I propose that the next American President appoint a Prophet to the Cabinet. We have entered an era where prophetic views and values are sorely required.
Prophets, (Jeremiah, Isaiah, Cassandra), see what is happening but the people and their leaders don’t listen to them. Perhaps if prophets could once again assume official positions (with calling cards and press secretaries) their voices might be heard. Consigning prophets to the care and keeping of commercial or even academic publishing is a risk we can no longer afford to take.
Of course, I am not talking about False Prophets or lunatics but about the real deal. (I know, whom can we trust to recognize a true prophet, etc.)
But the handwriting-on-the-sky has been alarmingly visible for quite some time. In the 1970s, French novelist Jean Raspail published a Swiftian novel, The Camp of the Saints, in which he envisioned a flotilla of millions of immigrants traveling from the Ganges to France. An all-powerful, multi-culturally correct intelligentsia that has taught Europe that it must atone for its racist, colonial guilt welcomes the invasion. Europe (European culture as we have known it) is destroyed.
In the 1980s and 1990s, the Egyptian-born scholar Bat Ye’or and Italy’s finest journalist Oriana Fallaci tried to warn us in both learned and passionate ways. They continued this work right into the twenty-first century. In the beginning, they were dismissed as “paranoid” and “racist”, viciously attacked, and even sued.
From the mid-1990s on, other voices chimed in: the eminent Daniel Pipes for one, and the equally eminent Ibn Warraq, for another. Post 9/11, both men have continued this work and have been joined by Robert Spencer, Steve Emerson, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Nonie Darwish, Wafa Sultan, and scores of others (Pim Fortyn, Theo Von Gogh, Bruce Bawer, Carol Gould, Melanie Phillips, Fiamma Nierenstein, myself).
So far, what we have said has made little difference. We, too, have often been dismissed and attacked as “racists” and “reactionaries” by other westerners.
Some of my prophet-friends say that the tide is turning, that both European governments and civilians now “get it.”
Welcome news–although rather late in the day.
In my view, the signs are still there for all to see. My email this morning tells me:
In Iran, Hossein Shariatmadari, managing editor of ‘Kayhan’ (Universe), one of Iran’s most influential newspapers, has “issued a strongly worded editorial inviting Muslims to topple moderate Islamic governments and attack US, European and Israeli interests.” In the editorial, entitled “The enemy’s shield”, Shariatmadari argues that in Shia or Sunni Islam “It is legal to strike those who protect the enemy.” ” The real enemies, says Shariatmadari are “The barbaric Zionists, the ferocious Americans and their European allies”.
Not to be outdone, Al-Qaeda has threatened to assasinate Gordon Brown and Tony Blair and to devastate Britain with a wave of suicide bombings unless all British troops are withdrawn from Iraq and Afghanistan and all Islamist prisoners are freed from British jails by the end of March. This threat appeared on a recognized jihadi website (al-ekhlass.net) but has now been taken down. It was also posted in English under “Al Qaeda in Britain” but has also been removed. Despite such threats, Britain continues to groan under the costs of subsidizing the precipitously rising birth rate among immigrants.
The upper house of the Afghan parliament supported a death sentence which was issued against a young Afghan journalist for blasphemy in northern Afghanistan. Pervez Kambaksh, 23, was convicted last week of downloading and distributing an article insulting Islam. (The article concerned women and Islam). He has denied the charge. These MKs are America’s and Europe’s allies.
Turkey’s governing political party agreed to lift the ban on Islamic headscarves for women attending university. (This group almost made it into the European Union–and the Turkish military may stage a coup over this).
In Jordan, a 17 year-old girl was strangled to death by her brother in a Palestinian refugee camp in Jordan in what was reported to be an honor killing. (But this must be due to the Israeli Occupation–oh wait a minute, Israel does not occupy Jordan).
The same Hamas that invaded neighboring Egypt’s sovereign space, has, since Israel withdrew from Gaza, bombarded the Israeli border town of Sderot with more than 4000 rocket and mortar attacks, killing and injuring many innocent civilians. (Much thanks to Jennifer Lazlo Mizrahi of The Israel Project for publishing a Time-Line of these rocket attacks).
And our trendy friends at al-Jazeera are trying to exert more control over the English-language outlet. The editor-in-chief, Ibrahim Hilal, was not pleased by how his mainly western journalists handled the infamous Mohammed-the-teddy-bear incident. According to one source, “Hilal sent an email banning the story from being run on al-Jazeera English because it would upset Muslims. It was only covered when there were riots in Sudan.”
Yes, there are signs of resistance afoot as well: The Danish Royal Library is planning to exhibit the Mohammed cartoons–but the British decision to label all acts of Islamist terrorism as “anti-Islamic” (which columnist Mark Steyn labels as “Orwellian”) is far more characteristic of our times.