See No Evil


One thing you can give our media Chattering Classes:
They are utterly consistent. After Major Nidal Malik Hasan opened fire on a roomful of defenseless people in Fort Hood, it was absolutely assured that we would immediately be told that this outrage had nothing to do with his Islamic faith and that it was not an act of terror. Then, as time went on and the bleedin’ obvious became bleedin’ obvious, we would spend all weekend enduring TV pundits scratching the $200 haircuts on their 88-cent heads and pondering the question of whether there might be some remote connection between Islamic belief and a guy who praises Muslim suicide bombers as heroes and martyrs, sits under the teaching of a Radical Islamic imam who praises his act of slaughter as heroic, uses his authority as a psychiatrist to proselytize vulnerable patients with Islamic agitprop, and dresses in traditional Muslim garb and shouts “Allahu akbar!” as he guns down his prey.

Orthodox. Faithful. Free.

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It was a spectacular display of deliberate willed stupidity by a media culture that demonstrates repeatedly it does not want to acknowledge that Islam tends to breed such acts of terror with startling frequency. And it was predictable because it happens every time some Islamic butcher opens up on innocent victims in the name of the Prophet. So, for instance, when a Koran-spouting Egyptian took it upon himself to butcher innocent people for the crime of flying on El Al, the initial twaddle from both the state and the media immediately assured us this was an “isolated incident” and that it had nothing to do with the crazy, bloodthirsty Islamic beliefs of the butcher who did it. Finally, after nearly a year of intensive study of the noses on their own faces, the FBI and CNN finally figured out that the murders were specimens of Islamic terrorism. Same deal with the guy in Seattle, who slaughtered a few Jews in the name of Allah some years back. We got the assurance from the media that this had nothing to do with Islam. Then they eventually tried the novel approach of opening their eyes to see the plain light of day. Good job, Sherlock.

Of course, that same media culture has absolutely
no trouble painting Christians as dangerous fanatics (no doubt due to the roving gangs of gun-toting Methodists who shout “Jesus is Lord” as they blast away at defenseless people). We live in a culture where Larry David can piss on Jesus, but we are continually lectured on the need to respect the sensitivities of butchers who get invited to participate in the George Washington University Homeland Security Policy Institute Presidential Transition Task Force and who return the favor by murdering the sons and daughters of the nation that gave him a great education and such high honors.

Meanwhile, the Religion That Can’t Grow Up beholds the carnage wrought by another Son of the Prophet and naturally blames . . . somebody else, while feeling sorry for itself:
“When a white guy shoots up a post office, they call that going postal,” said Victor Benjamin II, 30, a former member of the Army. “But when a Muslim does it, they call it jihad.”
Um, no. When the Muslim calls it jihad, we call it jihad, just as when a Christian used to call it a crusade, we call it a crusade. (And, by the way, when the rare Christian does something heinous in the name of Jesus, Christians condemn the evil act and the one who committed it, not the world for being upset by the evil act.) But in the world of our crazy media, the first response to mass murder by an Islamic killer is moaning that somebody made fun of the shooter. Poor widdle butcher. Boy, I’m sure lucky that nobody in our culture ever mocks us mackerel snappers or says we are the greatest force for evil in the whole wide world. If they did, I guess we’d be perfectly justified in opening fire on innocent human beings.

Indeed, speaking of us mackerel snappers, some particularly ingenious thinkers actually found a way to blame 400-year-old English Catholics for Hasan’s crime:
There simply is no information yet about what Hasan’s motives were, or whether Hasan is indeed muslim [sic] or not. Of course, that last bit of information is the one that everyone will want to know about the most, even though in a fundamental sense it matters the least. . . .
However, something disquieting about the date . . . . It should be noted (as others like Ali Eteraz already have) that today is Guy Fawkes Day — the anniversary of a plot by a Catholic dissident to blow up the English Parliament then dominated by Protestants).

If the shootings were motivated by some sense of grievance against US foreign/military policy, then the date is surely significant.

If you are wondering why centuries-dead Catholics are the Prime Suspects for some of our Chattering Classes, Roland Emmerich does a standup job making clear what motivates so much of the willed stupidity from the Won’t See the Noses on Their Faces Brigade.
It’s all about the cowardice:
For “2012,” Emmerich set his sites on destroying the some biggest landmarks around the world, from Rome to Rio. But there’s one place that Emmerich wanted to demolish but didn’t: the Kaaba, the cube-shaped structure located in the center of Mecca. It’s the focus of prayers and the site of the Hajj, the biggest, most important pilgrimage in Islam.

“Well, I wanted to do that, I have to admit,” the filmmaker told “But my co-writer Harald [Kloser] said, ‘I will not have a fatwa on my head because of a movie.’ And he was right.”

Emmerich went on: “We have to all, in the western world, think about this. You can actually let Christian symbols fall apart, but if you would do this with [an] Arab symbol, you would have . . . a fatwa, and that sounds a little bit like what the state of this world is. So it’s just something which I kind of didn’t [think] was [an] important element, anyway, in the film, so I kind of left it out.”

Note the passive voice. Emmerich doesn’t acknowledge that he is a coward afraid of offending Bronze Age Bullies with thin skin. Instead, he blabbers something about “what the state of the world is.” By this, he means that Christians have that whole “love your enemies” and “turn the other cheek” thing that makes us such safe targets to courageously attack. In a word, Rome doesn’t issue fatwas.

Now, I’m all for not leaping to conclusions. Merely having a Muslim-sounding name no more makes it an act of Islamic terror than being named Rodriguez makes a shooter a “Roman-Catholic terrorist.” But had the shooter in Orlando had a history of praising the IRA murders and bombings, of posting that non-Catholics deserve death, of trying to use his position to pressure subordinates to convert, and of opening fire on rooms full of defenseless people while shouting “Hail Mary!” I think normal people would agree that this guy was a terrorist inspired by a very dark version of the Catholic Faith. What drives me crazy about our media is that they constantly make the preemptive leap to definitively declare that acts of evil committed by Muslims have nothing to do with their Muslim faith, when any fool can see that’s exactly what inspired them.

No, that doesn’t mean all Muslims are terrorists (of course!). Indeed, one of the few sensible people in this entire exasperating farce of idiots in need of Insensitivity Training was Osman Danquah, co-founder of the Islamic Community of Greater Killeen, who, after listening to Hasan’s Radical Islamic nuttery, told him, “There’s something wrong with you,” and assumed the Army would, you know, take care of an obvious threat to its own troops in its midst. But the Current Thinking among the leadership is that the slaughter of a few troops is to be preferred to upsetting the sensitivities of butchers and those who love them:

Danquah assumed the military’s chain of command knew about Hasan’s doubts, which had been known for more than a year to classmates in a graduate military medical program. His fellow students complained to the faculty about Hasan’s “anti-American propaganda,” but said a fear of appearing discriminatory against a Muslim student kept officers from filing a formal written complaint.
That’s because, like everybody else in charge in this crazy country, we treat ideas as though they are genetic traits we can’t help having and refuse to acknowledge the possibility that ideas have consequences. We regard theological and philosophical profiling with the same horror as racial profiling. But here’s the thing: Skin color doesn’t kill. Thoughts of the heart, however, are exactly where murder begins. That doesn’t mean instituting Thought Police, but it does mean that when somebody (or some particular ideological group) demonstrates a pattern of sympathy for violence, we are idiots to ignore it.
And it means we are absolute idiots to go on ignoring the fact that a) Islam has plenty of room in its body of doctrine for this sort of brutal violence; b) Islam has plenty of people who approve of this kind of violence and are in various stages of readiness to commit it; and c) Radical Islamic ideologues often emit glaring warning signals. We are even greater fools to tiptoe around those Muslims whose first reaction to such crimes is to blame everybody else but their tradition and to demand victimhood for themselves.
We want very much to believe that Violent Islam is a perversion of the Islamic tradition and Wise and Benevolent Islam is the Real Islamic tradition. But the reality is that Islam is an invented human religion that borrows from fragments of Judaism and Christianity, mixes in Mohammed’s own delusional (or lying) claims of revelation, and completes it with a dash of conventional wisdom from seventh-century Arab culture. It is not a magisterial faith with some adjudicating body that defines what is and is not the orthodox reading of the Koran. It is whatever its various adherents say it is.
That means that if you are looking for a sanction for violence in the Koran, you can find it, because it’s there. So is the wisdom, almsgiving, and peace stuff, if you want that. So Muslims who commit these heinous acts with such frequency are not “betraying Islam” when doing so out of self-described piety. They are, in fact, implementing one possible interpretation of the Muslim tradition (and often slaughtering a great many other Muslims in the process). Westerners who lie to themselves that these monsters are “not real Muslims” are simply self-deluded fools. They are as Muslim as Mohammed, as are their Muslim victims. There is no Islamic Magisterium to excommunicate them. They don’t speak for all Muslims, but they most certainly do speak and act for the disturbingly large percentage of Muslims who either applaud them, remain silent, or complain about being victims of suspicion and distrust by the victims of terror instead of complaining about the thugs who commit the terror in the name of Islam.

That said, the reality is that the cure, if it is to come at all, will have to come from within Islam: from Muslims who inculcate in their children a sense of shame for Radical Murderous Islam, just as Christians have successfully inculcated shame in their own ranks for expressions of Christianity that turned a blind eye to slavery, terrorism, oppression of women, and racism. It will not come from the preferred Western dream of a post-religious secular world scrubbed clean of “religion.” Such experiments have been attempted in communist countries; they are akin to saying, “We’ve noticed a correlation between immune systems and disease, so let’s get rid of immune systems.” Not accidently, the disease of human sin has only prospered in such regimes to the tune of millions slaughtered. Instead of pretending the beast of Radical Islam is not there, the West will sooner or later have to learn how to educate itself about theology again — or perish. It will also have to profile those who have not a particular skin color but a particular ideological paper trail of ideas and views that makes it obvious they sympathize with Radical Islamic violence, just as we should profile those who sympathize with skinheads, Klansmen, or tales of the Glorious IRA Terrorists.

Most of all, it means we need to get theologically literate again and find a more sophisticated way of understanding things than simply dumping Christianity and Islam into a bucket and calling it all “religion” (which, as we all know, leads to undifferentiated “violence”). The only way to counter an inflamed theology like Islam is with a healthy one, not with the watery delusions of postmodern secularism. And that, sooner or later, means a return to the sanity of the Catholic Faith.


  • Mark P. Shea

    Mark P. Shea is the author of Mary, Mother of the Son and other works. He was a senior editor at Catholic Exchange and is a former columnist for Crisis Magazine.

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