Another day, another city, yet the script that started unfolding in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam in 1998 and that shocked the world on 9/11 in New York is the same — jihadi killers let loose on unsuspecting "infidels."
On Tuesday, Belgium's capital of Brussels fell in line with London, Madrid, and Paris as Western capitals brought to their knees by jihadi terrorists seeking the annihilation of Western civilization.
If the actions committed by the soldiers of international jihad were predictable, the reaction of Western leaders was also familiar to ordinary, anxious citizens of North America and Europe – cowardice wrapped in political correctness.
When jihadis struck New York, president George Bush saw it as his duty to defend Islam and save it from any serious critique. "Islam is a religion of peace," he declared as his White House pandered to American Islamists.
Western leaders respond to jihadist attacks with cowardice wrapped in political correctness.
As anger at the inability of Western countries to fight the spread of jihadi Islamism grows, the reaction of their leaders has numbed into cliché-ridden rhetoric.
U.S. President Barack Obama, whose administration has gone out of its way to avoid linking jihadi terrorism in any way with the words "Islam" or "Muslim", kept to his script once again, making no mention of Islamist terrorism.
In brief remarks while in Cuba, where he was making an address to the Cuban people, Obama said, "We will do whatever is necessary to support our friend and ally Belgium in bringing to justice those who are responsible. This is yet another reminder that the world must unite ... we must be together regardless of nationality or race or faith in fighting against the scourge of terrorism."
As if there was any doubt the Brussels attack was carried out by Islamist terrorists on behalf of the Islamic State, ISIS.
When the leader of the free world is careful not to name the entity that attacks the U.S. and its allies, how can we expect it to defeat this evil cancer that keeps spreading?
Imagine President Franklin D. Roosevelt not naming the Nazi regime of Germany as the enemy Americans fought and laid down their lives to fight against in the Second World War.
If Obama was ambiguous in his condemnation of the Brussels attack, our [Canadian] prime minister, too, was careful not to name Islamic State or the ideology of armed jihad. Justin Trudeau tweeted: "I strongly condemn today's deplorable terrorist attacks in Brussels. My thoughts are with the victims as we stand with Belgium & the EU."
Deploring jihadist attacks without naming who is responsible just doesn't cut it anymore.
But calling it a "deplorable terrorist attack" without naming who was responsible, just doesn't cut it anymore. Our NATO ally, Belgium, deserves more than clichés. Trudeau's tweet, to me, reflects his earlier surrender to the forces of international jihad when he pulled Canada out of the air war against ISIS.
But Trudeau and Obama are not the only ones who dare not call a spade a spade. Across the West, few leaders were willing to utter the word "Islam" in connection with the Brussels attack, although Republican presidential contender Ted Cruz tweeted: "Radical Islam is at war with us. For over 7 years we have had a president who refuses to acknowledge this reality."
If there is one thing we can learn from Brussels, it is that our enemy is international Islamism. Trudeau should recognize this and change course.
If not, be prepared for a Brussels in Toronto
Tarek Fatah, a founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress and columnist at the Toronto Sun, is a Robert J. and Abby B. Levine Fellow at the Middle East Forum.