So many angles of the clash between worldviews of Europe and Islam are being explored these days, but one particular angle seems to be consistently overlooked, even downplayed.
Opinions abound around issues of xenophobia, root causes, violence, “true” religion or “hijacked” religion, immigration, security, culture, conquest, and so on.
Many pontificate about the reasons particular Western targets are chosen — fumbling around with words like Western Values, or wealth disparity, etc.
But are we paying attention to the actual, stated reasons, when they are given us? They aren’t political, economic or cultural reasons. They are explicitly Religious.
When claiming responsibility for the Paris attacks: “In a blessed battle… believers… set out targeting the capital of prostitution and vice, the lead carrier of the cross in Europe — Paris” (Quote in context here).
Two very specific points are made. They are attacking what they see as moral corruption, and they are attacking a city that — however untrue it may be today — historically, was very much associated with Christianity.
We love to point fingers at the Crusades, that they were a great historical evil, but neglect the wider context that Western armies were called upon in response to Islam’s aggressive Empire-building, militarily swallowing up of areas that were the seedbed of Christianity.
In previous generations, Europe was the breakwater that the waves of Islamic expansion crashed against before being turned away. Not so now. And that statement by the attackers sheds some light in it.
Previously, Europe resisted two pitfalls. We were not fully conquered — even when their military held the advantage — and more importantly, we were not assimilated. We were not, despite the fact that Islam’s dhimmi laws echo Secularism’s approach to rival religion in the public square — suppression of traditional belief, and actively inviting, and rewarding its abandonment.
We were able to resist, because we held to something that defined us, called us to virtue, courage, endurance and hope. That same “something” was actively undermined by Enlightenment philosophers, and — in Paris itself — saw a bloody purge during the Reign of Terror.
That “something” (historical Christian faith) was replaced with a variety of -isms, some of them religious, some of them political, others a more basically hedonistic grasping for money, pleasure or power.
So, when reporters gloss over the song that was playing when the slaughter began — “Kiss the Devil” — they overlook the very impetus of the attackers.
They believed themselves the righteous, purging the world of evildoers. They do not distinguish between the paganism or the Christianity of the West, believing the former to be part of the latter.
They attack us, because they still see us as the Great Enemy we once were, the same one that pushed back their empire, retaking Spain and Southeast Europe.
Our resistance is now feeble, in part, because we no longer know who we are, or for what we stand. We’ve jettisoned our values, and replaced them with Politically Correct platitudes.
The condemnation of Israel in Isaiah 3, is become true also of us. (“I will make boys their princes, and infants shall rule over them”) with the reason given later in the same chapter (“for Jerusalem has stumbled, and Judah has fallen because their speech and their deeds are against the Lord, defying His glorious presence”).
And so, now that we’ve identified the moral vacuum, what will we do about it?
[More on the connection between Europe’s moral vacuum and the feeble reply to Islamism is available here].