We live only in a thin slice of evolving history. It is impossible in our short adult lives to know in what ‘age’ our lifetimes will be placed by future historians. Those living in the so-called Dark Ages in Europe in 600; those living in the Renaissance in 1450, or in the Enlightenment in 1750, didn’t know they were living in such defining times.
What I would like to do is to take a trip to the future and speculate on how the mullahs will describe our current age, say, from the beginning of this century to its end. The mullahs, you say? Well, yes, I’m simply going where time and tide appear to be taking us.
How about the Age of ‘…Renaissance Reversed?’ or ‘…Mohammed’s Mastery’, ‘…Sharia Supremacy’ or …Christendom Crushed? The Age of Papal Delinquency has the ring of verisimilitude to it. ‘Ottoman Mark II (bigger and better than ever before)’? These are all possibilities which might pass mullah muster.
Or maybe those in charge of such things will have a sense of humour. The Age of Useful Idiots might prompt a chuckle? The Age of Refugees are Welcome Here strikes a sense of delicious irony and might occasion a wry smile. The Age of the Great Hoax is a bit too cryptic and might be confused with global warming — which long since will have been consigned to the box of infidel tricks designed to damage Arabia.
My pick is none of the above. I suggest that the Age of the Religion of Peace has everything going for it. It carries authenticity for believers while leaving incorrigible infidels clueless and, in point of fact, headless. It marries Allah’s forgiveness with his righteous wrath. It can’t be bettered, and to think George W. Bush more or less invented the term after 9/11! The moral of that story is that killing thousands of people is no barrier to being anointed as peaceful by those desperately desperate not to offend.
The game is being lost and we don’t know it because we occupy only a thin slice of passing events. We can’t comprehend the big picture. But we are not akin to beings in a two-dimensional world for which up and down is unseeable. We can surely spot the portents of the evolving future. Here, very broadly, is what we know.
Muslim populations of Christian (Western) countries have grown sharply in recent decades and are continuing to grow disproportionately; both because of immigration and relatively high fertility rates. Christian populations of Muslim countries have declined sharply in recent decades and are continuing to decline sharply because of oppression. (There is a clue in there somewhere.) Islamism is growing in Turkey and in Muslim nations in Southeast Asia; and, in fact, wherever you look.
Muslim scripture is supremacist in its nature and demands that Muslims rid the world of other faiths and establish Dar al-Islam. Tens upon tens of thousands of resolute and devout preachers carry this message to 1.7 billion (and growing) Muslims; including to so-called ‘moderate’ ones. The spiritual counterweight is flimsy and getting flimsier.
With perhaps the possible exception of the United States, Christianity in the West is a pale imitation of its former state. Its feckless and faith-emaciated leaders proffer inter-faith dialogue to “ravenous wolves” (Matt. 7:15); they shouldn’t wonder at the grisly fate likely awaiting their successors. Assertive atheists show more conviction than do Christian leaders. And good luck if you expect anyone to die in a ditch for atheism.
It is one thing to spot the trend towards Islamic dominance; it is quite another to arrest it. In particular, tolerant societies in these politically correct times have no feasible way of countering intolerance when it is practised and preached by a minority religion ready to claim victimhood at the drop of a hat. I entertained the thought that it could, but it can’t be done. And it certainly can’t be done when Muslim populations become large enough to have political clout; and that isn’t too large.
Muslim immigration can’t be stopped. Financial support to Islamic institutions can’t be withdrawn. The superiority of Western cultural and social conventions can’t be actively promoted. A safe, supportive and encouraging environment can’t be offered to Muslims who wish to leave behind their intolerant and violence-provoking creed. We are stuck, I’m afraid, with just a hope and a prayer.
We have to do our best for the cultural and spiritual wellbeing of our descendants, as transitory as we are in the grand sweep of history. But it seems to me that the portents speak to a relentless trend. If so, our age might indeed be defined and written up by Muslim scholars and historians in circa 2150. If there is faint hope it probably resides in America alone, as Mark Steyn titled his best-seller.
Of course wars, civil wars and insurgencies can alter the course of history. But it is a sad reflection on human progress if extreme and widespread violence is the only obstacle to the advent of a new (and real) Dark Age. Coming up with a more benign solution is the greatest existential challenge of our troubled times. What that solution is, I have no idea. But we need leaders. There’s Trump perhaps. Who else?