‘Liberal, politically correct culture leaves West vulnerable to acts of terrorism'

‘Liberal, politically correct culture leaves West vulnerable to acts of terrorism'
If we are not calling terrorism what it is, extremists like ISIS or radical Islamists will use Western liberal values of political correctness against it, Jennifer Breedon, international criminal lawyer and expert in extremism, told RT.

The FBI is investigating the stabbing of a police officer at an airport in the US state of Michigan as a potential terror attack.

The perpetrator, who was detained at the scene, holds a Canadian passport and reportedly shouted "Allahu akbar" before stabbing the officer in the neck. The officer is now in a stable condition in hospital.

RT discussed this attack with Jennifer Breedon, an international criminal law attorney and expert in extremism studies.

RT: The FBI said the suspect shouted 'Allahu Akbar' as he carried out the attack on the police officer. Why did it take so long for the authorities to say the stabbing is being investigated as a terror attack?

Jennifer Breedon: Really, we are seeing this in media outlets throughout the West, not just the US, definitely in the US, but also in Europe, we are seeing this. For example, in the Manchester attack, they called it “a balloon exploding.” And there were about three other headlines that I saw that said he just shouted “something” while he was stabbing the police officer in Michigan. And it is crazy, we have to be calling it what it is – it is a terrorist attack... but we refuse even to say that. And that is exactly what these extremists, like ISIS or their adherents or radical Islamists, are using against the West, specifically in the US and Europe – are these liberal values. We are trying to be politically correct, and we are so concerned about offending people that we don’t even tell the truth about what is happening.

There is always going to be usually a delay because they want to get the public relations correct. But this attack would be very much similar to other attacks that have been occurring: usually, almost self-radicalized individuals, using very low-tech weapons, like a knife or a vehicle... The good news, in this case, is that no one was actually killed. And when you are using low-tech weapons, it is not going to be a spectacular attack like 9/11, with thousands of people. So that is the good news. The bad news is that there is going to be many of them, essentially the propaganda and the wars are creating this self-radicalization. Unless something is done about stopping the underlying root problems, there won’t be really a way to predict and prevent these lone-wolf attacks. - Coleen Rowley, former FBI agent

RT: The more these isolated assaults take place, the more police forces seem to be struggling with defining the reasoning behind them. In your opinion, will the latest crime wave affect our common understanding of terrorism?

JB: I think we should understand it now. There are a lot of countries where you don’t see these kinds of things happening. But you are seeing it in the West, in the more liberal and democratic societies where we are trying carefully not to offend. For the last eight years, in the US we had policies that prohibited our law enforcement from looking into religious facets behind extremist attacks. It means any kind of religious extremism wasn’t even allowed to be investigated. That’s why it is particularly in the West because of that and [the terrorists] are using that. Hopefully, we are going to see law enforcement start to notice these patterns. And because we see these stories as they come out and say, we don’t know the motivation yet. If you are connected to Islamic State, or to Islamic extremism, it is always going to be the same motivation and intent, and that is to dismantle the West. And the West has made itself a very easy target, specifically Europe and the US, by not really investigating or allowing itself to look at that for fear of offending people or offending a religion.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.