It is not anger that is driving the insurgents to take it out on the secularised welfare states of Old Europe. It is hatred. Hatred caused not by injustice suffered, but stemming from a sense of superiority. The â€œyouthsâ€ do not blame the French, they despise them.
….West Europeans cannot blame the Muslim â€œyouthsâ€ for looking at the world the way they do. Europe willingly opened the door to the Muslims, not just by allowing large-scale immigration on an unprecedented level, but also by encouraging the newcomers to retain their culture.
….It is possible to share the same culture with someone from a different race, but not with someone from a fundamentally different religion.
~Paul Belien, The Brussels Journal
I came to this particular article by way of Gail, again. And again, I find the pundits views somewhat lacking except for this article. For two reasons: one, I believe religion matters much more than I think the secular West is willing to admit, and two, because I think it is important to look at the motivating emotions and why we in the West keep getting to answers wrong when it comes to Islam, and Muslim unrest ( or attack) in our nations.
The second observation is similar to revisiting reaction to the 911 tragedy. Anger at the West for not making a better effort at assimilating the Muslims, anger on issues, comparisons to other eruptions of violence… and the wonderment at the very idea that the West could be hated.
It is that last mindset that most interests me. Why the Western Democratic nations are so slow to understand why they are hated. The answer to the antipathy is within this quoted section, “It is possible to share the same culture with someone from a different race, but not with someone from a fundamentally different religion.”
You might retort that many different religions co-exist within the West. But do they in the context that sees rising numbers of Islamists walled off from the others, by choice? It is my opinion that we are seeing what I have held as an abstraction of theory: that the tolerance and civilization of democratic forms can only exist within a predominantly Christian nation. Why do I not include Judaism this time? Judaism is not strongly evangelistic in its present form… and that makes it a neutral in the struggle between those beliefs which give rise to the tolerance and freedoms of Democracy and those which do not. It is a bulwark within, but cannot create the necessary response to Islam. We owe a great debt to the Jews, in scriptures, and thought, but our present society and government arose from the influence of Christianity. And this is where the fulcrum of the balance is going to sway…. Christianity and Islam as opposing ideology outcomes from their “fundamentally different” religious foundations and doctrines within society.
The day has passed when we can promote that all the great religions have the same basic things to say. And it is the Muslims who have brought the curtain down on that idea. It is time for the rest to wake up to this truth.
The Western nations presume that their premises are the accepted ones of all the rest of mankind. That our ideals of freedom for diverse and equal religious paths, equality of the sexes, even our ideals of racial equality are something that everyone else holds esteemed. That we are basically a ‘good’ society and that all other peoples in their rationality will see this. And so we preach patience, and accomodation. They’ll come around, we think. And this is the ‘evolutionary’ pinnacle that we have evolved to… thinking that it is a physically embedded reality now.
Those things would work if, indeed all men held these same premises. But we were lulled by the ubiquity of Christianity in our midst. We thought its problems were all the problems and the worst that we would face…. and that we have grown in ‘goodness’ while outgrowing Christian ideas and mores.
In secular societies this works, as the only antithesis has been atheism which only lives so long as it responds negatively to a religion that tolerates it. Atheism is a choice within the Christian stream because freedom of choice is not only tolerated, but respected and desired.
Once a religion arises that demands devotion and submission in a temporal territory, the room for atheism is gone, the room for other avenues of seeking God or constructing society is gone. That is why within Islam there is such a struggle between those states given over to the outcomes of their chosen religion and those states with a form of the Western government that gives religion a certain distance. A distance of individual freedom of choice.
Without that distance the nature of humanity to enslave and enforce comes under the strongest of rationalizations: ones interpretation of God/god…that parades not as God Himself ( Who, if He were God could not abide the manipulations of selfish men), but as the Will of Man cloaked under god-words. This is an explanation of why Islam has its proponents of a modern, supposedly peaceful religion and a merciless and aggression-prone one.
As everyone contemplates the future of France I believe there is one under rated component. This is God. Who is in Heaven. I cannot tell you what God’s timetable is, but I can say that hope of free France is to be viewed as a mission field for Christians. I read the idea that Muslims were welcomed to modern France partially for the hope of bringing moral strength to the nations fabric. Why has Christianity proven so flabby in moral fiber? It is not the faultiness in the teachings… why have those who held them relinquished them so readily?
Is it the Christian way to set cities on fire? To trample the weak and needy? To demean and degrade? If not, then there has to be a viable demonstration of that in the culture. That is the fight that will win.
Otherwise the field is left to evil forces. Evil forces, I say. Because eventually physical destruction of the opposition is all that is left, and the West greatly loses its ground of good when it goes to war on the basis of religion. We can fight on moral ground, on defensive grounds, and maybe others, but we cannot fight a physical war purely on religious grounds without giving over to evil.
And, yes, that is a Christian belief. We have to offend many traditional rationalizations to maintain it, but there it is. Our warfare is not earthly and physical, our warfare is spiritual, and its weapons are those that -in every way- are contrary to the thinking of this world.
Are you ready to face the hatred? Are you ready to overcome it determinedly? Are you ready to awake now, or wait til the battle is at your door? Will you pay now… or increasingly dear, later? Do you laugh up your sleeve at France? Do you stand afar off aghast? Wasn’t it apparent that it could not be long before the tinder ignition of untended Islamic wildfires jumped the fence?
What is the lesson for me? That the War on Terror will not be enough. Even if wholeheartedly waged. That all the talk of “demographics” means only one thing… the spiritual war has escalated, and we wait idle in the trenches, toasting each other and turning up our radios, buying our gadgets and offering our souls to …. whom? To what?
Well…they say ” If the mountain won’t come to Mohammed, Mohammed must go to the mountain….”
Or as Dylan put it, you gotta serve somebody. The devil or the Lord. There are Muslims who will refuse the evil and choose good. I am convinced of that…will we help them make that choice? Will we provide examples of good …or we will ourselves become corrupted in violence, bitter dispute, and oppressiveness?
Whom will you serve in this day? Do you know? Consider your answer today, while the flames of France illuminate the choices.
::update: I have been rethinking the balance that I see in play between the three main monotheistic religions. I also revised a few things here for clarity, particularly as separation of church and state is concerned ::