The events in France has the usual cadre of talking heads spewing forth a collection of unintelligible garbage. A very select few actually having anything to say that resembles anything close to reasonable discourse. After the brutish assassination of a French cartoonist, and the subsequent attacks on innocent civilians, many were quick to do for the attackers what they would of not done for themselves, that is to distance their acts of terrorism from Islam.
While the indiscriminate ridicule of a religion’s sacred figures is nothing to be applauded, assassinating someone for being crude is beyond the pale. But, beyond the pale for whom and by what standard is the question. There can be little doubt where the killers got their inspiration. They came from lands where death is the sentence for such public insults to the Prophet. In their minds, they had suffered the infidels insults to Muhammad too long, the time had come to carry out the sentence proclaimed by radical Imams and punish not only him, but his supporters as well.
Howard Dean claimed that the terrorists were not Muslim no more than he was, Mr Dean is sadly mistaken. They were Muslims following a strict interpenetration of the Koran, an interpretation widely accepted among Islamic scholars. In parts pf Paris’s Muslim no-go zones, the men who murdered Je Suis Charlie and his cohorts are being hailed as martyrs and heroes. While most would debate the morality of celebrating what the west sees as horrid actions, none can reasonably say these people are not Muslims.
There is a Civil war being fought within Islam and terrorism is but a side effect. Adherents of the Muslim faith have long been shut away in static societies, stuck within a Medieval mindset and world. Insulating from western influences, they existed in a parallel universe where the laws of one did not apply in the other. Now such an existence is no longer possible. The world is wired and connected in ways sparsely imagined even a generation ago. Like a bulldozer attacking a historic mosque, the forces of western civilization are pouring into former enclaves of backwardness and knocking down traditions held as sacred. Consequently and predictably, there are those within these societies that are pushing back and doing so with a brutality that has long been woven into their history. Attacking not only the west and its influences, but also those within Islam who have adopted westernized views or even tolerance for the same. For them, those that compromise with the devil are devils too.
This is the reality, no papering over it with politically correct platitudes will change it. In this civil war the West can’t afford to set on the sidelines. While the center of the conflict is within Islam, the West is in the cross hairs of those who see them as the enemy. Moderates, or one might call modernists, within Islam see that this is a conflict that only ends badly for Muslims. Many have seen the error of adhering to a militant version of their faith that lends itself to such destructive behavior. Nonetheless, tens of millions of Muslims live in societies that condone the violence seen on the streets of Paris. To them, it is merely a matter of defending the faith.
While the Western world bemoans the events taking place and even recoils in pure horror at the unfathomable evil of ISIS, it should not forget its own coming out some centuries ago. The reformation was a beacon of light that shown in on a dark world. The result was a push back by the existing order not unlike what is being seen in Islam today. The acts carried out by both sides were equal to almost anything seen today. Out of this chaos came the Renaissance, the Enlightenment and eventually the Industrial Revolution. The modern world was born of the chaos that enveloped Europe in the wake of the Reformation and so will the Islamic community in the wake of theirs.
President Sisi of Egypt Speaks at a Coptic Church, One of the Major Voices of Reform Within the Muslim World
The Islamic world will be reborn, but much death lies in between now and then. The west can either be a politically correct observer and victim, or an active participant. The first will elongate the process and vastly increase the suffering, the second will see the transition through with the least amount of bloodshed possible. This means active participants in evil like ISIS must be confronted and exterminated while aid and comfort is given to the Muslims in need of it. The no-go zones and cultural salad bowls must be abandoned for a new path of integration and cooperation. Also, western leaders must accept that this is first and foremost a religious civil war. While the West can act beneficially to one side, the final outcome is in the hands of Muslims.
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