Saturday, November 14, 2015
ISIS and its handmaidens
Why do these attacks occur?
What is the point?
To strike out at a society they hate, obviously. You have to hate a particular community a lot to randomly kill its members, innocent people out enjoying themselves on a mild Friday evening at a restaurant or a concert.
For revenge? Certainly. These groups, like bullies and aggressors everywhere, see their own suffering in crystal clarity, ignoring the suffering they inflicted on others that started the cycle in the first place.
But is that it? A stab at the West? Toward what end? What is supposed to happen? There is of course a larger purpose, and the purpose it to widen the rift between Western culture and the Muslim world. France is 10 percent Muslim, and those people, uncomfortable already, have to be less comfortable this morning. That is the whole idea. The glittering attractions of Western culture, its freedoms and pleasures, spell the end for oppressive, fear-based medieval theologies. They know that and are locked in a desperate, losing battle, trying to forestall the inevitable.
But radical Muslims are not the only haters in the world. Americans who hate Muslims, of whom there are many, have been leaping to, for want of a better word, glory in this latest atrocity, the confirmation of all they already believe.
"Europe is reaping the stupidity of allowing the muslims to live in their country..." one of my readers emailed me almost immediately Friday night. "England has made the same mistake,; all of the country estates are being bought by arab money and being taken over by muslims. Germany just allowed half a million of these people into their country, and our secy of state kerry said we should take in a couple hundred thousand as well... It defies all reason, but this is what happens when the common man is kept out of the decision making in the world and its turned over to elitists politicians and far left liberal media conglomerates...."
You get the point. It goes on, ending, "Annihilation of Isis and their cousins..."
"And their cousins"? Who would that be? The rest of the 1.2 billion Muslims, perhaps?
There is a symbiosis among haters, each helps the other in cooperative effort. They hold hands and a flash of recognition goes 'round the world. Heartless radical Islamic murderers commit these horrible acts and here, their servants around the world leap up and say, "Yes! Exactly! This is what I've been saying! This is what they're all about! All of them! Let's get them! Let's be just like them!"
These attacks offer a kind of permission, a validation for the hate that is already in their hearts. They feel terror envy, and if the actual perpetrators of the evil are not available, well, here's somebody who looks quite like them, and of the same faith too. And isn't that the basic message of prejudice: These people are all the same; one is as good as another. The killers obviously believe that. And many among us, alas, believe it too.
They're both wrong. And those who can see that have a duty. Most of us will never have the chance to strike at ISIS or defeat terrorism in a real and direct way, other than to be patriotic citizens of the United States, which is battling ISIS et al as best it can. But we will all encounter terror's cheerleaders, its handmaidens, the bigots and fearful hate mongers in our own country who leap to dance in the street over this, in their way, believing, mistakenly, that now is the time when their prejudice is back in fashion, and now is the time when they can lash out at the local mosque, and now is the time when they can condemn the refugees who are fleeing from this very terror. They think this is the moment to suspend America's liberties, to halt the inclusion that is the hallmark of Western culture—to stifle the very thing that ISIS wants stifled—when in reality it is at moments like this when we must cling to both even more tightly, because they got us this far against worse foes than this. The haters have always been with us, a fifth column behind our lines, collaborating with whomever our enemies happen to be, working in concert to undermine our precious freedoms. Those people are everywhere, and we can and must resist the urge to join them, must hold firm and push back, as they try to carry out the wishes of the people who perpetrate the kind of madness we saw in Paris Friday night.