As someone specializing in Islamic jihadism, one would expect I’d have much to say immediately after jihadi attacks of the sort that recently occurred in San Bernardino, or Paris, or Mali, with a total of about 180 dead. Ironically I don’t, as such attacks are ultimately symptoms of what I do deem worthy of talk: root causes. (What can one add when a symptom of the root cause he has long warned against occurs other than “told you so”?)
So what is the root cause of jihadi attacks? Many think that the ultimate source of the ongoing terrorization of the West is Islam. Yet this notion has one problem: the Muslim world is immensely weak and intrinsically incapable of being a threat.
That every Islamic assault on the West is a terrorist attack — and terrorism, as is known, is the weapon of the weak — speaks for itself.
This was not always the case. For approximately one thousand years, the Islamic world was the scourge of the West. Today’s history books may refer to those who terrorized Christian Europe as Arabs, Saracens, Moors, Ottomans, Turks, Mongols, or Tatars[i], but all were operating under the same banner of jihad that the Islamic State is operating under.
But today, the ultimate enemy is within.
The root cause behind the non-stop Muslim terrorization of the West is found in those who stifle or whitewash all talk and examination of Muslim doctrine and history; who welcome hundreds of thousands of Muslim migrants while knowing that some are jihadi operatives and many are simply “radical”; who work to overthrow secular Arab dictators in the name of “democracy” and “freedom,” only to uncork the jihad long suppressed by the autocrats (the Islamic State’s territory consists of lands that were “liberated” in Iraq, Libya, and Syria by the U.S. and its allies).
So, are Western leaders and politicians the root cause behind the Islamic terrorization of the West? Close, but still not the right answer.
Far from being limited to a number of elitist leaders and institutions, the Western empowerment of the jihad is the natural outcome of postmodern thinking — the real reason an innately weak Islam can be a source of repeated woes for a militarily and economically superior West.
Remember, the reason people like French President Francois Hollande, U.S. President Barack Hussein Obama, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are in power — three prominent Western leaders who insist that Islam is innocent of violence and who push for Muslim immigration — is because they embody a worldview that is normative in the West.
In this context, the facilitation of jihadi terror is less a top-down imposition and more a grassroots product of decades of erroneous but unquestioned thinking. (Those who believe America’s problems begin and end with Obama would do well to remember that he did not come to power through a coup, but that he was voted in — twice. This indicates that Obama and the majority of voting Americans have a shared, and erroneous, worldview. He may be cynically exploiting this worldview, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s because this warped worldview is mainstream that he can exploit it in the first place.)
Western empowerment of the jihad is rooted in a number of philosophies that have metastasized into every corner of social life, becoming cornerstones of postmodern epistemology. These include the doctrines of relativism and multiculturalism on the one hand, and anti-Western, anti-Christian sentiment on the other.
Taken together, these cornerstones of postmodern, post-Christian thinking hold that there are no absolute truths, and thus all cultures are fundamentally equal and deserving of respect. They hold that if Western people wants to criticize a civilization or religion, they must instead look “inwardly” and acknowledge their European Christian heritage as the epitome of intolerance and imperialism.
Add to these a number of other sappy and silly ideals: Truth can never be uttered because it might “hurt the feelings” of some (excluding white Christians, who are free game); if anything, the West should go out of its way to make up for its supposedly historic “sins” by appeasing Muslims until they “like us”; etc.
All together, we have a sure recipe for disaster — which is the current state of affairs.
Western people are bombarded with these aforementioned “truths” from the cradle to the grave, from kindergarten to university, from Hollywood to the newsrooms, and now even in churches. So they now are unable to accept and act on a simple truism that their ancestors well knew: Islam is an inherently violent and intolerant creed that cannot coexist with non-Islam (except insincerely, in times of weakness).
The essence of all this came out clearly when Obama, in order to rationalize away the inhuman atrocities of the Islamic State, counseled Americans to get off their “high horse” and remember that their Christian ancestors have been guilty of similar, if not worse, atrocities.
But he had to go back almost a thousand years for his examples; he referenced the Crusades and Inquisition. That both events have been completely distorted by this warped postmodern worldview — which portrays imperialist Muslims as victims — did not matter to America’s leader. And worse, it did not matter to most Americans. The greater lesson was not that Obama whitewashed modern Islamic atrocities by misrepresenting and demonizing Christian history, but that he was merely reaffirming the mainstream narrative that Americans have been indoctrinated into believing.
And thus, aside from the usual ephemeral and meaningless grumblings, his words — as with many of his pro-Islamic, anti-Christian comments and policies — passed along without consequence.
Once upon a time, the Islamic world was a superpower, and its jihad an irresistible force to be reckoned with. Over two centuries ago, however, a rising Europe, which had experienced over a thousand years of jihadi conquests and atrocities, defeated and defanged Islam.
As Islam retreated into obscurity, the post-Christian West slowly came into being. Islam didn’t change, but the West did. Muslims still venerate their heritage and religion which impels them to jihad against the Western “infidel,” whereas the West learned to despise its heritage and religion, causing it to be an unwitting ally of the jihad.
Hence the current situation: the jihad is back in full vigor, while the West — not just its leaders, but much of the populace — facilitates it in varying degrees.
This situation is not easily remedied, for to accept that Islam is inherently violent and intolerant is to reject a number of cornerstones of postmodern Western thinking. In this context, nothing short of an intellectual/cultural revolution — where rational thinking becomes mainstream again — will allow the West to confront Islam head-on.
But there is some good news. First, the eyes of more and more Western people are being opened to the true nature of Islam. That this is happening in spite of generations of pro-Islamic indoctrination is a testimony to the growing severity of the threat.
Yet it still remains unclear whether objective thinking on Islam will eventually overthrow the current narrative of relativism, anti-Westernism, and asinine emotionalism.
Simply put, celebrating multiculturalism and defeating the jihad is impossible.
However, if such a revolution ever does take place, the Islamic jihad will be easily swept back into the dustbin of history. For the fact remains: Islam is terrorizing the world, not because it can, but because the West allows it to.
[i] Although the original Mongol-Tatar conquerors were not Muslim, most of them eventually converted to Islam — finding natural appeal in its divine validation for conquest, rapine, and plunder — and articulated their later wars on Christendom and others in the name of jihad.