Advanced societies find it difficult to respond to Islam’s fundamentalists. The credit is not due to the fanatics. Yes, the cards they hold are used ruthlessly and cleverly and they score spectacularly. However, the real super-weapon of the radicals is their victim’s mind-set.
Our professional wise guys are at a loss. How is the violence generated in a Muslim context to be registered without insulting its source? We have here something that, by our culture’s prejudice, should not exist. Moreover, rationally evaluated, Islamism is self-destructive. Such calculations reflect our civilization’s parochial inability to comprehend those defined by a “stone age” past. The reaction is “We would not act that way; how come that they do?” That astonishment provokes a search for the normal world’s contribution that must have provoked what appears to be irrational.
Handicapped by the lobotomy by PC surgeons, Western Civilization is unable and unwilling to face Muslim radicalism. Decadent liberalism finds it safer to fight Hitler retroactively. The shots are fired at the wrong target or the challenge is met by avoidance. Reverses result and bring more than shame. They signal a lacking will to survive to those that doubt the legitimacy of our way of life.
In the piously denied but ongoing clash of cultures, Islam has multiple advantages. Most are not self-made: the PC-defined victim contributes them. Whatever presents itself as a “religion” benefits from a tolerance that is unwarranted by the facts. Curtailing religious liberty is harder than it is to limit the freedom of speech. In the case of secular opinions, free expression is granted but not unlimited. Example: the exploitation of freedoms to abolish democracy. The softness against extreme leftists shows, the assertion against all subversives determined to abolish democracy suffers from the one-sidedly applied Nazi precedent.
If wrapped in religion, subversion is well shielded. To the public, the nexus between faith and tyranny is difficult to imagine. The still prevailing naïve belief is that religion’s advocates must be “good” because all religions want what is good.
Taboos that express free-of-fact sentiments protect whatever hides behind religion. Do religions not honor God or Allah? Could the servants of religion be not as pure as claimed? Is it not so that all faiths are “right”, that they should not be judged, and that they deserve deference? This recasts radicals as committed to do good in their struggle with evil. If it is uncertain which religion is the path to God, then how can we condemn what that claims to serve our common God?
Besides the benefits accorded to religion, Islamism benefits through further concepts. Their origin might be secular without, however, reducing their protection. Here chic bows to Third-Worldism enter the picture.
An element that justifies forgiving measuring rods flows from honoring whatever that is Third World. It is of advantage to claim that the underdeveloped world’s ways are, at least morally if not materially, equal to the norms of developed societies. Yes, the plumbing might be inferior; the moral quality behind it is, to the same extent, superior to that of successful societies. Even within the West’s tradition, there are examples that rate primitiveness as a proof of moral superiority. In Russia, the Slavophiles of the 19th century claimed the superiority of their civilization because of its material underdevelopment. The medieval Church associated poverty and “simplicity” with valor. Today’s Greens assert their moral advantage by rejecting modernity. The only purpose of success is to create a “surplus” to be redistributed as “development aid” -whose contradictory purpose is to keep traditional ways bearable and thus preserved.
Colonialism’s heritage is another arrow in the armory of liberals that militantly oppose actions against radicals. To prove an open mind, they excuse the methods their challengers use. That makes past colonialism into a sin to be atoned now. The guilt justifies the “oppressed” when they strike against the “empire”- even if the victims’ descendants prefer to live there instead of their homeland. This makes terrorism into a “war of liberation”. Absurd; what if in southern Europe Muslims would be murdered to respond to colonial subjugation by an entity that served Allah.
A related excuse is an adaptation of the “noble savage” notion of the 18th century combined with a newish “folklore” argument. If the easily insulted take offense, then they react in ways that reflect their original, therefore unspoiled culture. Proceeding from there, sedated reason demands that the provocation should lead to the courteous altering of the West’s ways. That path leads to a point well beyond where offensive Christmas cribs are forbidden.
Closely related to the above is in “it is their way to respond” that covers up actions attributed to “race”. Although there is no “Arab race”, responses to Muslim violence are sapped by the fear from “racism”. Some crowds label the critique of Islam, whether radical or moderate, as racism. Muslims being a minority, criticism makes the source of “wild accusations” xenophobic and intolerant towards other ways of life.
Two otherwise suspect “anti” stances complete the picture. They make any criticism of Islamist violence, to quote Germany’s Chancellor, “not helpful”, or, facetiously, not as helpful as is the overlooking the facts by resorting to self-induced amnesia. Here anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism are meant.
Numerous countries associate the West associated with progress, which has a US connotation. Societies that cannot cope with change and that cover up the resulting failure tend to be anti-American. Thus, Islamist would be anti-American even if the USA would drop Israel. Anti-Americanism has support from groups of self-hatred in the States, and also in Europe where it is respectable. The leaning to commit mass murder is attributed to the Americans and their stooges; therefore, there is no reason to worry. “Others”, not “we” are meant. After the defeat of the “Hegemon”, the fanatics will moderate their ways and postpone the date with their 72 virgins.
Here a sub-category must be inserted. The fundamentalists’ anti-Americanism bears a charm. For the Left, cold war victory and a model that contradicts a 19th century economic dream, condemns America. Those aiming to destroy her deserve support. Even if the left is atheistic and regards Islam as an especially stupid reactionary opiate, the common foe aids collaboration. The Left’s backing results in valuable open and covert support for terrorists and their state sponsors.
In every society with Judeo-Christian roots there are anti-Semitic clusters. Since the Nazis made the mistake of getting defeated, open anti-Semitism suffers from a PR weakness. “Ersatz” products are wanted to support the cause without making its advocate appear to be a Nazi loser. The conversion of Jihad into a response to Zionist atrocities provides legitimacy. It also excuses the failure to react to terrorism that is made to appear as an expression of justified resentment.
Finally, there is also a social-economic legitimization of terrorism. In part, this explanation supports terrorism once it is related to the underdevelopment of Islam-shaped societies. Emphasis is put on the unemployment and relative poverty of Muslims where, due to their numbers, they form virtually self-governing communities. This disregards the interrelationship between unemployment and the refusal of an education that creates useful skills demanded by advanced economies.
The consequence of “separatism” –justified by a right to cultural preservation and autonomy- is self-exclusion, and the inability to participate in the advancement of others. Even the greatest economic upturn’s wealth creation would bypass ghettoes where knowing the Quran by heart scores as sufficient training.
Alas, by egging on violence, some circles benefit from misery. Poverty creates dependence from those that redistribute wealth in the form of welfare. Therefore, with Lenin, these can conclude, “the worse it is, the better it gets" meaning that, those left behind will know how to vote in exchange for support.
It is difficult to see how the multi-culturally damaged will overcome the prejudices that prevent them from containing the violence that endangers the societies entrusted to them. The evidence of failing leadership that reflects mistaken notions, might force a return to realism. Will the governing elites continue to remain unable to overcome the anesthetic vapors of their illusions? If not, new forces will emerge. They will not carry mental ballasts that would disable them from coping with the menace. In this case, the game change will bring with it that the Jihadists’ ace cards will fail to score.