I was struck by the contrast of Parisians defiantly singing the La Marseillaise and then running like frightened rabbits, trampling a commemorative flower display, at the sound of firecrackers. Don’t mistake me, I would have sung and run too. Religious fanatics with guns, explosives and a death wish tend to produce fear and panic among unarmed ordinary folk.
Singing national anthems will not deter the bad guys. They have to be killed. The current crop of Western political leaders talk tough (Obama excepted) but inspire little confidence (Obama not excepted) that they will do what it takes to win. Populations largely acquiesce to this weakness. Prosperity and the promise of scientific and technological advances have sapped or marginalized survival instincts.
Evolution shows that only the fit survive. And when the feckless come up against the fierce there is only one outcome. Want to experience a particularly feckless group in action? Do as I did; gird your loins and watch Q&A for as long as you can. I lasted for 30 minutes on Monday night, before expiring with a morbid psychological spasm. A thought: beam Q&A into ISIS territory. Pantomime dressed up as profundity — Widow Twankey in a tux, so to speak — might induce cognitive dissonance even among the jihadists.
Take one of the guests, Professor Andrew Macleod, former UN official and supposedly the multicultural and multi-religion expert on the stage. He started off by saying this:
These are two things to say very quickly. The first one is these are now the times to be thoughtful, not emotional. It’s not the time for slogans and to that extent I’m very happy that we’re now being led by Mr Turnbull, rather than Mr Abbott, because it is the thoughtful leadership. [Audience acclamation broke out.]
Hypothetically, at another time, in another place: “At this time of great threat to our civilised way of life it is indeed fortunate that Mr Chamberlain leads the nation and not that bellicose Churchill fellow.”
And he said this:
Religion is used as a motivator for people and, in fact, you can take parts of the Torah, the New Testament and the Koran and take these provisions and they can be used to inspire all sorts of hatred and, across the centuries, different parts of different religions have done so. What we see in this century, because of the impact of information, technology, a vast spread of communication, is the distorted message of the religious text is passed to a lot more people and a lot faster, so religion is used as a motivator but are these people true Muslims? I don’t think so.
If we fall into that trap, we’re saying we want to fight with 1.6 billion people, whereas if we define the us as all moderates of all religions, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, against radicals of all religions, it’s a much smaller number to fight and a much more effective number to fight.
Notice the moral equivalence he wants to (disingenuously) slip in. All religions have caused mayhem at times. We need to mobilise moderates of all religions. Got to fight against those extreme Christians and Jews too, presumably?
The truth of the matter, which escapes Professor Macleod, is that neither the Torah nor the New Testament supports killing, or enslaving, or subjugating unbelievers. In the names of their religions, Jews did bad things to Christians in the very early days and certainly Christians have done bad things to Jews. Regrettably, that has been part of the nature of man.
The difference is that those who kill, enslave and subjugate in the name of Islam have a plethora of scriptural support in the Koran and in the Hadith. And, there are plenty of imams continually and loudly informing them of the fact. Yet, according to the learned professor they are not Muslims?
At best, Macleod gave a good impression of being a fool. Pointedly, in that respect — the French Ambassador apart — he didn’t stand out among his fellow panellists or the audience. It is worth going to Egypt’s President el-Sisi, again and again. If there were not an endemic problem with Islam why would he take his life in his hands in front of senior clerics at Al Azhar University in Cairo and talk about the need for a “religious revolution?”
It’s inconceivable that the thinking that we hold most sacred should cause the entire Ummah [Muslim world] to be a source of anxiety, danger, killing and destruction for the rest of the world… Is it possible that 1.6 billion people should want to kill the rest of the world’s inhabitants — that is 7 billion — so that they themselves may live? Impossible!
Perhaps Tony Jones should invite British lawyer and radical activist Anjem Choudary onto his panel. Choudary doesn’t disguise Islam’s objectives and he might just enlighten the know-nothings that occupy ABC seats. Choudary sees no reason to engage in Taqiyya (lying for advantage) because he believes that Islam’s victory is assured. He also reckons he knows what Muslims believe. That is not too hard because it is all set out in the Koran and the Hadith.
Exactly what Macleod and other apologists think Muslims believe is a mystery known only to them. Maybe there is another, kindly Koran that only the apologists and so-called ‘moderate Muslims’ know about?
Churchill knew a thing or two: “How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries!” Giving Islam any kind of standing alongside Judaism or Christianity is an absurdity. It must lead to despair among those who want to escape its clutches, particularly women. It is a creed which underpins intolerance and violence. Those who think that is an extreme opinion haven’t been paying attention. Take note of what happens within benighted Islamic republics, read the Koran and listen to Choudary.
Moderate Muslims are Muslims in name only. They don’t believe in replacing parliamentary law with sharia; they don’t believe that people should be put to death, or punished at all, for apostasy or for insulting Muhammad or for adultery or for sodomy. They believe in religious freedom and in the equality of men and women. Ergo they are likely to make fine citizens.
But there is a problem nonetheless. Muslims in name only can beget real Muslims and sometimes very nasty ones. Malcolm Turnbull on the Insiders (15 November) was more instructive than he imagined. In responding to a question from Barrie Cassidy on the risk of terrorists disguising themselves as refugees he said this: “…the history of terrorist activities in Australia and people of concern in this area is very much for the most part second and third-generation Australians.” He intended this to be comforting. It isn’t.
Go to the Moroccan father of Abdelhamid Abaaoud, who is believed to be the mastermind of the Paris attack. “Why in the name of God, would he want to kill innocent Belgians? Our family owes everything to this country.” Only the daft or the deceptive don’t connect the dots to Islam.
It is reckless to admit more Muslims into Australia (or, so far as it is preventable, into Europe or North America), whether refugees or whatever their status. They might be fine people. Their children might be fine people. Then again they might not. And it not just violence that can undo Western civilization, so can the spread of discordant and intolerant values. Why take a chance when the pall of Islam is ever present waiting its opportunity to hold sway? There are plenty of other migrants to choose from; many in desperate circumstances.
People like us who run away from exploding fireworks better wake up and vote in politicians with backbone (like Abbott; there is no hope of another Churchill) to keep us safe — or safer — within our enlightened and cosseted civilization. We are no good at fighting; and, in any event, we (outside of the Land of the Free) don’t have guns, they’ve been taken from us.
In case you’re caught up in the moment and think history is irrelevant, we are fighting a hydra, and have been down the centuries. It is not new. Chop down ISIS, Boko Haram, Al Qaeda, you name it, and something else will spring up. In the light of what we are now facing, Churchill’s words in 1900 have a timeless quality.
Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities, but the influence of the religion paralyzes the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step, and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science against which it (Islam) has vainly struggled, the civilization of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome.