In the aftermath of yet another Islamist attack in Europe, this time in Barcelona, the usual excuse makers will still be trying to blame the Iraq war, or the Crusades, or the fact the perpetrator may have been unemployed as the motivations for the atrocity. I worked for several years as a youth worker with unemployed young British men from many ethnic and racial backgrounds. None of them ever resorted to driving over their fellow citizens to quell the boredom and frustration of being jobless.
The Jeremy Corbyns, Ken Livingstones, Cenk Uygurs, and Sally Kohns of this world and many of their supporters will grasp at anything but admit the truth that the Islamic faith has a problem with both violent and nonviolent extremism. When you want to talk about Islamic extremism they will bring up the fact that all religions have their extremists. This is undoubtedly true, but there is a qualitative difference between an extreme Mormon and his strange underwear collection and a Wahhabi hate preacher who believes Western women are whores who should be driven over and maimed beneath the axles of a speeding van.
An extremist Christian will go on an anti-abortion march, scream at you about the fiery depths of hell, and then go home and pray for sinners (yes, in some cases, they’ll do much worse). An extremist Buddhist will meditate too much and bore you to death about karma. An extremist Hindu will definitely kick your ass if you try to eat his cow. However, there is only one religion where its extremists (and there are many as it’s a spectrum) believe some or all of the following: gay people should be killed (happens in many Islamic countries at the hands of the state or a mob), those who wish to leave Islam should be killed or imprisoned (the law in several Muslim countries), and women should be stoned to death for sex outside marriage.
And we have invited a fair amount of individuals who hold these attitudes into Europe, courtesy of our immigration policies over the last few years. It’s not all, certainly not, anyone who says that is clueless. But it’s enough that we are seeing problems and attacks erupting around Europe. The challenge is confronting and changing these attitudes without sliding into bigotry.
Hindus, Sikhs and African Christians and ex-Muslims adapt and integrate/assimilate, so do many Muslims, but others do not because they are hostile to liberal ideas. The most extreme go on murderous rampages. The less extreme call for blasphemy laws, practice forced marriages and wish to live by religious laws as opposed to the laws of liberal democracy.
Do some research on the problems that plague almost every Muslim majority country which result from the predominance of illiberal mindsets, and realize we are importing these very problems to some degree. I fear that without appropriate methods to keep those who hold far-right totalitarian religious views out of the West there will be, regrettably, many more religiously motivated attacks to come. It’s a very simple mathematical equation: import more extremists and get more extremism.
And because some European politicians have provided little to no screening and have not efficiently regulated the numbers migrating from the Islamic world, with each terror attack bigotry and hatred towards the genuine moderate Muslims will grow — which I utterly condemn. I worry that not dealing with this issue honestly will not bode well for sentiments against liberal and secular Muslims. So, well done to Angela Merkel and the EU for all of this.
Over the next few days, before the bodies in Barcelona are laid to rest, the legions of self-hating Western apologists will spend most of their anger either denying the problem or blaming the West for these attacks.
I read one post on social media. It was written by the type of person who had harped on continuously about Charlottesville for the past few days. But when it came to Barcelona, they described these attacks as nothing but a footnote in the weekly news that should be given less attention. I doubt the victim’s families see the murders of their loved ones as nothing to cause a fuss about.
The increase in these terrorist attacks over the last years throughout Europe has a simple reason. Yet it is mind-boggling how impossible it has become to think in these simple cause-and-effect categories because it does not fit into the narrative of the rich West that helps the poor refugee. In Germany, ideology has always trumped real-world conditions. German history is full of massive, ideology-based miscalculations. Europe, don’t expect anything from Germany. You’re on your own (again).
Is it “whataboutery” to fault people for concentrating on America and Europe and largely ignoring what’s happening in the rest of the world (phraseology stolen from Jerry Coyne)?
For example, Devine’s cutesy “[a]n extremist Hindu will definitely kick your ass if you try to eat his cow” for “an enraged mob will beat you to death on the rumor that you have butchered a cow”?
Or even worse “[a]n extremist Buddhist will meditate too much and bore you to death about karma” for what is happening to Rohingyas in Myanmar? [See UN report from February.]
But that kind of belies the “there is only one religion where its extremists …” bit.
Police, local authorities and often journalists – and politicians hand in hand with “community leaders” – focus on abstract ideas like tolerance, democracy, faith and so on and the reputation of these ideas, preserving their personal or institutional image at all cost. This is exactly how traditional religious societies work and utterly wrong in a secular state, allegedly based on individual human rights. Somehow, we’ve forgot the original priority: the human life and dignity. Instead, we get involved in endless debates about categories like culture or religion (pretty much inseparable). Are we any better if we judge the victim, even more, legal protection depends on the perpetrators’ background? I see reason and empathy being sacrificed for the worst kind of identity-politics. This is a real threat to the European way of life not immigration and terrorism.
[…] at Areo, A. R. Devine does see a problem, and discusses it in his frank article “After Barcelona: Let the denial and excuses begin.” (Devine is identified as “a writer and published author. He won the Orwell Prize in […]
In Germany, Our Lady from Uckermark and her Holy Alliance, which happens to hold 100% of the seats in the Bundestag, just agreed upon a wonderful solution to all this: hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil.
There is a similar problem with Pakistani Muslim men, who have been sexually abusing white women and girls here in the UK for years. Their justification for such abhorrent behaviour was that their faith permits it. The police and local authorities were fully aware of these crimes, but chose to turn a blind eye for fear of being labelled racist. These are the depths of cowardice and idiocy to which a small, but extremely vocal and influential, section of British society has sunk. The inevitable result has been, and will continue to be, and increasingly violent backlash from the frustrated majority population. The events now unfolding in the US will be mirrored in the EU, and no amount of hand-wringing, meaningless weasel-words, or pig-headed denial of reality from the left will change that. Sadly, I feel the end of these troubled times will be many years in the future, assuming… Read more »