No one should be shocked by Paris.
Nothing has changed and no one should be shocked by what took place in France last Friday, least of all our national leaders. The catalogue of catastrophe caused by Islamists is long and only recently includes Paris, Charlie Hebdo, Beirut, Lebanon, and the Russian airliner downed in Sinai. While our hearts go out to our oldest allies we need to get our heads in the game. Perhaps now we will. Perhaps.
As K. T. MacFarland, who served in national security posts under the Nixon, Ford, and Reagan administrations recently wrote, “It is slowly dawning on the West that radical Islam is the existential threat of our times, as fascism was in World War II, as communism was in the Cold War. We can’t cooperate with it, we can’t convert it and we can’t contain it. We must defeat it.”
Like the Nazis and Communists before them, the Islamo-fascists of ISIS, Al Quaeda, Boko Haram, and all of the other iterations of Salafist-Sunni, and radical Shia have been and continue to be quite clear about their philosophy, their goals and their methods. They want nothing less than world domination, where everyone bows to Allah and lives according to Sharia, and they will commit mass murder, including mass murder against other Muslims, to achieve it.
Will we believe them now?
The problem for Western leaders, President Obama in particular, is that we cannot fight what we will not name. The president has resolutely refused to acknowledge, much less speak to the theological core that motivates these murderers. As my friend, former Muslim, and Islamic scholar Samer recently told me, “ISIS cannot be defeated by airstrikes. You could thin down their leadership but you will never kill their zeal and persistence. Solving this issue can not be solved by military action alone but by recognizing that there is something inherently wrong with Islam.” (For more on that see my post on the Charlie Hebdo massacre from January of this year at: https://daneskelton.com/2015/01/08/charlie-hebdo-and-the-keepers-of-quranic-islam/)
In other words, “It’s the theology, stupid.” Because the predominant western theology, which amounts to Moralistic Therapeutic Deism, is so thin and our commitment to God is so shallow we are shocked by people willing to sacrifice their lives as an act of worship in the slaughtering of innocents. We shouldn’t be.
The Islam preached and practiced by the perpetrators of these atrocities is the same land-grabbing, nation-swallowing political Islam that precipitated the Crusades. MacFarland presents a ten-point plan that would marshal the powers of Western Civilization to destroy it and I hope it receives serious consideration by our leaders. Of her recommendations one of the most important is stifling the ideology by stopping the cash flow that supports it. It is long past time to play hard-ball with the wealthy Saudis and other so-called Middle Eastern “allies” who continue to fund the Imams and mosques that preach this stuff. And take note: Syrian refugees aren’t all we need to be thinking about. Some of those mosques are here in the U.S. Further, the Council on American Islamic Relations (C.A.I.R.) is simply a front group for the spread of the same theology.
You might be wondering, “What can we do about all this?” Here’s what our church does. We support our friend Samer, whose work with Muslim seekers and Muslim Background Believers, and equipping churches like ours to understand the threat has a global reach. We also support the work of Wycliffe Associates which enables courageous leaders in some of the most dangerous parts of the world to accelerate the translation of the Bible into the languages of the Islamic world. Finally, we support Samaritan’s Purse, which provides emergency relief work in many of these same areas, as well as the phenomenal outreach known as Operation Christmas Child. In these and other ways we seek to supplant the darkness of Islam in the heart of the Middle East with the light of Christ. I hope you will continue to pray for and take part in those efforts.
No one should be shocked by what happened in France last week and until our leaders wake up and get serious about shutting down the theology of jihad we should expect and prepare for more of the same.