Last night, with Sean Hannity on Fox News, Newt Gingrich said what needs to be said: “We are in a war …”
He spoke after the news came of the latest jihad atrocity: a Muslim killing more than 80 people and injuring many more by running them over with a truck and shooting them in the French coastal town of Nice, where thousands were out celebrating Bastille Day.
He will not accept that “Western civilization is helpless in the face of a group of medieval barbarians”.
The “group” is very large. It is Islam.
He proposes steps that need to be taken to defeat the jihadis, including, “Frankly, just kill them.”
The mosques and madrassas, he says, must be monitored.
He urges the deportation of every Muslim who believes in sharia law. As sharia is inseparable from Islam, such a measure would effect the suppression of Islam in America – which is long overdue.
The only thing he says that we disagree with is “Islam is not necessarily evil”. It is.
Seems it’s too late to stop fear by marching against it! Who would have thought?
The Belgians, being full of love for all mankind, planned to do it – and then realized it might not work. It might even attract more terrorism.
The Pope says use love to stop terrorism. But the Belgians are not totally convinced he is right.
Katie Hopkins writes at MailOnline:
So let’s just get this straight.
A peace march in Belgium was cancelled over fears ISIS could use it to launch another attack on Brussels.
Belgium security forces decided a March Against Fear, however topical, would be ill-advised because the fear is grounded in truth, and marching isn’t going to make it go away.
This is a bit like the people who say they are standing up to terror by continuing to use the underground. They are not actually standing up to anything. There is no real show of defiance. Everyone is scared to death.
In truth, they are gambling on the old adage lightning never strikes the same spot twice. Or for a more modern twist, suicide bombers never target the same subway twice in a week.
But if you live in jihadi central, that’s a pretty risky bet to place.
In place of the March Against Fear, a few pro-migrant groups turned up at the Old Stock Exchange in Brussels to watch mourners light candles for the dead, and shove a bit more leftie clap-trap down their throats, reminding them that irregular migrants are good people at heart and the last suicide bombers were actually home-grown, so not technically migrants at all. So that’s ok then.
In response, a group of anti-immigration protestors gathered at the Place de la Bourse to unfurl an anti-ISIS banner and vent their frustration at the direction in which the self-styled capital of Europe appears to be heading. …
The March Against Fear was cancelled because there was too much fear, and a riot broke out because the police objected to a peaceful protest.
There are a few things I notice around these incidents in Europe;
- Firstly, the anti-immigration protestors are always referred to as thugs. The language around them is universally ugly, despite the fact they are protesting against the very people who think it is acceptable to detonate themselves next to small babies wearing suicide vests filled with nails and shrapnel.
- They are called the far-right and lazy associations are made between them and Hitler. Even though in the UK it appears to be Labour supporters who have issues with Jews.
- Clearly Nazi salutes have no place in modern Europe. No one wants to see violence against the police, stones thrown or graffiti. But if you look carefully, trouble-making groups on the left such as No Borders build a far more subversive brand of trouble.
- The dreadlocked gangs of migrant-lovers, turning a blind eye to the destruction of Europe, are never referred to as the far-left. They are affectionately called anarchists, as if they are teenage boys, experimenting with Death Metal and living raw vegan.
- Despite absolutely no police response to terrorists … or marauding migrants … their rapid reaction to the presence of a handful of PEGIDA [Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West] overwhelming.
In Cologne, 150 officers were sent to police the migrant attacks on women on New Years Eve, resulting in 676 criminal complaints being filed. In comparison, 1700 riot police with water cannon were sent to stop a subsequent PEGIDA march through the city.
Whilst it seems perfectly acceptable to turn the water cannon on nationals, determined to stand up for their country and culture, it is never acceptable to criticise migrants, terrorists or extremists planning attacks.
It seems to me there is a yawning gulf between the treatment and reporting of the far-left and the far-right, and and even bigger chasm between nationals and migrant populations, who lack respect for the culture they have joined.
The left are so busy kowtowing to the rights of those who have chosen to join our culture, the right has lost the freedom to defend the culture they have chosen to join.
The police have an almost magnetic attraction to events which offer predictable policing – such as a PEGIDA March through a city centre, but are incapable of defending people from the actual threat of terror we all feel. …
People talk about the rise of the far-right. I fear the dominance of the smug, self-centred left … is far more threatening and far more real.
And the Pope is one of that company.
Today, in Belgium, at least 31 people were killed and over a hundred injured by Muslim jihadis. There were two attacks on Zaventem airport at 07:00 GMT, in which 11 people were killed and 81 injured. A third attack, in which 20 people were killed, was carried out an hour later in Brussels on the Maelbeek metro station, near the European Parliament.
Muslims had threatened that there would be attacks when Salah Abdeslam, the plotter of the jihadi attacks in Paris last November, was found in Brussels and taken into custody four days ago.
The attacks will no doubt be put down as usual by stupid politicians to Muslims who have embraced a “brand” or “interpretation” of Islam, commonly called “Islamism”, which they say is not anything like the “real” Islam. But in fact there is not a sliver of difference between Islam and “Islamism”, only between active jihadis and non-active jihadis. Jihad – “holy war” – is commanded by Islam and all Muslims are obliged to pursue it, either actively themselves or in support of others who who pursue it actively.
Islam itself is an intolerable totalitarian ideology. It must be treated with the contempt and loathing accorded by most people to Nazism, Stalinism, Maoism. There is no good Islam.
On Fox News “good” Muslims – absurdly chosen advisers to this or that US administration – are saying that in Brussels it is a problem of non-assimilation of the Muslim immigrants; of the young Muslim men who are killing people with nail-filled bombs because they are unemployed.
Is there anyone left who will swallow that story?
We quote below, in part, from our post, It’s not terrorism, it’s war, November 12 2014, in which we argue that terrorism is the method the jihadis are using, but their aim is to conquer, subjugate and kill. And that is what Western governments, which have insisted, and continue to insist, on importing millions of Muslims from the Third World, refuse to accept.
Jihad means Holy War. Jihad must be recognized as a war waged everywhere.
Even if European governments found a way to stop and punish jihadi violence in their own countries, the war would go on. At present they are all acting ineffectively. Instead of joyfully letting all Muslim citizens who want to go and fight with IS/ISIS/ISIL go, and refuse them re-entry, and deprive them of their citizenship (as Geert Wilders so rightly recommends), they try to persuade them not to go, and if they return they give them “therapy”, as if Islam were nothing but a nervous breakdown in a few gullible individuals.
It is foolish and dangerous to go on calling every Muslim “holy” warrior a terrorist. It is even more foolish and self-deceiving to call IS/ISIS/ISIL a “terrorist organization”. ISIS is one of the armies of Islam.
Islam is an ideology of world conquest. It is fighting a war against the non-Muslim world.
At the same time there are battles within Islam. Sunni versus Shia is a perpetual conflict. IS/ISIS/ISIL – the Islamic State – is Sunni. When Shia Iran becomes a nuclear power – which will be quite soon with Obama’s help – there will be a second Islamic force against the rest of the world, competing with the Islamic State for the victor’s crown.
Of course the Iranian force with its nuclear weapons will be a thousand times stronger than the Islamic State.
Even if the Islamic State were to be defeated by American or Western forces, the war would not stop.
The war will continue on the streets of Western cities in Sweden, Britain, France, Spain, Belgium – and America.
The EU “High Representative for Foreign Affairs”, Federica Mogherini – a life-long Communist, and one of the European leaders who acquiesced in Obama’s “deal” with Iran – brought herself to tears while publicly addressing the Muslim terror attacks in Brussels. She was visiting Jordan at the time.
Like almost all European political leaders, she has been ardently in favor of bringing millions of Muslims into Europe.
She has been consistently unsympathetic – positively antagonistic – to the people of Israel, who have been under terrorist attack by Muslims for decades.
Europe reaps what Europe sowed.
A tenured university professor praises Osama bin Laden, recruits for the jihad – and is protected by the university.
Julio Pino, a professor at Kent State University speaks for al-Qaeda and ISIS.
Ryan Mauro tells Megyn Kelly of Fox News why this isn’t simply a matter of free speech.
The war is on. The West, though fully aware that it is under attack, is hardly bothering to fight at all.
The BBC shows the nation a police video telling the populace what to do when the jihadis strike, while the British government continues to admit hordes of Muslims into the country.
Police have released a video telling people to “run, hide, tell” if they are caught up in a terrorist gun attack.
The four-minute video advises on how to evacuate a building, where to hide, and what information to tell police.
The video says people’s first reaction if they hear gunshots should be to run – as long as it will not put them in greater danger – and not to let others’ indecision “slow you down”.
The terror threat level in the UK is severe, meaning it is “highly likely”.
Security services have been on high alert since the attacks in Paris last month.
What should you do in an attack?
The public information film, released by the National Police Chiefs’ Council, tells people to react quickly, first by running for an exit.
“Insist others come with you, but don’t let their indecision slow you down,” the video says.
“Consider your route as you leave. Will it place you in the line of fire? Is it safer to wait for the attacker to move away before you continue?”
If it is not possible to move to safety, then people are advised to hide.
They should consider their exits and escape routes when choosing a hiding place, avoiding dead ends and bottlenecks and staying away from the door.
Mobile phones should be switched to silent and vibrate turned off, the video says, adding: “The best hiding place with protection from gunfire will have a substantial physical barrier between you and the attacker.”
Those able to evacuate should get as far away from the danger area as possible and call the police.
The film says: “When the police arrive they will be armed. The police may be unable to distinguish you from the attacker. They may treat you firmly. Do everything they tell you to do. Don’t make any sudden movements or gestures that may be perceived as a threat.”
Police said the advice has already been issued to thousands of people during security training sessions but it is now being rolled out more widely.
Mark Rowley, the country’s most senior counter-terrorism officer, said: “Everyone’s aware of the terrorist challenges across the world and there have been some awful attacks. It’s our view that this advice should be rolled out to the public so in the tragic event that anyone gets caught up in a rolling firearms or weapons attack they are better informed and better advised to protect themselves.”
As so often, Mark Steyn writes good sense about the war between Islam and the West – a war the West is losing.
Many of the Republican candidates sound too anxious to repeat the mistakes of the past 14 years. Lindsey Graham is perhaps the most absurd exemplar: a man who favors massive military deployments around the planet, but open borders at home. And so he wound up, even as he was threatening to loose tens of thousands of soldiers upon their lands, apologizing to the Muslim world because Donald Trump is a big meanie. Perhaps Graham would be more amenable to sanity if we couched it in progressive terms: The “safe space” ought to be western civilization – which means that accelerating Muslim immigration into the west will only make our cities an ever bigger unsafe space for ISIS and others to exploit. The problem in San Bernardino is not just the “radicalized” Syed and Tashfeen, but the semi-radicalized revert neighbor and the hemi-semi-radicalized dad who told Syed to lighten up about the Jews because Israel wouldn’t be around in another two years and the wives procured through Green Card fraud and the locals cowed by political correctness into looking the other way as Muslims build pipe bombs in the garage. None of this is in the national interest of the American people. But Fieldmarshal Graham wants a blitzkrieg overseas and a home front that allows US citizens and their mail-order brides to choose what side of the war they want to be on.
By the way, what does “vetting” even mean? In a multiculti world, you can believe everything Caliph al-Baghdadi does – that infidels are unclean, that women are the property of men and should be forbidden to feel sunlight on their faces, that homosexuals should be tossed off the roofs of buildings, that apostasy should be punishable by death, that Sharia should be introduced in western nations, and that the Islamic crescent should one day fly from the White House and Buckingham Palace and the Élysée and St Peter’s. And Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have no problem with that, as long as you don’t actually build a pipe bomb or blow up an airliner.
So there is no actual way of “vetting” anybody until after you’ve left a big pile of body parts all over the floor. …
I like western civilization. I regard Common Law as superior to Sharia, so I would rather people who wish to live under Sharia remained in the many countries where it already operates, rather than adding Austria and Ireland and Denmark to the list.
A schizophrenic strategy of ineffectual war overseas and celebrating one’s tolerance of the avowedly intolerant at home will ensure we lose.
The great Rudy Giuliani delivered this powerful speech (recorded on two videos) at a symposium of the Iranian-American community in February, 2015:
(Hat-tip to our commenter Frank)
Zale Thompson, a convert to Islam, yesterday tried to kill New York police officers with an axe.
While the group of four stood on a rain-wet Queens sidewalk, Thompson took his weapon out of a bag and rushed at them. He seriously wounded two. With one of his blows he chopped into the arm of Officer Joseph Meeker. With another he cracked the skull of Officer Kenneth Healey. Both victims are in hospital and expected to survive. Thompson was shot dead.
The New York Post calls Thompson a “psycho”, a “madman”. And it reports Police Commissioner William Bratton stating at a press conference –
There’s nothing we know at this time that would indicate that [Islamic terrorism] is the case.
It also reports:
Thompson’s Facebook page includes a passage from the Quran in Arabic script beseeching Allah’s guidance in finding “the straight path” and a black-and-white photograph of a black-scarved militant.
And he wrote on his Facebook page:
Helicopters, big military will be useless on their own soil. They will not be able to defeat our people if we use guerilla warfare. Attack their weak flanks.
The paper also mentions this:
Thompson is being investigated for broader terrorist connections, a law enforcement source said, adding, “There are suspected terror ties.”
So why does a fairly sensible newspaper call this obvious Muslim jihadi a madman, as if to exonerate Islam?
In our opinion, it is insanity to believe the absurdities every religion teaches. We think belief is for the most part a quirk in the minds of otherwise rational beings.
But if this Muslim, Zale Thompson, is to be considered mad because he carries out his duty, as prescribed by Islam, to kill non-Muslims, then all jihadis everywhere are madmen. There are no exceptions.
Their lunacy cannot, however, be regarded as an extenuating condition. Deranged or not, they are a threat to non-Muslims anywhere, to the Western world as a whole, and the United States in particular.
Contrary to President Obama’s assertion that “we will never be at war with Islam”, Islam is at war with us.
Is it not time we fought back?
The leftist pro-Islam group at present through some weird chance governing the United States of America, cannot stop the advancing jihads of either the savage Islamic Sunnis in Syria and Iraq, nor of the would-be mass-murdering Shiites preparing nuclear war in Iran, because they do not want to.
They do, however, have to seem to be defeating an abstract enemy called “terror”. Even if it is more intelligibly called “terrorism”, it is still an abstraction that cannot be bombed or tried in a court of law.
They insist that this enemy has “nothing to do with Islam”. Yet to seem to be defeating it, they find themselves having to kill and bomb people who just happen, every time, incredibly and annoyingly, to be Muslim.
We are to understand that they are small clumps of oddballs, self-alienating from the real peaceful live-and-let-live Islam. And Obama is on to them. He’ll find them and destroy them wherever they are. If they haven’t given themselves a distinguishing name, his group will supply one.
Andrew McCarthy writes at the National Review Online:
We’re being had. Again.
For six years, President Obama has endeavored to will the country into accepting two pillars of his alternative national-security reality. First, he claims to have dealt decisively with the terrorist threat, rendering it a disparate series of ragtag jayvees [jayvee = junior varsity team]. Second, he asserts that the threat is unrelated to Islam, which is innately peaceful, moderate, and opposed to the wanton “violent extremists” who purport to act in its name.
Now, the president has been compelled to act against a jihad that has neither ended nor been “decimated”. The jihad, in fact, has inevitably intensified under his counterfactual worldview, which holds that empowering Islamic supremacists is the path to security and stability. Yet even as war intensifies in Iraq and Syria — even as jihadists continue advancing, continue killing and capturing hapless opposition forces on the ground despite Obama’s futile air raids — the president won’t let go of the charade.
Hence, Obama gives us the Khorosan Group.
There is a reason that no one had heard of such a group until a nanosecond ago, when the “Khorosan Group” suddenly went from anonymity to the “imminent threat” that became the rationale for an emergency air war there was supposedly no time to ask Congress to authorize.
You haven’t heard of the Khorosan Group because there isn’t one.
It is a name the administration came up with, calculating that Khorosan — the Iranian-Afghan border region — had sufficient connection to jihadist lore that no one would call the president on it.
The “Khorosan Group” is al-Qaeda. It is simply a faction within the global terror network’s Syrian franchise, “Jabhat al-Nusra”. Its leader, Mushin al-Fadhli (believed to have been killed in this week’s US-led air strikes), was an intimate of Ayman al-Zawahiri, the emir of al-Qaeda who dispatched him to the jihad in Syria. Except that if you listen to administration officials long enough, you come away thinking that Zawahiri is not really al-Qaeda, either. Instead, he’s something the administration is at pains to call “core al-Qaeda”.
“Core al-Qaeda”, you are to understand, is different from “Jabhat al-Nusra”, which in turn is distinct from “al-Qaeda in Iraq” (formerly “al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia”, now the “Islamic State” al-Qaeda spin-off that is, itself, formerly “al-Qaeda in Iraq and al-Sham” or “al-Qaeda in Iraq and the Levant”). That al-Qaeda, don’t you know, is a different outfit from al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula . . . which, of course, should never be mistaken for “al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb”, “Boko Haram”, “Ansar al-Sharia” or the latest entry, “al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent”. …
You see, there is a purpose behind this dizzying proliferation of names assigned to what, in reality, is a global network with multiple tentacles and occasional internecine rivalries.
As these columns have long contended, Obama has not quelled our enemies; he has miniaturized them. The jihad and the sharia supremacism that fuels it form the glue that unites the parts into a whole — a worldwide, ideologically connected movement rooted in Islamic scripture that can project power on the scale of a nation-state and that seeks to conquer the West. The president does not want us to see the threat this way.
For a product of the radical Left like Obama, terrorism is a regrettable but understandable consequence of American arrogance. That it happens to involve Muslims is just the coincidental fallout of Western imperialism in the Middle East, not the doctrinal command of a belief system that perceives itself as engaged in an inter-civilizational conflict. For the Left, America has to be the culprit. Despite its inbred pathologies, which we had no role in cultivating, Islam must be the victim, not the cause. As you’ll hear from Obama’s Islamist allies, who often double as Democrat activists, the problem is “Islamophobia,” not Muslim terrorism.
This is a gross distortion of reality, so the Left has to do some very heavy lifting to pull it off. Since the Islamic-supremacist ideology that unites the jihadists won’t disappear, it has to be denied and purged. The “real” jihad becomes the “internal struggle to become a better person.” The scriptural and scholarly underpinnings of Islamic supremacism must be bleached out of the materials used to train our national-security agents, and the instructors who resist going along with the program must be ostracized. The global terror network must be atomized into discrete, disconnected cells moved to violence by parochial political or territorial disputes, with no overarching unity or hegemonic ambition. That way, they can be limned as a manageable law-enforcement problem fit for the courts to address, not a national-security challenge requiring the armed forces.
The president has been telling us for years that he handled al-Qaeda by killing bin Laden. He has been telling us for weeks that the Islamic State — an al-Qaeda renegade that will soon reconcile with the mother ship for the greater good of unity in the anti-American jihad — is a regional nuisance that posed no threat to the United States. In recent days, however, reality intruded on this fiction. Suddenly, tens of thousands of terrorists, armed to the teeth, were demolishing American-trained armies, beheading American journalists, and threatening American targets.
At PowerLine, Paul Mirengoff says:
Tom Joscelyn informed me that the name [“Khorosan”] doesn’t come from Washington. He says: “Although they haven’t used Khorasan publicly to describe themselves, that name is actually taken from the Khorasan shura with al-Qaeda, which is a specific advisory council.”
The Post’s sources emphasized that the name isn’t familiar in Syria. But, according to Tom, that’s because this is an internal AQ body, and not something marketed to the public.
We cannot see what difference it makes whether “Washington” took the name from a geographical area or an internal al-Qaeda advisory body. The Obama administration had some people bombed whom they choose to call “the Khorosan group”. It could not surely have been the actual “specific advisory council” on a group outing.
Andrew McCarthy’s account of how we’re being had remains true.
Crisis Magazine is a Catholic site.
William Kilpatrick makes some points there that we agree with, among some that we do not. We quote:
Question: What does Boko Haram, the Nigerian terrorist organization, have in common with Western educators? Answer: Both think that Western education is sinful. Fortunately, Western educators will not burn down your church or school with you inside as Boko Haram does to those who persist in their Western ways. Unfortunately, the type of education provided by Western educators will leave you totally unprepared for the likes of Boko Haram.
Roughly translated, “Boko Haram” means “Western education is sinful”. So there’s little doubt about where it stands. But in what way can it be said that Western educators believe the same thing? I don’t know if any educators have actually declared that Western education is sinful, but it’s not unfair to say that contemporary educational theory in the West is built upon a rejection of traditional Western education. Beginning with Rousseau’s Emile (1762), Western intellectuals began to challenge the Judeo-Christian view of the child and along with it traditional ideas about how children should be educated.
He describes what he thinks of as Christian education approvingly:
According to the earlier conception, one which still endures in some corners of our society, the child is born in original sin and, therefore, a good part of his education should be devoted to helping him overcome his natural tendencies to laziness, selfishness and pleasure-seeking. The goal of such education was the transmission of hard-learned cultural lessons through the study of history, literature, scripture and science.
All good subjects (though about scripture, see our last paragraph).
Two comments. One: “original sin” was disobedience followed by lust – not laziness, selfishness and (oh, dear!) pleasure-seeking. Two: For a thousand years, most children in Christendom were taught Christianity but not literacy. Once Christianity descended darkly over Europe, replacing the Roman Empire with the Catholic Church, most children received no education at all except the Christian myth along with the fear of Hell.
But what the writer says next is right on:
According to the Romantic tradition which began with Rousseau and which by the late 1960s had become the dominant philosophy in American education, the child is born in a state of original innocence with trustworthy impulses that should be followed, not denied. Romantic thinkers believed in nature with an almost religious fervor; in their view, man had fallen not from a state of grace but from the state of nature. Sin was a product of civilization, and if there were such a thing as evil, it lay in placing unnatural constraints on the child’s natural spontaneity and wisdom.
The Romantic emphasis on the child’s inner wisdom led to a corresponding de-emphasis on the acquisition of factual knowledge. Learning was thought to be a natural process and the child could therefore be trusted to learn what he needed to know by following his natural instincts. Consequently, book-learning came to be looked upon by Romantic poets and philosophers as an unnatural imposition on the child’s natural development. Take Wordsworth’s poem, The Tables Turned:
Up! up! my Friend, and quit your books;
Or surely you’ll grow double:
Up! up! my Friend, and clear your looks;
Why all this toil and trouble?
The third stanza extends the anti-book argument a bit further:
Books! ‘tis a dull and endless strife:
Come, hear the woodland linnet,
How sweet his music! on my life,
There’s more of wisdom in it.
In short, why bother with books [boko haram? – ed]) when you can find all you need to know in the book of nature? That is the [we would say “one of the“] basic principle[s] of Romanticism. For a very long time, most educators ignored this highly unrealistic approach to education. Wordsworth, Emerson, Whitman and other Romantics were taught in schools, but they were celebrated for the beauty of their poetry and prose, not for their anti-bookish prescriptions. Eventually, however, these ideas about natural learning came to exert a powerful influence on the imagination of educators — particularly those of the American variety. By the 1930’s, under the name “progressive education”, the Romantic theory had spread to teacher’s colleges throughout the U.S. By the late 1960’s, it was the dominant philosophy in American classrooms.
The triumph of natural schooling theories did result in significant change — for the worse. SAT scores began a long decline and the U.S. students soon ranked near the bottom of developed countries on international assessment tests. The progressive movement did, however, produce a number of catchy slogans such as “holistic learning”, “child-centered schooling”, “at their own pace”, “self-esteem”, and “critical thinking skills”. Those were the terms of approbation. On the other hand, teachers were warned to avoid “memorization”, “rote-learning”, “mere facts”, “textbook-learning”, and “culturally biased curriculums”.
The progressives failed to realize, however, that you can’t think critically unless you have something to think about. But, having been deprived of “mere facts”, students have very little material with which to “construct knowledge” (another popular piece of educational jargon). How, for example, can students think critically about World War II if they’ve never heard of Roosevelt, Churchill or Stalin or if they have no idea where Germany, Japan, Poland and France are located?
What, you may ask, does this have to do with Boko Haram? Just this. Boko Haram is one of the more violent manifestations of the global resurgence of Islam in our times. Although it is marginally more brutal than other jihadist groups, it is not untypical. There are dozens of such groups all over the world that seek by force to restore Islam to its former dominance. The problem is, today’s anti-knowledge curriculums do not prepare students to think critically about what is happening in the Islamic world and what it means for the rest of us.
The disparagement of “mere facts” ensures that today’s graduates will know very little about the history of Islam. And the Romantic elevation of non-Western traditions means that they will know even less about the bloody nature of that history. Although American students will hear a great deal about Western imperialism, they are not likely to realize that Islam was one of the great imperial powers of all time. At one time, the Islamic Empire stretched from Spain, across North Africa, and all the way to India. The Empire was created by conquest, but high school and college texts tend to avoid that word in favor of euphemisms such as “the spread of Islam” or the “expansion of Islam.” And how was this expansion accomplished? According to one widely used high school history text, “The persecuted people often welcomed the [Muslim] invaders and chose to accept Islam. They were attracted by the appeal of the message of Islam which offered equality and hope in this world.” …
– A lie constantly repeated by Muslim propagandists.
Indeed, many accounts of Islamic history in American textbooks look like they could have been written by the Saudi Ministry for Propaganda and Whitewash. Many world history textbooks, for instance, take great pains to inform readers that jihad has little to do with holy war but rather is best understood as “overcoming immorality,” “a personal inner struggle to achieve spiritual peace”, or a “striving … to achieve personal betterment”. Moreover, in line with the Western habit of romanticizing non-Western cultures, textbooks present a highly romanticized (some would say, largely fictitious) portrait of Islam’s “Golden Age” in Spain and Baghdad. According to one widely-used college text, “The Muslims created [in Baghdad and Cordoba] a brilliant urban culture” where libraries abounded and where “judges, merchants, and government officials, rather than warriors, were regarded as the ideal citizens”. Meanwhile, over in the Christian Carolingian Empire, “Both gluttony and drunkenness were vices shared by many people…. Everyone in Carolingian society, including abbots and monks, drank heavily and often to excess.” …
It is necessary to remember that Christians burnt piles of volumes from the great library of Alexandria centuries before the Muslims came and destroyed it utterly. (It was ravaged by Christians in 391 CE, and completely destroyed by Muslims in 642 CE.)
There is nothing romantic about Boko Haram, and the facts concerning it don’t fit into the rose-colored narrative that is fed to our students about gentle Islamic expansion, interior spiritual struggles, and a library on every corner. … Absent knowledge of Islam’s 1400-year history of jihad, the Boko Haram campaign to exterminate Nigerian Christians must seem like an aberration — something completely unrepresentative of the true Islam. And so will the attacks on Christians in Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Pakistan, the Central African Republic, Kenya, and elsewhere. They will be perceived as discrete, disconnected events that have “nothing to do with Islam” because American citizens are largely unfamiliar with the historical pattern that would help to make sense of these supposedly senseless actions.
What does that pattern look like? Islam scholar Raymond Ibrahim provides this brief description of the European experience with Islam:
Among other nations and territories that were attacked and/or came under Muslim domination are (to give them their modern names in no particular order): Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Sicily, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, Greece, Russia, Poland, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Lithuania, Romania, Albania, Serbia, Armenia, Georgia, Crete, Cyprus, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Belarus, Malta, Sardinia, Moldova, Slovakia, and Montenegro.
It seems well past time to wake up from the romantic dream and reacquaint ourselves with that once-familiar, now forgotten pattern.
We agree of course with his abhorrence of Islam, and with his objections to Romanticism.
We see Romanticism as the (admittedly godless but nevertheless mystical) religion that replaced Christianity when the Enlightenment broke the power of the Churches and brought Christianity into open question.
We see it as the enemy of Reason, scorning proper education, and science, technological innovation, the nation state, free trade, the free market, capitalism, individual freedom, the productive middle-class, prosperity, rule of law, civilization. Also skepticism. And humor.
At present Romanticism is hammering the Western world with two dogmas that are in an improbable alliance, that of Leftism and that of Islam.
Some Catholics, it seems, can share this understanding with us to an extent, though they would no doubt want the Church to rule again, and the irrationalities of Christianity to replace those of Socialism and Mohammedanism.
We agree with William Kilpatrick that our Western culture should be handed down. That means teaching facts, as he says – and critical examination of all opinion.
We want education to be secular.
The Jewish and Christian scriptures should be taught as literature, and religion in history classes, because they have had a huge effect on our culture. But (as our frequent commenter Frank has urged inspirationally) they should be taught only by atheists.