Western Europe is beginning to acknowledge that Islam can be a problem. Editor of MercatorNet Michael Cook wrote:
- Prime Minister David Cameron described the fight against “this poisonous ideology” as “one of the great struggles of our generation.” (Salvo Magazine, Spring 2016, 48)
Recently Cameron reasoned:
- Do we close our eyes, put our kid gloves on and just hope that our values will somehow endure in the end? Or do we get out there and make the case for those values, defend them with all that we’ve got and resolve to win the battle of ideas all over again?
- In the past, I believe governments made the wrong choice. Whether in the face of Islamist or neo-Nazi extremism, we were too tolerant of intolerance, too afraid to cause offense. We seemed to lack the strength and resolve to stand up for what is right, even when the damage being done by extremists was all too clear.
How true, but does Cameron go far enough? After all, what is right for the Muslim is not necessarily “what is right” for the UK. I think that Cook’s analysis is quite illuminating:
- Democracy and the rule of law are the hard-won glories of Western culture, but they don’t appeal to the existential passions of young people trying to shape a meaning for their lives. ISIS recruits are being promised suffering, sacrifice, and eternal glory. To them, Cameron’s words must sound like the huffing of a latter-day Colonel Blimp. (46)
Sadly, even for many of the non-Muslim English, Cameron’s appeal is nothing more than cultural imperialism. On March 28, 2016, The Telegraph reported:
- Teaching children fundamental British values is an act of “cultural supremacism”, teachers have said, as members of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) vote to replace the concept with one that includes “international rights”.
- However, teachers argue “fundamental British values” set an “inherent cultural supremacism, particularly in the context of multicultural schools and the wider picture of migration”.
These remarks make it obvious that more is needed than the preaching of the traditional principles of the UK. Instead, the West needs to argue that its system of justice and morality represents the truth, and the Islamic system represents falsehood. If we are unwilling to do this, then we are unwilling to stand against the insipient onslaught of Islam. If we do not have an adequate rationale for our culture, it will eventually be destroyed, and we see this happening now.
What is an adequate rationale? Clearly, tradition alone is no more than “cultural supremacism.” A pragmatic defense of our traditions is not adequate, especially in light of the pragmatic carrot offered by Islam of a glorious afterlife with 70 virgins, all your own.
Instead, pragmatism must embrace truth! Why do we believe in equal rights? Well, it might work for us, but the Muslim is convinced that subjugation of all non-Muslims under the sharia is far better. How do we argue against what they believe? By showing them that they are wrong! How? By demonstrating that the Bible is truth and the Koran is not, and that their system of justice is not! For example, we are all created in the image of God, and this makes us all, not just Muslims, precious in God’s sight:
- And for your lifeblood I will require a reckoning: from every beast I will require it and from man. From his fellow man I will require a reckoning for the life of man. “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.” (Genesis 9:5-6 quoting 1:26-27; ESV)
This means that we cannot behead others because they do not share our faith; nor can we turn them into sex-slaves.
Is such a conflict with Islam distasteful? Of course, but living (or dying) under sharia will be far more distasteful. But how can we pin our hope on the God of the Bible if we do not believe in it or even in God? Perhaps believing is not the obstacle that we think it is. As Jesus had promised:
- “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:7-11)
I, among many others, have found His words to be true!