Hurricane Alberto is scheduled to make landfall today. First of course, we hope all those affected stay safe. While there’s still time to think, Clarion Project asks you to contemplate what we can learn about the fight against radical Islam from this upcoming storm.
Storms, hurricanes and the like are acts of God (or nature, for you atheists out there). Radical Islam is a construct of man, meaning both the perpetrators of this scourge on humanity as well as those who are fighting it have free choice.
People too often talk about the process of radicalization as if those buying into this ideology have no moral agency of their own. Certainly by the time one has reached the end of the teenage years (and usually much earlier), kids are able to distinguish between right and wrong.
Of course children who are raised on this ideology of hatred as mother’s milk don’t stand much of a chance to make the right moral decisions when they grow up, but children raised in Western societies can. We should be educating them to do so and giving them the tools to answer online and offline recruiters for radical Islamists.
Hurricanes come on fast. The devastation may be brutal but once it is over, it’s done. Radical Islam is an insidious chipping away at the very fabric of Western civilization. Islamists using the freedoms enjoyed in Western societies to change our way of life in conformity with sharia principles one step at time.
Take freedom of speech. Push that too far in the West today and see what happens. Cartoon riots, Charlie Hebdo, cries of Islamophobia. Islamists in the West make the price of exercising this freedom too high to pay. The result? Western countries begin enforcing their own version of Islamic blasphemy laws (witness the arrests and harassment by authorities in Europe for criticizing Islam on Facebook, etc.; M-103 in Canada; and the willingness to sacrifice entire communities of young girls in the UK to avoid being called a racist).
Islamist head coverings, hijabs, to take another example, have been rebranded as fashionable, multi-cultural accessories. Those who dare talk about another aspect of this piece of cloth as misogynistic oppression (as do many women in Iran, for example, one of the many places where women are forced to wear them) are demonized.
We must not let fear of Islamists and their threats of violence determine public policy. Rather, we should keep in mind the words of John F. Kennedy: “We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.”
Hurricanes bring people together. When disaster strikes, it brings out the best in the American people – helping each other, rebuilding together and putting aside their differences to do so. Radical Islam, by contrast, has served to rip the country apart. Suddenly, fighting Islamist terror has become a partisan issue, a Left-Right struggle.
Former president Obama refused to acknowledge the connection between Islam and terror, while President Trump has made alliances with and changes within some of the most extremist Islamist nations by calling out radical Islam by name.
In Europe, speaking out against the migrant rape problem makes one a far-right racist.
Left-wing feminists in the U.S. refuse to take up causes such as the oppression of women in Islamist societies or even campaign against the brutal practice of Female Genital Mutilation (Islamophobia they cry! Cultural supremacists, they accuse!)
We see up close the human rights abuses inherent in Islamist societies – this should be the unifying factor in the fight against Islamism. Partisanism has taken over from truth as the barometer of which causes are politically worthy to stand up for, allowing real human beings to suffer in its politically correct wake. This is simply not an acceptable situation.
When it comes to comparing natural disasters to radical Islam, we will have a lot to learn from our response to Hurricane Alberto. Let’s hope we can take those lessons and apply them in the right way.