In Vienna, toward the end of the Age of Aquarius, 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 began to play with the baby croc and then tried to kiss it. 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 in the Danube canal, that arm of the great river which flows timidly through the locks and into the city. Vienna being full of animal lovers, the crocodile was rescued from the canal while the father was reprimanded for nearly causing the creature, used to the warmer climes of the east, to perish of a cold in the chilly waters.
The matter was worried over in the newspaper columns dedicated to one of the rare events in a city where not very much was happening.
Scandalized animal lovers complained that the beast had been misunderstood. They urged readers to empathize with the crocodile. 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 convinced that it was about to be eaten and was only defending itself?
Wiser heads suggested that the father should never have introduced a dangerous creature into his home and once he had introduced it, he should have expected that it would bite. Like the fable of the Scorpion and the Frog; biting was in its nature. And throwing it into the canal after it had bitten one of us was in our nature.
The subject was fortunately confined to crocodiles, canals and little girls. There was no talk of the ’75 hostage crisis in which the Austrian government allowed the Arm of the Arab Revolution led by Carlos the Jackal to escape to Algeria with his hostages after murdering a police officer.
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.
Two policemen and an Israeli bodyguard shot it out with the terrorists and won. Their arrest was followed by a phone call in broken German threatening bombings if they were not released, but this time, perhaps because no actual bomb was found, the authorities held firm and the crocodiles stayed in the canal.
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 hand 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 of Nazis, but not at all of Jews. Despite being on the left, Kreisky 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. Jihadist terrorists targeting Germany, like the DTM or the Global Islamic Media Front which ran its German language operation out of Vienna, found its lax enforcement convenient. 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 been formerly treated for PTSD that he was innocent of plotting a terrorist attack and instead sentenced him only for illegal possession of explosives.
Empathizing with the crocodile required understanding that sometimes it only bit because it was suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder. And then it was best to pretend that it didn’t do it.
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, bluntly 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.”
Mahmoud, the son of a Muslim Brotherhood member, vowed, “My goal in life is victory or the martyr’s death,” As the scorpion said to the frog just before they both drowned, “It is my nature.” If the crocodile in the Danube canal had been able to speak and explain his actions, he would have probably said the same thing.
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 2030, Austria is projected to have the 4th largest ratio of Muslim to native population in Europe; an increase of 68 percent. The native Austrian fertility rate is 1.3. The Muslim settler fertility rate is 2.4. The difference is one entire child. It’s the 4th largest native to settler difference after Norway, Finland and the UK.
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 if this goes on then the Vienna four decades hence 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.
If you bring a crocodile home, then blood will flow. Kissing the crocodile will not make it love you. It will bite you, because that is what crocodiles do.
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.
Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century. He blogs at Sultan Knish.