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 E.U. 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 U.K.
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.