Quelle surprise that, if media reports turn out to be true, ISIS terrorists have used the cover of being Syrian refugees to enter and infiltrate the West.
These reports have yet to be confirmed but it is something that is causing very understandable concern – and even more understandable ire – among the peoples of Europe.
That said, the kneejerk reaction to refuse entry to all refugees is one that fails to take on board the reality that there is a decent amount of these refugees who are actually seeking to escape terror campaigns in their own back yard. Many victims of Islamic terror are Muslims.
I have found it very sad and a little troubling that I have had to delete comments and ban certain people on my Facebook who would have been better suited fighting in the Crusades alongside Richard the Lionheart than living in 21st century Britain. Anyone seeking to peddle racist rhetoric and religious hate on my Facebook or Twitter profiles will be banned and binned just as efficiently. You can keep your imaginary gunboats and nukes beside your Crusaders helmet and armour – just don’t use my timeline to vent your hate.
Let me reiterate, if there is to be a War on Terror it should not be a war on a religion but on terrorists. The faith of terrorists may have some twisted meaning for them but to smear everybody who follows a faith or religion because of the psychotic tendencies of minorities who seemiingly share that faith is both a stupid and disproportionate response. It is also inherently evil in that it is just as deranged and deluded an approach to dealing with the problem as the problem itself.
The argument that many Muslims share the same objectives as Islamic terrorists is also a big red herring. Of course Muslims want Sharia Law and for Islam to take over the world. Most religions would share those objectives. It isn’t the end goal that is wrong; it is the means to the end. Christians are mandated to make disciples and bring God’s Kingdom i.e. rulership to earth. But the process is not one of brutal conquest and forced subjugation – it is by means of persuasion and winning hearts and minds.
All faiths are looking for converts. What matters is how conversion is achieved.
Everybody wants to rule the world. That includes Starbucks, McDonald’s and Sky Television. It’s actually expected and regarded as weird if you don’t. What is and should be unacceptable are people who use terrorism to try and achieve their goals. And it is equally unacceptable that we should tar everyone who shares the goals of terrorists but not their means of obtaining them with the same brush.
A great example is the Roman Catholic faith of Irish Republican terrorists. You cannot blame all Catholics for the extreme methods of those who deploy violence to achieve their goals. Many Catholics are passionate about a united Ireland but deplore terrorism as a means of obtaining it. It is also further complicated by the fact that the historic roots of Irish Nationalism include the contribution of many distinctly Protestant supporters. In fact, the early Fenian Movement was opposed vehemently by the Roman Catholic Church.
Irish Nationalism is a classic example of the truth that we make big assumptions about certain things but we are often very much mistaken as the reality of the situation often has contradictions and surprises we are ignorant of.
The simple truth is that our knowledge in the West of Islam and its sects is painfully scant. We make giant leaps about things and people we know little about. Ignorance often leads to superstition and fear. The Middle East has always been mysterious to us in the West. The “mystery” aspect lends itself to those who use that basic of all fears i.e. fear of the unknown to manipulate our collective responses.
There is potentially a valid argument that an increasingly strong Muslim presence in our Western countries will weaken our status as Christian nations. Frankly, two simple rebuttals blow this out of the water. The first is the competition argument. If Christianity cannot defeat any appeal Islam has, then it is not worth its dominant position. Starbucks is arguably stronger because of the Costas and Caffe Neros it has to outperform.
But the second argument is the better one as far as Islam’s threat to Christianity is concerned. It is this: If Islam can have such a damaging effect on Christian faith and practice as rampant secularism already has done, it will truly be a force to be reckoned with.
It is alarming to see how much hatred and zeal for violent retribution against Muslims are being stirred up at present. It is perfectly understandable that we react in this way to people who have chosen terrorism as a way to obtain their objectives. It is wicked, however, to extend this to every follower of Islam just because they share their faith in a very broad way with terrorists.
Our postmodern society affords us through technology the ability to express our individuality and personal views to a global audience. Social media is a wonderful development in this regard. However, the curious corollary from this is that our almost godlike ability to reach and influence millions through a computer screen also carries with it the very potent danger of being swept along by millions in groupthink through that same screen.
We can express our individuality far more than we ever dreamed possible but the downside is we are more prone than ever to hived thinking. It is the Trojan Horse price we pay for internet “freedoms.”
When events of global consequence like the Paris Attacks happen, it is more vital than ever to remind ourselves that we are not units plugged into a gigantic grid; we are free-thinking individuals with the power to reject a hive mentality and meme conditioning.
We can make up our own minds without having to accept the prejudices of others.
If there is such a thing as the right to think for yourself in this day and age, it will be the right you have to fight for more than anything else.
When it comes to fighting Islamic terror groups, just remember one thing. It suits the terrorists for you to blame all Muslims. Such thinking only pulls in more and more people to the conflict. They want it to be about a battle of ideologies – a cosmic battle of faiths.
But it isn’t.
It is about one thing and that alone.
They are criminals and cowards and it is the job of our law enforcement agencies to bring them to justice. Don’t give these murderers the glory and prestige of having a cause or treating them as warriors or soldiers. They are not at war. They are criminals, pure and simple.