A friend forwarded this article to me - thanks Paul!
If there was one thing I would quibble with in this article it is the tendency by so many to use the term "Islamism" instead of just "Islam". As I alluded to in my last post, it's kinda OK to use the term because we do so to separate historical, orthodox, supremacist Islam from the belief systems of many Westernised Muslims we know. We have no interest in tarring them with that brush. But doing this erodes our comprehension of the real problem. Our Muslim friends who seem to ignore or oppose the supremacist tendencies in Islam are simply not following Islam as defined by the prophet and the ulema. They are not adhering to Shariah.
This means that the real problem is not some fancy new politicised version of the nice, peaceful, historical, true Islam. The real problem is historical, orthodox Islam which has always been supremacist.
The real problem is Islam as defined by Muhammad, the Qur'an, the Sunnah and Shariah law. When we call the problem, the enemy, "Islamism" it just obscures the problem of Shariah.
Nevertheless it's a joy to see someone come out and at least try to identify the enemy. The writer makes some useful points.
From the Telegraph, by the Catholic commentator Charles Moore. Do read the whole thing below the fold, there's some interesting information on Angela Merkel I'd like you to see.
Pope Francis called the murder of an 86-year-old Catholic priest while saying Mass in a suburb of Rouen this week “an act of absurd violence”. Why “absurd”? Others speaking for the Catholic Church have described the killers of Fr Jacques Hamel as “psychopathic” or “madmen”. They seem not to want to talk about the motive for the violence as stated by the killers themselves – their Muslim faith.
It is true that psychopaths quite often enlist God, and that young men who go round killing people usually have disturbed personal lives. But when, day after day, in three or four continents, many people commit extreme violence in the name of Islam, this cannot be accounted for by mental illness alone. In parts of the Middle East, near where the founder of Christianity lived and died, the murder of priests and other Christians by Muslims is systematic. The word “absurd” does not describe it.
It does not fit here in Europe either. As so often, it was the Jews who suffered first. Since 1994, when Islamist bombers attacked Balfour House, a Jewish community centre in London, the Community Security Trust, a Jewish charitable organisation, has offered protection to all Jewish buildings which request it.
British Jews do not regard the violence which threatens them as “absurd”. They know only too well that it is pre-meditated, inspired by an extreme version of a major religion, practising what is called “the management of savagery” for its own ends. They feel they owe it to one another to protect themselves. Christians, of course, are taught to turn the other cheek. On the BBC Today Programme on Wednesday, I heard the Catholic spokesman Austen Ivereigh say that “Anyone can walk in [to a church] and kill a priest”, so there was nothing to be done. Jews were different, he said, rather uncertainly, because they are “in the front line”.
Suppose that priests, or other Christians, in Europe are placed in that front line. Suppose that Islamists, aware that “anyone can walk in and kill a priest”, start to do so on a large scale. Would it be reasonable for Mr Ivereigh, or even Pope Francis, to insist that the victims just accept it? That really would be absurd.
Islamism is a most clear and determined attack on our civilisation, so this must be recognised, not evaded. Its adherents declaredly hate freedom, democracy, women’s rights, Judaism and Christianity. They entirely deny the rights of anyone (not least fellow Muslims) who do not share their views. They recognise no law except sharia. [Graeme: this simply makes them orthodox Muslims].
Islamists cannot take power directly in Europe in the near future, because they have not got the numbers. But they can and do – in a way almost unimaginable only 20 years ago – kill and terrify. They can also, through mass immigration of Muslims, destablise us, even though the great majority of those Muslims have no desire to kill their hosts. This is well understood by the anti-Western President Erdogan of Turkey, who has now, thanks to Angela Merkel’s immigration policy, been given control of much of the migrant flow into Europe. The effect of the Islamist presence in the West – attacks on free speech, radicalisation in schools, forcing more women to cover their faces, let alone jihadist violence – is wholly bad. It is a civilisational question to work out how to deal with it. We need a firmer idea of what our Western civilisation is. The murder of Fr Hamel should surely be a reminder.
First, our way of life is founded on civil peace. An aged man performing the most sacred rite of his religion of love is a poignant symbol of that peace. His murder is an atrocious violation of it.
Second, our civilisation has Christian roots. Obviously it is true that many modern Westerners are not Christians. It is also true that Christians have, in the past, killed others and one another with shocking glee. But it is not possible to understand or uphold European or American ideas of law, liberty, government, education, family, morality or culture without tracing their relation to the life and teachings of Jesus.
The old word Christendom, though often disgraced by things done in its name, has reality. As a post-Vatican II ecumenical Christian, I have no difficulty in recognising and respecting Islam as a shared monotheism; but, as a beneficiary of Western civilisation, I feel deeply grateful that Charles Martel won the battle of Tours against the invading Islamic army in 732. Our way of life is partly founded on the fact that we repelled Islamic incursions for many centuries. And although I may accept that Saladin was a chivalrous prince and Muslim Spain was a lot more tolerant than the Catholic reconquista, I am entitled not to want my early-morning sleep disturbed by the muezzin and our children made to learn the Koran. I am not being “Islamophobic”: I just want to maintain our historic amalgam of Athens, Rome and Jerusalem, our civilisation based on the Bible and the Enlightenment and the tense, but productive conversation between the two. The threat from Islamist extremism to all of this is as plain as a pikestaff – or rather, a scimitar.
So we urgently need decent, moderate leaders who recognise this danger and can proudly retell the story of our civilisation. Otherwise, we get unpleasant, immoderate leaders who do it in their own, wrong way. In Britain, David Cameron was exceptionally outspoken on the subject, and has been under-praised for his clarity. He called the battle against Islamist extremism, violent and non-violent, “the generational struggle of our time”. We do not yet know what the cautious Mrs May, the vicar’s daughter, will have to say.
In France, the leadership of the self-consciously lay republic is effectively speechless in the face of fanaticism. In Germany, the pastor’s daughter, Angela Merkel, says the problem is not too much Islam, but too little Christianity [Graeme: please look here for the Communist background of this "Pastor's daughter" whose father moved the family from West Germany to East Germany in the 1950's. That's a funny thing to do eh? When everyone else was trying to go the other way. Here's another interesting article on the matter.]. The sentiment does her faith credit, but leaders should ward off preventable evils. It is not un-Christian to be vigilant against Islamist threat, any more than it was to guard against Soviet communism during the Cold War.
Barack Obama has centred his foreign policy on the idea that the West is what is wrong with the world, and has refused to let the word “Islam” pass his lips in relation to violence. His evasion of reality has left the way open for the belligerent rantings of Donald Trump.
On Thursday, accepting the Democratic nomination, Hillary Clinton outlined a portrait of her politics. At least, unlike her predecessor, she speaks of “dealing with determined enemies who must be defeated”. At least, unlike Mr Trump, she understands that “America is great because America is good” rather than just because it is big. But this is not much to go on. Our leaders need to tell us a lot more about how to save the West. It is getting late.
Well said sir.