Monday, June 29, 2015

Approaching the truth, millimetre by millimetre

Well, that was one hell of a weekend for Islamist terrorism!

In Tunisia we had a seemingly "normal" student, radicalised at college and persuaded to unload an AK-47 on a beach load of tourists, killing some 40 odd foreigners, most of whom were British. Then we had a Muslim lunatic in France deciding to behead his boss at an Air Products factory in the middle of nowhere and attempting (but failing) to use a car as a device to blow the plant up. In Kuwait we had a suicide bomber detonating a device in a busy Mosque killing 27 of the exclusively Shia congregation unlucky enough to be there on that day.

I suspect that these three attacks won't be the last of it either; many commentators are saying that this spate of violence may mark the beginning of a strategic push by Isis for just these kinds of incursions.

At home (UK) we had our Prime Minister David Cameron standing up and saying that "Islam is a religion of peace", this is blatantly untrue. When an assassin wanders through a heterogeneous group of people separating out the Muslims from the non-Muslims and putting a bullet in the latter, as was the case in Tunisia and also previously in Kenya then the act clearly has something to do with Islam, the worst version of Islam, but Islam never the less. According to numerous surveys and studies, significant numbers of Muslims follow this version of Islam, the number is not insignificant, lazy liberals in the West who bleat on about this problem being one of a "tiny minority" are simply wrong. Millions of Muslims believe things (based on their holy-texts and indoctrination) that are catastrophic for the well-being of our liberal democratic society. Fortunately the majority of Muslims choose to interpret these texts and cherry-pick in ways that avoid the most obviously homicidal narratives, in exactly the same way that most modern, liberal Christians and Jews do. However before we relax, it's worth noting that in December, al-Azhar University in Cairo (an Islamic authority) declared that although Isis members are terrorists they cannot be described as heretics.

It is indisputable that Christianity has had a bloody history, but I think we can all easily imagine how much more bloody that story would have been if instead of telling his followers to ‘turn the other cheek’, Jesus had called (even once) for his disciples to ‘slay’ non–believers and chop off their heads? (as Mohammed did) This is a problem for Islam. Not being a Christian I have no requirement to "love" my enemies, actually I think it's more rational to want to defeat them. It seems to me that there is currently a clear and present danger not only to our way of life but also the liberty and prosperity of future generations; this threat is Islamism in all its forms, and the sooner we acknowledge this fact by naming it we can get on with the work of assisting liberal Muslims to challenge it militarily and also help them develop a more compelling, less homicidal Islamic narrative. Until then I fear we will remain firmly on the back-foot making painstakingly millimetric progress toward a safer world for everyone.

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