What will it take before we’re ready to call it evil?
How many headless corpses? How many videos with the prisoners in orange jumpsuits? How many more of those ISIS snuff films?
But of course, there are “none so blind as those who will not see.”
When the Left lines up to explain away the real causes of these events, it always comes back to something done TO the terrorists. It might be poverty, globalization, indignities perpetrated by the West, and so on. Time and again, the abuser is given an excuse. They are despairing. Or angry. Or envious. In short, they’re victims lashing out and getting even.
But video clips with teenage boys grinning before they murder their captives don’t fit those excuses. They are not merely settling a score. They are taking pleasure in what they are doing. Children taking pleasure in killing.
Ideas matter. Some ideas — world views — lead people to pacifism. Others lead to egalitarian societies. Others lead their followers to believe that some people can be killed, captured, or sold into slavery. It’s bad enough to permit some of these acts. It is far worse if they command it. It is even worse still if the worldview’s founder was known for killing, maiming and taking slaves.
These kids are not just settling a score. The victims they are killing are not actually people to them. They are the enemy: lawful prey whose death their god both sanctions and rewards in the afterlife.
Ideas have consequences.
Does Islam have some benign and harmless followers? Certainly, but those are not the ones lining up prisoners in orange jumpsuits.
In failing to connect the actions to the ideas that drive them, we make it impossible to identify who and what we are dealing with. We are not dealing with ordinary disaffected revolutionaries, we are dealing with zealots.
A successful strategy for dealing with these people will either require killing the terrorists or discrediting their beliefs. Crying “Islamophobe” every time someone tries to actually face this issue only guarantees that no solution will ever be found.