Bracing For the Real Marathon
For a period of four days following hard upon America's most chilling act of terror since 9/11, America was dividing itself into heated twin factions over where to assign blame. The extremists of both camps were tripping over themselves as to whether we should designate this politicized rendition of the Boston Massacre as an organized act of foreign terror or perhaps the work of a "lone wolf" right-wing militant who had a bone to pick with Leviathan for trying to confiscate his "shooting iron." And if I may be so bold, this latter wish was offered with such a spirit of gleeful anticipation that it called into question the very caliber of judgments and hopes that are characteristic of the American Left. To cross one's fingers and announce to the world that one would wish upon America such fratricide is more emblematic of a moral illness than one can frame into words. We should not be surprised that such division exists in a country stratified on ideological lines. Yet, when this poisonous invective strikes our ears, it pains us all the same.
In the meantime, we were told that many Middle Eastern communities greeted each other with a holy kiss while handing out the traditional celebratory sweets to one another as a symbolic act of joy in contemplation of the perpetrators' noble and sacred success. While much of America struggled mightily within itself to be fair and to not jump the gun, Islamacists could scarcely contain their enthusiasm, and viewed any atrocity upon their hated enemy an unabashed victory: no matter from which corner of the world it proceeded from. It is clear that a deep chasm divides these two worlds: The West's liberal republics are characterized by a multicultural tolerance that is drifting towards self-doubting paralysis and Radical Islam is blinded by a tunnel-visioned fanaticism animated by fiery palpable hatred. For both, these diverse temperaments have become their own inescapable destinies, and perhaps shall be the very means towards their own respective ruin.
The Western mind, by virtue of having a worldview that separates spheres of power into the temporal and eternal has a tendency to view the Middle East as it sees itself: as rational actors who share a common vision of secular reasonableness -- only giving homage to religion as a means of pacifying its great unwashed. Such a miscalculation could not be more wrong.
Indeed, the very concept of the Arab/Muslim nation state is better viewed as a synthetic overlay impressed upon a more or less organic confederation of tribes and sects whose worldview is the amalgamation of power and faith unknown in the modern West. Fundamentalist Islam saturates every aspect of its civilization and views the races of men into two irreconcilable camps: The House of Submission and The House of War -- the beloved and the damned. The revival of fundamentalist Islam is therein not an aberration for Islam, but its fulfillment. Seen through its own prism, it views itself not as an alternative to the West or a first among equals, but the ascendant power of the earth taking its rightful prophetic place. If anything, Islam's aberration has been her last three hundred years and she is less concerned with capturing hearts and minds through rhetoric than by conquering in waves of contention, oppression, violence and blood. In their eyes, it is a war framed not through the artificiality of national politics but one of Islam against: Christianity, Judaism, secular humanism, and the other manifold faiths that men's hearts are heir to. To hold that our enemies view this conflict in any other form is delusionary madness, since we cannot understand and counter what we cannot properly define.
Should it be so surprising that a Civilization that increasingly sees itself in seventh-century terms should set its political being into motion along those same lines? Within a period of 100 years of its Founder's death, Islam had absorbed most of the Middle Eastern world (save Byzantium) along with North Africa, Central Asia, the Indian Sub-Continent, and Spain before they were beating on the gates of Central Europe. Had not Charles the Hammer turned them aside at Portiers, we might all be nuzzling our prayer rugs and inhabiting a qualitatively inferior existence. The entire occidental weltanschauung of Politics, the Arts, Sciences, philosophy, and the apprehension of what it means to be human would have been fundamentally altered had the Christianized West succumbed to Islam's rigid stasis and metaphysical fatalism.
Those who erroneously point to the Islamic Golden Age of Science must keep in mind that those Greek, Persian, and Jewish civilizations that were absorbed into the Islamic empire bore the fruit which the Muslim world inherited. But in a period of several hundred years the theological rigidity of Islamic jurisprudence, its devaluation of the sphere of the private, and the notion of a distant and capricious God who was not beholden to respect or uphold a lawful ordered universe, strangled such freedom of inquiry or drove theologically heretical teachings either underground or couched in esoteric writings. But I digress.
This same imperial religious war is going on in contemporary times. Mohammad's farewell address which stated: "I was ordered to fight all men until they say There is no God but Allah" could be uttered from the lips of any mullah historically or today to the fervent joy of at least one hundred million fundamentalist Muslims who are intellectually and emotionally invested in the propagation of jihad through the sword. As a case in point of this cultural disconnect, the West continues to view the insolvency of the Palestinian Question as a benign real estate claim while the Arab/Muslim world perceives it as a matter of religious honor where it is a sacrilege in giving up conquered territory. As long as America and the West refuse to understand the emotional and theological character of this stumbling block, we will place our faith in hollow words uttered from forked tongues who view the concept of "land for peace" as a cynical delaying tactic that extracts material concessions in exchange for a renewed round of violence, murder, and combat by any means at Islam's disposal. But I am now only belaboring what even the neophyte should by now understand.
If Europe had any tangible faith at all left it could stand up to the Islamification of its culture. But since it can only dance in the void of its materialist/humanist spiritual vacuum, it has no weapons left to stave of this new incarnation of the totalitarian. With little worth dying for and little worth aspiring to salvage except comfort, fine dining, and the solace of intellectual solipsism, demographics and cultural banality will eventually cause Europe to fall like a house of cards. If America continues along these same social contours, she will share the same consequence of holding slavery dearer than embattled freedom. The next five to ten years will be instrumental in determining whether this is to be so.
For those of you who do not agree that Christianity is under siege by Islam, consider the Coptic Canary in the coal mine. The recent attack upon St. Mark's Cathedral in Cairo was not just the attack of another church but a naked aggression against one of the most sacred Apostolic Sees in the world; and surely the most venerated Christian edifice in all of North Africa. Although President Morsi gives lip service to the window dressing of tolerance and pluralism, his Islamacist Shari'a agenda has profound implications for what was a once relatively tolerant Egypt. When groups of the beleaguered Coptic Christians made their way into the church to protect it from the Salafist barbarians, Egyptian police targeted the Christians with tear gas and arrested them, all the while as Islamicists were seen on the rooftops tossing fire bombs in their attempts to destroy the compound. According to the journalist Raymond Ibrahim, the attack was tantamount to a Jihadi attempt on the Vatican; and all this occurred as security forces stood by idly as Egypt continued her descent into the strangled darkness of religious totalism.
If one is to contemplate running a marathon, it is important to know what must be overcome to prevail. The race is not a sprint; and to treat it as such is to court disaster. The runner must count the cost of his endeavor to be successful and this includes reconciling the war within him that leads to cross-purposes and failure. Our war with those who would ram the Crescent Star down our throats must be fought with intelligence and endurance. We must steel ourselves to the knowledge of how far we are prepared to go in this marathon. Some of our tactics may require us to be more Carthaginian than Christian as we contend with a contemptible enemy following no rules of engagement except to magnify the pitilessness within. With such an adversary, our battlefield is the four points of the compass. We can deal with this, but first we must dislodge ourselves of the insanity that Islam is a noble house that has been fallen upon by some horrid cancer. In truth, it has been cancerous in both root and branch from its murderous origins to this very day. The fact that many good and moral people happen to languish within its clutches, in spite of Imperial Islam's malevolent teachings, will make the task that we face all the more terrible.
Glenn Fairman writes from Highland, Ca. and blogs as The Eloquent Professor at http://www.palookavillepost.com/. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.