THE WAR WITH RADICAL ISLAM
FORCES EVERYONE TO CHOOSE
It’s not a war of all Christians against all Muslims.
But it is a moment when everyone — Muslims, Christians, even those with no explicit faith commitment — must decide which civilization they wish to be part of…
— the civilization that honors the Judeo-Christian god?
— or the civilization that submits to the god of Islam?
There is no secular option.
Whether it’s murders of priests, or rapes of Western women, or attacks on night clubs or wine bars or civic festivals or government offices or satirical magazines — everything the Islamist radicals are doing makes disinterested secularism impossible. Because everything has to do with advancing the cause of the caliphate and sharia law. Which is to say: Islam.
Don’t bother quoting the statistics that show church participation in decline or that the fastest growing “denomination” is ex-Catholics. These only demonstrate the extent of the secularist refusal to see.
As I ask my good-hearted, well meaning, non-religious friends over and over…
“How long do you think you’ll be free to live in comfortable, undemanding agnosticism should radical Islam triumph?”
Europe is coming to understand — painfully so.
Italian journalist and author, Giulio Meotti, points out that European Union leadership has tried to enshrine secularism as a virtual state religion. Writing on the website of the Gatestone Institute, he observes how the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union…
“only referred to the ‘cultural, religious and humanist inheritance of Europe.’ The European Parliament had rejected a proposal from Christian Democrat MEPs [Members of the European Parliament] and Pope John Paul II, to include in the text Europe’s ‘Judeo-Christian roots.’”
This act of willful ignorance set the stage for the current tragedy, Meotti says…
“Not only has secularism no answers for terrorism; it also leaves Europeans unsure about what is worth fighting, killing, and dying for. If you believe, as the secularists do, that our values are mere accidents of history and that the highest good is comfort, then you will care nothing for the future of civilization.”
We are not far from that here in the U.S. with our own tendencies toward religious blindness.
This was certainly evident at the Democratic National Convention. On opening night not one of more than 60 speakers mentioned ISIS, the most threatening exponent of religion-themed barbarity our civilization faces.
Regardless of what Hillary and her cadre might say, do you believe that the Democrats can disentangle themselves from their web of interlocking interests — one key element of which is the huge block of illegal immigrants and Middle East refugees they see as a guarantee of future Democrat majorities — in order to concentrate seriously on defeating Islamist radicalism?
I dare say, “civilizational war” is a concept they can’t wrap their heads around. The very idea that ISIS terrorism is motivated by religion disqualifies it as a fit subject for discussion at the highest echelons of party planning — except as it validates the Left’s cherished principle that religion itself is inherently evil.
And what of the Republicans?
Certainly Donald Trump has made political hay with his call for suspending Muslim immigration. And while he’s lately tried to state his case in somewhat more nuanced terms, every new terrorist outrage only strengthens it, enlarging his base of support.
But does he — this very worldly businessman — fully comprehend the apocalyptic nature of the challenge presented by radical Islam? Does he even recognize its religious character? Has he thought through a reasoned, effective approach to meeting it? Is he consulting with thoughtful, knowledgeable advisors?
Up to now, thoughtfulness hasn’t been Trump’s defining characteristic.
Regardless of who wins this election, the agenda of history is currently being driven by people who do not see history in human terms, but see themselves as the avenging angels of Allah. The argument over whether Islamist radicalism reflects authentic Muslim teaching will go on. But it surely reflects some understanding of Islam.
Which means that individual Muslims face their own choice.
They can choose silent assent to the horrors being perpetrated in the name of their religion. Or they can choose the heroic embrace of a faith-based civilizational vision that elevates love as the greatest ideal, even if we flawed human beings fall short of attaining it.
Accept this fact: The fundamental choice before all of us right now is religious — in its essence, in its totality.
There is no secular option.
Note: This essay is currently appearing in the online journal American Thinker, where it’s set off a lively discussion. Pop over there and join in…
…or share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Here is a link to Italian journalist Giulio Meotti’s reflection on how secularism has handicapped Europe in its struggle against the continent-wide jihad now unfolding …
Pope Francis has a somewhat different take on the character of this war. In comments to reporters while on his way to attend International Youth Day in Poland, he insisted that we are at war, but it’s not a war between religions. From the Catholic News Agency…
In the online journal, Catholic Conspiracy, attorney and commentator Tony Zampino explores the challenge of responding to the horrors of terrorism while balancing charity against the need to resist evil, observing…
Check out his thoughts at…
Conservative commentator Dennis Prager carries his critique of our tendency toward religious blindness into uncomfortable territory, noting that…
“The vast majority of leading conservative writers, just like their liberal colleagues, have a secular outlook on life. With few exceptions, the conservative political and intellectual worlds are oblivious to the consequences of secularism. They are unaware of the disaster that godlessness in the West has led to.”
Prager may not earn too many points at CPAC. But Having spent some time in the worlds to which he refers, I can tell you he’s onto something…
There’s an organization behind the “COEXIST” bumper stickers and other such branded products: The Coexist Foundation. It’s no doubt filled with wonderful people who seek sincerely to build bridges between conflicting religious cultures. But writing on the Daily Beast back in 2014, author and blogger Michael Schulson observed that the Coexist folks have had their own conflicts…