This article was written for RaymondIbrahim.com by Ralph Sidway, an Orthodox Christian researcher and writer, and author of Facing Islam: What the Ancient Church has to say about the Religion of Muhammad. He operates the Facing Islam blog.
Over at The American Conservative, Rod Dreher has a really stirring piece in which he grapples with the complexity and pain of the guerre du jour, the movement to finally banish forever the Confederate Flag (a movement so sweeping that the classic film ‘Gone With The Wind’ may itself soon be gone with the wind). Dreher is a born and raised Southerner, and shares his inner struggle over the issue:
From the time I was old enough to realize what slavery and the ideology of white supremacy that sustained it, and that remained after slavery died, I have had a troubled conscience about the South. I found it so difficult to reconcile the place and the culture into which I was born, and which I loved, and do love, with the hideous facts of our history.
That is the tone of honesty grappling with reality. There’s much more, for Dreher strives to place himself (and his readers) in the shoes of any and all who have dark shadows in their cultural and societal and ideological history. To wit:
Even though your people may have thought and behaved wrongly in a particular instance, you may try to explain the context in which the sin was committed, and to point out the complexity of the situation — not to excuse it, necessarily, but to shed light on the broken humanity of the phenomenon…
I would assert that such issues of situational “complexity” and “context” won’t wash when it comes to Islam and Muslims, because in Islam, it’s not about what Dreher calls “a few bad actors” in “particular instances.” It’s about a lot of bad actors — beginning with one in particular — consistently acting badly over fourteen centuries, under the black flag of divine sanction and command.
Indeed, if anyone has dark shadows in their history, it is Muslims. Yet we rarely if ever see from them any self-examination or troubled conscience such as Rod Dreher and other Southern progeny are displaying now. President el-Sisi of Egypt comes to mind, but most Muslim critics of Islam are ex-Muslims (think Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ibn Warraq).
The darker side of Islam — jihad, genocide, sharia, apostasy and blasphemy laws, honor killings, abuse of women, child marriage, FGM, and that whole supremacist culture which eternally demands for Islam to reign supreme — is analogous neither to the white-supremacist side of Southern Culture, nor to other examples Dreher uses, such as the challenges within Black America or the Roman Catholic sex abuse scandals, all of which derive from the flaws of human nature in each person, extended at times to the mob.
As Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn wrote, “The line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being.”
Yet this is precisely why the case of Islam and American Muslims is radically unlike that of any other cultural, racial or religious group. The evils being perpetrated by the “bad actors” of Islam do not merely stem from the human heart of darkness, “the line dividing good and evil [which] cuts through the heart of every human being.”
No, Islam’s “bad actors” are acting out of deeply held beliefs created by one man — Muhammad — who fourteen hundred years ago unleashed upon the world his own tormented heart of darkness. His devotees take the words he recited (the Quran) as the literal words of God, investing in them eternal validity and unbounded dominion. And they adopt his example as the lens through which to view, understand and apply those words, emulating Muhammad in every manner possible, the more devout they become.
Mass beheadings of Christians by Muslims in Libya, the rape and sexual assault of thousands if not a million British schoolgirls by Muslims, the death penalty for apostasy, blasphemy, and criticizing Islam: all stem from Muhammad’s example and the commands in the Quran.
Another example of Islam’s dark allure is what Daniel Greenfield calls “the Nice ISIS Jihadist Next Door.” How is it we keep seeing more and more American Muslim men and women — “moderate”Muslims: affluent, college-educated, successful — sneak off through Turkey to join the Islamic State, or simply become “lone wolf” jihadis here at home? “Until they began killing people, they seemed just like the rest of us. And with one difference, they were.”
That one difference, my friends, is Islam, Muhammad, the Quran.
Even Southerners now are calling for the removal of the Confederate Flag from public display, yet Muslims can’t seem to raise more than 24 protesters against jihad attacks in North America.
We have even seen a Pope (John Paul II) publicly repent over and ask forgiveness for the treatment of Jews, women and minorities under the flag of Christendom over the centuries. Yet where is the Muslim mea culpa for 14 centuries of warfare, land expropriation, slavery, persecution and genocide?
Islam now has a new caliphate and a reinvigorated global jihad, and Muslims are committing a new genocide against Christians in the name of Allah. Yet where are the Moderate Muslim protests against the Black Flag of Jihad? Where is the Muslim repentance and soul-searching analogous to what we saw in Rod Dreher’s lament over the “hideous facts of our history”?
There is none. Instead we see Muslim condemnations and death fatwas against those brave souls who try to shine light on the dark recesses of Islam and its endless threat against all non-Muslims. We see Muslims saying they have no reason to apologize for Islamic terrorism and jihad.
As long as Muslims see no reason to apologize en masse or reform Islam, we shall continue to hammer on Islam’s crimes against humanity, on the fact that 80% of mosques in the United States promote jihad and sharia law over the Constitution, and nearly 30% of U.S. Muslims think violence is justified against those who insult Muhammad.
We are at a critical moment in human history, when proclaiming the truth about evil is essential for any people anywhere to have a free future. Solzhenitsyn warned that it is essential to expose evil itself — the evil ideology — as well as to punish the evildoers. Behold the Epitaph of America and Europe, from The Gulag Archipelago:
In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousand fold in the future. When we neither punish nor reproach evildoers, we are not simply protecting their trivial old age, we are thereby ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new generations.
Let’s get the Confederate Flag out of the news cycle and concentrate on the real threat to free people everywhere: the Black Flag of Islam. Let us not keep silent about the evil.