later put on trial, he tried to kick the judge and shouted, “When I am out of here, I will spit on you.”
Hesham Mohammed Rajeh and Marwan Hasan shouted “PLO, PLO” and began to shoot and throw their grenades.
Ulrike Kohut, 25, rolled in front of a grenade to protect another woman’s child. She died of her injuries on the way to the hospital. Lotan “Nathan” Fried, 68, died of shrapnel wounds on the same route. Many more were wounded including a pregnant woman and a 12-year-old girl.
A month earlier, two terrorists had been stopped at the airport after Kalashnikov rifles and hundreds of grenades were found in their luggage. The terrorists had been deported and the authorities had lodged a formal protest with Ghazi Hussein, the PLO representative in Vienna, who had been there to meet them at the airport, and eventually kicked him out of the country. Four years later, that airport was the scene of a famous grenade attack in which 39 people were wounded.
Austria’s Socialist Chancellor, Bruno Kreisky, despite being of Jewish ancestry, was fond of Muslim terrorists and Nazis. He had a habit of filling his cabinet with former Nazis while comparing Zionism to Nazism. His political success rested on a welfare state built with Soviet money funneled through commercial orders and turning a blind eye to terrorist attacks carried out with Soviet and Polish machine guns was part of the price.
Even though the two terrorists had shouted, “PLO”, Kreisky announced, “I am firmly convinced that the attackers had nothing to do with the PLO,” Instead he suggested that they had been out to sabotage “Palestinian interests.” During an interview, he offered that “the bad, unqualified treatment of Palestinians in Israel is one of the causes for these extreme actions.”
Kreisky, the first Western leader to officially receive Arafat, refused calls from the Jewish community to end ties with the PLO and rejected criticism from the conservative opposition that his courting of the terrorist group had brought terrorism to Austria. Instead he counseled understanding the point of view of the crocodile. The crocodile felt mistreated. It bit.
Some decades later, Yusuf Ocak was sitting in a Vienna prison. Yusuf had made a Christmas video in which he announced, “Today is the 25th. Yesterday the kuffar unpacked their dirty presents on their dirty holiday. Now they will get something from us!” The video made for (DTM) Deutschen Taliban Mujahidin was one of the reasons why he was in custody.
Vienna had become a hub for the German Taliban, the way that it had once been a hub for the PLO. Two years later another German Taliban member was arrested in Vienna for plotting to fly an airliner into the Reichstag. Both men had been born in Europe. The crocodiles had learned to swim in the cold waters of the Danube and like it.
Yusuf and Thomas were not the first Islamist terrorists to be arrested in Vienna. Asim Cejanovic was caught trying to get to the American embassy with a backpack full of explosives and nails. But the judge decided that because he had formerly been treated for PTSD that he was innocent of plotting a terrorist attack and instead sentenced him only for illegal possession of explosives.
Chancellor Kreisky had turned over Vienna to the PLO and terrorist attacks had boomed in the seventies. The targets of the PLO and its various splinter and rival groups had been fairly narrow. Naturally the Jews were first on the list. Then came their own leaders, like Egypt’s Sadat or the OPEC ministers. But the Islamists were far less narrow-minded.
Mohamed Mahmoud, one of the leaders of the Global Islamic Media Forum, declared, “I was born as a Muslim, from two Muslim parents. I have nothing at all in common with the Austrian culture and mentality. To the contrary, there is enmity and hate between me and those in Austria, Germany, the EU and the USA.”
There may be as many as 500,000 Muslims in Austria; a country with a population of only 8.4 million. Nearly 8 percent of Vienna is Muslim. The Muslim population of Austria doubled in two decades. It will take less time for it to double again. Half of the Muslims in Austria are under 25; twice the number for the general population.
By 2050, the majority of children and teenagers in Austria could be Muslim. The Vienna of the seventies was a place with more dogs and senior citizens than children, but four decades from now it will have few dogs and many children. Its primary languages will be Arabic and Turkish. And if global warming ever kicks in, perhaps crocodiles will even be able to swim in the Danube.
The doting father who brought his daughter a crocodile because she was taken by an exotic picture in a storybook did not mean for the blood and screams to follow; but it is the role of adults to keep children from kissing crocodiles even if the storybooks say they should.
Europe tried to kiss the Islamist crocodile only to be bitten for its trouble. The poisonous gift of multiculturalism that it brought to its children has ended in blood and tears. Those who want the nations of the continent to keep on kissing the crocodile urge them to empathize with the reasons why he mistakes love for hate and bites, but no matter how much they try to understand him, he refuses to stop biting them.
If the fathers of Europe would like to see a future for their children, then they must stop bringing crocodiles home to their birthday parties.
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