BCF : I visited 13 sites of Islamic terrorist attacks and asked witnesses that one question.
In April 7, 2017, in Stockholm, Sweden, Rakhmat Akilov, a Muslim immigrant and asylum-seeker, stole a beer truck in the heart of the city’s shopping district. Did he have a keg party in mind? No. Alcohol is forbidden in Islam. The killing of “infidels,” however, is not, and that is precisely what Akilov had in mind. Circling the block, he careened down a fashionable pedestrian lane. Before the rampage ended, five people were dead and 14 others injured.
A few weeks later, I walked from my hotel to the street in question.
There was little to signal an unknowing visitor to this place that
anything out of the ordinary had ever happened here. It was all so
normal, so business as usual. Sitting at a sidewalk café, I tried to
imagine the scene unfolding before me. With so many window shoppers and
cyclists on this strip, it wasn’t difficult to picture the terror at the
too-late realization that the truck bearing down on them had no
intention of stopping.
My coffee finished, I walked the length of the street from where the
carnage began to the corner window of the Åhléns department store where
it ended. Plywood took the place of glass and people covered it with
Post-it Note messages, turning it into an extemporized memorial. Some of
the notes were nonsensical. Others spoke vaguely of “love conquering”
or “love winning.” What that means in the context of a terrorist attack
is not clear. Still others, however, identified the source of the
problem: “Leave Islam,” declares just such a note.