But it wasn't quite new. In fact, the Daesh has been encouraging its fans to kill the Europeans using vehicles since 2014. And Daesh didn't invent anything, either.
In fact, this algorithm of a mass murder is a well-known Czechoslovak know-how. In 1973, when I was born, a 23-year-old woman Olga Hepnarová used a truck to end the lives of 8 people waiting for a streetcar (Czech Street view: yup, Google has competition). Another story. She was the last Czechoslovak woman who was executed – by short-drop hanging – in 1975.
Helpfully enough, some filmmakers released a movie of the "film noir" genre about her life and her frightening act just four months ago. While Bouhlel was just another Muslim – a guy known to the French police for less serious but not quite petty crimes but not monitored as a radical Muslim by the intelligence services and I am afraid that his particular life wouldn't be too interesting – Hepnarová's life and justification was different.
She came from a seemingly ordered family. Her father was a bank clerk and her mother was a dentist. It's probably true that they treated her terribly – and she was bullied and terrorized by her classmates, too. She was spending some time with psychiatrists, especially after some attempts to poison herself, but she found something that made her more notorious.
In the trailer, a lawyer asks her: Do you still insist that you should get a death penalty? She answers:
When they execute me, my act will have become more valuable.Afterwords, a letter written by her is being read:
Dear folks, I kindly ask you to accept this letter as a document. For thirteen years, I have been growing up in talons of a so-called good family. I am being beaten and tortured. A victim of the adults and a toy of the schoolchildren.The letter is interrupted. She says "I know I am a psychopath." When the kids are beating her, she adds: "I have some nicknames. A dragoness. A mummy. A (partially) broken angel. A sleeping virgin. My torturers have no mercy. I am a monstrous member of the herd and a black sheep of the family. I have no boyfriend and I will never have one. I am falling to despair. And the result? Escapes from schools, home, life."
Someone asks her: "You know, Olga, you're not too used to greeting the people, are you?" A physician tells her that a psychiatric asylum isn't a place for relaxation. It is a hospital. Someone tells her: "Hepnarová, you're truly disgusting." Some other complaints about her pants, smell of oil. Therapy isn't easy, she hears, and one has to be strong to commit suicide.
At 1:25, we hear her:
This is my verdict.The critical seconds are shown in black around 1:50. A cop comes to her and asks: "My god, lady, what did you do? Did your brakes fail? Did you fall asleep behind the steering wheel?" She answers: "No, I did it intentionally."
I, Olga Hepnarová, a victim of your bestiality, charge you with the death penalty by being run over. And I declare that as a compensation for my life, X people is too little. Thank you. In Prague, 1973, Olga Hepnarová
The movie got average ratings but I would still bet that it has a higher emotional and artistic value than the Quran. A TV document said that she viewed herself as the spokeswoman of all the bullied people in the world, she loved to drive her Trabant around a dam, and many other interesting things.
Here is a greeting in English by the talented, also 23-year-old Polish actress (and singer, violinist, writer) who starred as Hepnarová. She says that it could have happened to everyone and people should help each other to feel happy.
Back to the present.
I don't want to talk about the specifics of the Nice attack. It's too close to my environment. I know the place where the act has occurred rather well – but I guess that so do many of you. More importantly, my half-sister has been living in Greater Nice (mapy.cz) for 5+ years. And she's known a Tunisian guy – who is now in Europe – very well. Thankfully, a different one... And now she has a... with a policeman. In Nice. You may guess what he was doing last night.
It's probably impossible to completely prevent such attacks. Bouhlel has rented the Renault cargo truck. I guess that people from Muslim or Arab families shouldn't be allowed to buy or rent cars above a certain size in the EU. With some extra thoughts and "improvements", similar attacks could kill many more people. While Daesh has wanted vehicular mass murders to be done for 2 years, a template was missing. I am afraid that Bouhlel could become a role model for similar people.
While Daesh has been responsible for the "recommendation" of the vehicular attacks and it has claimed credit for the mass murder, I think that the actual pre-attack links of Bouhlel to Daesh were almost non-existent. In fact, he ate pork, drank alcohol, and even took drugs – but also shouted "Allahu Akbar" shortly before he was shot dead. For European (or American) purposes, Daesh is just a notorious brand. Whether you like it or admit it or not, the real problem isn't some localized, contained organization living in between Syria and Iraq. The actual problem is unfortunately harder to contain – it's called Islam.
Islam may commit mass murders when it's radical. But as the Nice attack has shown, Islam may lead to mass murders even when it inspires some seemingly moderate ordinary men with the appropriate ancestry.