In a thoughtful article (‘A deal beyond belief’) in The Weekend Australian on July 18, the commentator Greg Sheridan observed, “No one in the West takes the idea of God seriously any more and cannot conceive of a government whose actual real behaviour is determined by theological goals.”
The government Sheridan wrote of is Iran and the god is the Judeo-Christian God of the Bible. Sheridan’s article was commenting on the value of the US-Iran accord on sanctions and nuclear weapons. Almost as an aside, his insightful comment identifies the reason behind the difficulty Western leaders have in coming to grips with the Islamic imbroglio.
If we were to substitute ‘Islam’ for ‘a government’, Sheridan’s quote would describe the position of Western leaders today. They fail to recognize that Islam is a religion with a god, Allah, who expects absolute obedience and respect from believers. For Muslims, Allah is a real spiritual entity with an objective: the subjugation of all mankind to himself. His precepts for achieving this are set out in the Qur’an. The drive for such an outcome and the precepts for achieving it appear to be unrecognized by those who should be most aware of them
Western leaders and commentators shy away from confronting Islam. They like to talk about ‘political Islam’ as if this were something quite different from Islam itself. This is a handy delusion, as they then equate political Islam with Islamic State and radical terrorists rather than Islam per se. They can then get a warm feeling when some success is achieved against these manifestations, as is now occurring in Iraq. Notwithstanding, Islam rolls on, continuing to increase its presence in all Western nations and its influence over those charged with the responsibility for their security.
A recent four part series in The Australian, ‘War on Islamic State’, demonstrates these assertions by outlining the stated strategies of our leaders.
- Soften the rhetoric to stop using hard-line terms such as ‘death cult’ and ‘Team Australia’. The objective being to enable ASIO and the AFP to secure Muslim cooperation in countering extremists.
- The age of terrorism is inspired by radical Islamist ideology and thus the above agencies must have the trust of the Islamic community.
- Islamic State is weak and its weapons the acts of the loser: the danger of Islamic State should not be overstated.
- Employ a strategy to embrace Islam through such means as the PM’s dinner to mark the end of Ramadan and the visit by Ministers Foley, Burke, and Baird to Lakemba to celebrate the same event.
- Fast-track de-radicalisation programs with the realization that young people are a significant demographic danger.
- The defeat of Islamic State in the Middle East is the answer.
The authors of the article then weighed in with some musings of their own. ‘The question is not why the ideology is so popular; it is why it is so popular now? Militant Islam has existed in some form or another for centuries, however never before has it enjoyed such wide currency.’
These are astounding statements from supposedly lucid commentators when the history of Islam is considered. As the authors note, militant Islam has existed for centuries. But not just a few — fourteen centuries to be exact! Islam has always been militant from the day in AD 630 that Muhammad marched into Mecca. The big difference now is that through those fourteen centuries of militancy, Islam has achieved a significant representation in every Western nation and is in control of the agenda. Those are the reasons for Islam’s wide currency today. Islam has demographic critical mass geographically and is flexing its muscle: Muslims are encouraged and Allah is happy.
Also in last week’s Weekend Australian, Alan Dupont, contributing national security editor, CEO of Cognoscenti Group and non-resident fellow at the Lowy Institute, came up with the new idea of treating Islamic State as one would a cult (‘Islamist killer cult can’t be destroyed with half-measures’). Dupont goes on to outline a swag of measures he wants the West to implement to destroy this cult, including control of borders; disrupting the capacity of terrorists to recruit our people; imposing harsher penalties on those convicted of terrorism, including their supporters; preventing those engaged in terrorist-related activities from collecting welfare benefits; investing in more intelligence, intelligence-sharing and counter-terrorism; stopping our prisons from becoming terrorist incubators; reaching out to our Muslim communities; targeting terrorist financing; and destroying Islamic State’s war-fighting capacity.
What a list! Additional billions of dollars would be spent without laying a glove on Allah or the Qur’an. Moreover, his suggestions are blunt instruments that will simply inflame tension and intensify resurgent Islam’s resolve. They fall into the same category as a number of ideas floated during the recent election campaign: banning the berka, restricting the number of mosques, recording sermons, and similar.
Reverting to Sheridan’s comment, quite simply our leaders and commentators do not appear to understand Islam’s theology or the spiritual nature of that with which they are dealing. One has to wonder if any have read the Qur’an or considered the issue from a theological and spiritual point of view. It also brings into question whether they have much knowledge of Christianity, whose precepts are the foundation of the secular democracy they have been tasked with protecting. Their actions to date display a poor understanding of the diametric differences between the theologies of Islam and Christianity and the outcomes each manifests. Mind you, Christian leaders do not appear to have been a big help in either critiquing Islam or in advising government.
In the Bible we find an emphasis on the following: compassion, courage, discipline, endurance, hope, humbleness, forgiveness, freedom, justice, mercy, respect, sacrifice, sincerity, trust, and truthfulness. The Bible encourages individuals to display love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. And the Bible makes it clear on how these virtues are to be measured: in the person and actions of Jesus. Our forebears drew on these virtues to fashion the West’s secular democracy. You won’t find many of them in the Qur’an.
Unfortunately, as Sheridan has noted, no one in the West takes God seriously and in general we don’t think about, talk about, or live by the noted virtues any more. We are more interested in the latest leftish ideology or material and hedonistic pleasures. God’s precepts and their standard have become ‘old fashioned’, ‘out of date’, ‘too hard’, ‘unfair’, ‘restrictive’ and worst of all ‘politically incorrect’. In the absence of the solid direction that these virtues have engendered in the past, Australia’s society has becomes weak and sloppy with no moral or spiritual compass: the perfect environment in which resurgent Islam flourishes. The recent musing at Quadrant Online, ‘Holding the Man in Dubai’ exemplifies Australia’s addled state. Where do we go from here?
We all know lovely Muslims; we come across them every day. They are all terribly sorry when something like the Nice truck massacre occurs. Could there be a problem? Well there is and it is this: all Muslims carry Allah’s playbook, the Qur’an, in their backpacks. There is no escaping this simple fact. Nor is there any chance of the Qur’an being modified: after all, if that were to happen Allah’s objective would not be accomplished.
Do our leaders or commentators understand this? Do they recognize the primacy of Allah and the Qur’an to Muslims? Do they understand that the Qur’an is a dangerous document to have circulating freely in a secular democracy? Are they aware that Allah is not the same spiritual being as God? Do they care?
Muslims have a view of the world that is expressed in the precepts of the Qur’an: that is their right. Unfortunately these precepts do not fit with the norms of Australia’s secular democracy. It is unacceptable and impractical to expect Australians to put up with being hostage to Allah in our own country and spending billions of dollars to no effect.
If the Government is going to effectively manage the Islamic imbroglio they have one choice and one choice only. They must say to Muslims, “Regrettably, it is clear that Allah’s precepts in the Qur’an and their outworking, as shown by the history of Islam, are not compatible with Australia’s secular democracy and our social norms. Either change your life and reject the teachings of the Qur’an and remain in Australia as an Australia citizen or, migrate to a country where the precepts of the Qur’an are accepted and practiced.”
NOTE: This concludes a series of articles by the author on the Islamic imbroglio. Earlier articles have attempted to demonstrate the following:
- the many delusions the West employs to give itself comfort that it understands, and is on top of, the situation (Kidding Ourselves About Islam);
- the value that Christianity could bring in combating the Islamic issue but is of no avail due to Australia’s rejection of God (A Good Word for Christian Certainty);
- the tenuous nature of Islam in relation to Section 116 of the Constitution (Islam and the Constitution);
- the role that Allah plays in making Australia hostage to resurgent Islam (Defining the Problem With Allah).
Thanks also to all who have responded with comments.