This week featured yet another example of barbarity by the Mohammedan factions of the world. In Paris a parody magazine that had been publishing cartoons casting Islam and Mohammed in a rather grotesque light was attacked in military fashion by two brothers, one of whom had been indicted a few years ago for recruiting people to jihad. This then led to a man hunt, a second pair of Muslims taking hostages at a supermarket in Paris, and finally two shootouts leaving some of the hostages dead. These events have prompted many to search for answers as to what to do to prevent this type of carnage from taking place. There have been shrieks of fear from the Leftwing press here in the US and in Europe about the possible rise of “far-right” political movements hostile to immigration. And there have been brow furrowed questions from the Right about how to detect people who would carry out these types of attacks. Both sides miss the biggest issue that these events have spotlighted: the disunity and lack of confidence of the West.
During the Cold War it was generally accepted that the West was unified in purpose–the destruction or containment of the Soviet Union–and confident in its mission–the superiority of individual liberty over the statist despotism of communism. That is the conventional history of the Cold War and for the most part it is true. Yes there were episodes that caused differences between the member states of the West, but the overall goal remained unified. However, this conventional wisdom needs to be critiqued slightly. The unity in purpose was not the result of The West recognizing that it was superior to communism as many of the Western states were themselves sympathetic to the ideals of Marx. The overriding unifying force behind the Cold War unity of the West was the desire by the European powers to end the cycle of destructive war that had ravaged the continent for centuries. It was this sentiment that caused the great raucous between Europe and the US (and a lesser extent the UK) during the 1980s, the West was finally being led a group of people who not only wanted to contain the Soviet Union but wanted to see it destroyed and systematically changed. With the absence of the threat of war on the continent, Europe finally saw their chance to dramatically move away from the United States.
During the 1990s the United States and the states of what became the European Union took drastically different paths domestically. While the US worked to expand the EU and NATO to the former states of the USSR, Europe was implementing domestic policy that served to deconstruct the institutions that were demonstrably instrumental in the rise of Western dominance, such as crippling restrictions on free enterprise and the limiting of the influence of Christianity on society. Europe also took to rapidly opening their borders to former colonies and an influx of people who fought to reject Western rule began to flood their former Western colonizers. Pakistanis into Great Britain, Algerians into France, Libyans into Italy and so forth and so on all while the Leftist governments of these European states demanded multiculturalism instead of assimilation into the Western societies that the immigrants moved in to. It is this insistence on multiculturalism is that brought to the fore the complete and utter self flagellation of the West in the face of cultures that first rejected it in their own countries and then moved to the West to reject Western Civilization in European countries. Enter the barbarity witnessed in Paris this week.
Charlie Hebdo is the satirical magazine that was the latest target of Islam. They were overtly insulting Islam and therefore become a target of Islam, and this manifested itself in the death of 11 writers of the magazine. In the wake of the violence the initial reaction was one of indignation that free speech would be attacked in such a way. But almost as soon as the indignation surfaced, chastising Charlie Hebdo for being insensitive to the emotions of a non-Western society also surfaced. PJ Media put together a pretty good montage of different media personalities bemoaning the actions of Charlie Hebdo. Nicholas Kristof took to the pages of The New York Times to make it clear that most Muslims in the 1.6 billion person population of Islam do not, in fact, go on murderous rampages when Islam is made fun of. Sure the vast majority may not go on murderous demonstrations, but they certainly are not completely honest when they condemn those who do either. In The Guardian these attacks are actually blamed on how the French treated Algerians during the 1960s during the twilight phase of colonialism even though the killers themselves made no mention of colonialism and instead cried “The Prophet has been avenged.”
Finally, there is USA Today allowing a British radical Muslim to voice his side of the Charlie Hebdo issue, that “People know the consequences.” Anjem Choudary is notorious in the UK for organizing Shari’a enforcing gangs to patrol majority Muslim neighborhoods in London to look for Westerners who venture in to these neighborhoods as well as posting signs in these neighborhoods warning Westerners that they are entering an area of London where Shari’a is enforced. Contrary to what Mr. Kristof asserts, Choudary states that “the Messenger Muhammad said, ‘Whoever insults a Prophet kill him.’” He then explains that Western countries have been complicit through sanctioning the torture of Muslims and targeting Muslim civilians in the Middle East as well as instituting laws against speech that does incite violence. He then ends with this, “It is time that the sanctity of a Prophet revered by up to one-quarter of the world’s population was protected.”
The frightening aspect to this is that the West has agreed to what Choudary has called for, revering the sanctity of “the Prophet.” The West has signed onto UN Human Rights Council resolution 1618 which stipulates that the signatories to this resolution should police speech that foster intolerance, stereotypes, or incite violence against religions. The implementation of this resolution by the signatories is facilitated by what is called the Rabat Plan of Action. Through this plan of action Western states who are supposed to be the harbingers of freedom of expression are encouraged to pass laws against anti-discrimination and “states should have in place a public policy and regulatory framework which promotes pluralism and diversity of the media; and which promotes universal and non-discrimination in access to and use of means of communication.” In other words, states where it is perfectly fine to allow stage productions mocking the Mormon faith or where the mentioning of Catholic Priests is also followed by the snickering remarks of piddling alter boys are now charged with policing “discriminatory” language against religions. The proponents of UNHRC Resolution 1618 were the members of the Organization of Islamic Council.
The problem with the West is that there is among the elites in politics and in society a sense of guilt about the characteristics of Western Civilization that every other civilization known to man also share while neglecting the wonderful benefits of Western Civilization that are nowhere to be found in these other civilizations. In the West free speech and free expression are cherished because it allows for individual autonomy and the manifestation of the individual as the sovereign. It is the key characteristic handed down to the West by having a solid Judeo-Christian foundation. The West has been turning away from this foundation for a century and while turning away from the essence of Western Civilization, the West has turned toward totalitarian ideas and, as Mark Steyn might say, doused the lights of freedom.