In an age where the United States has twisted the geopolitical lexicon in order to attempt and re-define aggressive/punitive tariffs and sanctions as reactive measures, Germany has outdone the US when it comes to failing to ‘tell it like it is’. Yesterday in Muenster, a middle aged German born man drove his car into a street cafe killing 4 and injuring 30. Some of the injured may die from their critical injuries.
While a car ramming mass murder ought to be prima facie defined as terrorism, German police are refusing to call the criminal act an act of terrorism, saying instead that the terrorist was merely “mentally ill”, while adding that he did not have any known links to “Islamist” groups.
If any country should be able to understand that one needn’t be a Takfiri jihdaist in order to be a terrorist, that country ought to be Germany as for decades, the secular Baader-Meinhof Gang committed numerous acts of terrorism throughout the country and none of the attacks in question had anything to do with Salafist interpretations of Islam.
Terrorism is generally defined as a brutal crime, often taking place in full public view designed to have both material and psychological effects on the direct victims and the wider community. The ramming murderers in Muenster fit this definition perfectly.
Furthermore, while some in the German press say that the terrorist was suicidal, this too is a common trait among terrorists. Furthermore, having the mental capacity to define one’s own motive is not necessary in order for one to qualify an attack as a terrorist atrocity. Most terrorists, particularly among Takfiri jihdists are intoxicated on mind altering drugs, but this nevertheless does not prohibit infamous drug taking terrorists in groups like Daesh and al-Qaeda from being called what they are.
Why then are the German authorities hiding behind a veil of disinformation about the terrorist incident? There are only several possible theories:
1. Racist/bigoted attitudes in German society have led authorities to make either a conscious or unconscious decision to only associate terrorism with individuals from Muslim majority nations.
2. The Germany authorities want to underplay how unprepared they are to handle terrorist incidents.
3. The German authorities are unwilling to acknowledge that mental health issues which are often caused by the taking of narcotics are something that binds most criminals together irrespective of their affiliation with any groups or radical movements.
In reality, the reason for the German inability to call terrorism by its name is likely a combination of all three items. It is a sad reflection on European society’s general detachment from cognitive realism.