Through my other blog that is titled, History Stuff that Interests Me, I have made some friends around the world and some of them are from Western Europe that like the US have significant Moslem populations.
Today one fellow blogger, an American who is married to a German and lives there, posted this image on her blog:
The image was in reference to a Moslem riot in Sweden and yesterday’s murder of a British soldier in London by two Moslem jihadists.
I also noticed today that two of my European friends were having a discussion on FB regarding the murder of the British soldier and they were accused of racism and bigotry simply because they were objecting to the pc attitudes prevalent in their countries (Britain and Germany).
No doubt the blogger will soon be subjected to the “all Moslems are not like that” routine that follows each jihadist attack just as my two European friends were (not one racist and bigoted comment was noted by me by either of them).
That’s about how it goes in this country as well. Say something remotely critical of Islam and you are labeled a racist or bigot or both, end of discussion.
No fair-minded person would hold all responsible for the actions of the few but that kind of argument fails to identify why there are jihadists in the first place and what are their ultimate goals..
The western nations have evolved politically to embrace pluralism. The online Free Dictionary defines pluralism like this:
a. A condition in which numerous distinct ethnic, religious, or cultural groups are present and tolerated within a society.
b. The belief that such a condition is desirable or socially beneficial.
In the wake of the Reformation Europe fought many wars, notably the Thirty Years War, that had religious ramifications. One of the results of the Thirty Years War was a drift, at times a slow drift toward pluralism.One the tenets of the Peace of Westphalia that ended the Thirty Years War is that each prince could determine the religion of their own state. The choices were limited to Catholicism, Lutheranism and Calvinism. While it does not seem like much today, at the time it was a significant step toward religious pluralism.
Europe at the end of the Thirty Years War, 1648. In green is the Ottoman Empire turned back at Vienna, 1683.
Our own country enshrined freedom of religion in our Constitution and did away with State run churches in an effort to be pluralistic. As a result of these movements and historical events most of the west is pluralistic in outlook and content as a whole to live and let live in a sort of melting pot of cultures and faiths.
Do I think most Moslems are content to live and let live? Yeah, probably, but the minority that seeks to establish sharia in the western countries and use jihad (the passive and aggressive varieties) do not. Pluralism is not something they can accept because they believe their version of the Islamic faith will not allow that kind of tolerance. It’s not really any more complicated than that.
It’s also worth noting that every time there is a jihadist attack Moslem leaders in general are relatively silent, so silent, it’s deafening.
Why is this?
I can think of two reasons off the top of my head.
One is fear, fear that if you are not for us you are against us. The jihadists
are ruthless as we’ve seen time and time again. Unless it would serve their political purposes to speak out the jihadists would have no problem killing off their own. Note how Moslems who convert to Christianity are treated.
Secondly, I think it would be unwise to assume that many mainstream Moslems are not at least sympathetic to jihadist and sharia ultimate goals. They might reject the violence to get there for a host of reasons but we would foolish to ignore that many think sharia is a good thing even in the west.
As an American I believe the war on terror is ultimately a war on those who reject western notions of pluralism and would rather live like Iran or Afghanistan under the Taliban.
As a Christian, I see Islam in general as slavery and antithetical to the Gospel of Grace and what freedom in Christ means and does not mean.
The war is a war on ideas because ideas have consequences.