The question that must be asked

How’s this for a first para from a mere columnist who wishes to take up Obama’s empty rhetoric about modern Islam and the Christianity of a thousand years ago?

I have written three books and numerous articles about the Crusades, slavery and the Inquisition, so I suppose I am, forgive me, somewhat qualified to discuss them. Not, of course, as expert as President Barack Obama, because he seems to be an authority on pretty much everything.

The columnist is Michael Coren writing in the Toronto Sun, under the heading, Obama dodges tough questions of Islam. His conclusion, in what is anyway a short article, seems to be this:

As I say, I have written entire books about the context and nuance of all this so a column can never satisfy. What Obama was perhaps trying to say was that people use religion to conduct all sorts of evil deeds and in that he is correct. But if he genuinely understood history and religion, he would know that Christ’s actual teachings were seldom the reason for ancient injustices.

The question that must be asked – and Obama and so many like him have neither the courage nor the wit to do so – is whether the same can be said of Islam.

Ahem, ahem. Obama does, of course, know the answer, which is why he does so much to evade the question.

Facing the truth

This is by Michael Coren in The Toronto Sun: Face the truth about Islam and terrorism:

Only a bigot believes that all Muslims are terrorists, but only a fool believes there is no link between Islam and terrorism.

Yet as still another innocent person is beheaded and paraded before the world, there are two odious coalitions that refuse the embrace or admit the truth.

The first is in some ways easier to deal with. This dark gang includes Islamic fundamentalists, anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic fanatics, haters of the west and in particular the United States and hard left extremists who believe all violence and instability aids their cause.

The second is more complex and nuanced. This alliance involves the cowardly, the absurdly naive, the usefully stupid, the relativist deniers and those who due to good will or a total lack of historical consciousness believe all religions are the same and if only everybody had high speed Internet and a full belly we could all dance together into the sunset.

There are in fact four stages involved in the denial of Islamic terror. The first is where we empty our heads. The second is where we bury of heads. The third is where we bow our heads. The fourth is where we lose our heads.

The first three are metaphorical, the last is literal.

The first stage involves ignorance. We assume Islamic violence is all our fault because of, for example, the Crusades.

This is what I call the Kevin Costner school of history.

In the movie Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, dashing Kev tells us that his dad thought it wrong to try to convert people to another religion. Quite so, but Robin’s dad obviously knew little of the Crusades because they never tried to convert Muslims and were a direct response to 300 years of Islamic violence in the Holy Land. They were a product of Islamic brutality, not its cause.

From the Crusades we blame imperialism, even though the major empire o f the Islamic world was Turkish and Muslim; we blame Israel; we blame George Bush; we blame everyone and everything other than the genuine article.

The second stage is an attempt to ignore what is going on, to pretend if we are sufficiently indifferent it will all disappear and we can return to our Netflix and HBO and be terribly smug and clever in our own cocoons of moribund complacency.

Next is submission, where we become subservient to an Islamic ascendancy that takes the shape of anti-racism, anti-Islamophobia, liberalism and a bewildering belief that Christianity is oppressive and reactionary and perhaps Islam really does have quite a lot to offer if we give it enough time and thought.

Finally comes, well, the decapitation of the few followed by the political and moral decapitation of the many.

If you doubt me, ask Arab Christians how quickly the Islamic cringing minority becomes the angry, demanding group insisting that their rights and sensitivities triumph over all other feelings and aspirations.

This is not about individual Muslims but about an Islamism that runs directly contrary to progress, human rights, sexual and gender equality, pluralism, independent opinion and individual, scientific and ethical advancement.

The blades are hovering quite close now, closer than you might imagine.