For days I avoided the story, as I know many others have. Coming on the heels of the atrocities of the Islamic State, the take-over of Mosul (now a holding camp for kidnapped Yazidi “brides”) the purging of the Iraqi Christians from their ancient lands and the pursuit of genocide — the disheartening knowledge that, despite the official pivot away by our government, there are still thousands on Mount Sinjar who will not be rescued, because they are very old, or very young, or very weak — who could take any more? Who could read about 15 years of rape and abuse, happening while authorities feared breaking the rules of political correctness by questioning cultural practices?
What Rotherham puts me in mind of is the behavior of the conqueror. One of the terrible after-effects of invasion and war has been the subjugation of the women, the rape of wives and daughters, the seed of the conqueror, inserted into a culture and a society — yet another tactic meant to subdue and eradicate.
And yet, there has been no old-fashioned “invasion” and no “war” in the southern part of Yorkshire. This conquering was invited, and it was invited throughout Europe, where Rotherham will be discovered to have been replicated. Why wouldn’t it be? Who in Europe would dare to prosecute?
Rotherham will not be the last “conquest”. There are radical Islamists — not “observant” mind you, just radical — living in the West and determinedly unassimilated to it, on every continent.
Earlier today I read about three churches in Columbus graffiti’d with the word “Infidels”.
“It was just one word. It said ‘Infidels!’” Father Doug Marcotte said of what was spray painted on Saint Bartholomew’s Catholic Church in Columbus overnight Saturday.
Parishioners saw that, along with the word “Qur’an 3:151” on their way into mass Sunday morning.
“It’s certainly not a warm and fuzzy verse. It talks about the infidels, their refuge being the fire,” explained Father Marcotte.
Specifically, that passage of the Qur’an reads:
“We will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve for what they have associated with Allah of which He had not sent down [any] authority. And their refuge will be the Fire, and wretched is the residence of the wrongdoers.”
Saint Bartholomew’s wasn’t the only Columbus church vandalized.
“It’s really bizarre and the fact that they hit two other Christian Churches. It’s not like we’re all in a line. So why did they pick the three of us,” asked Father Marcotte.
Outside East Columbus Christian Church and Lakeview Church of Christ, members there found the same kind of graffiti Sunday morning.
Well, radicals tend not to make fine distinctions: in this case, one Christian is like any other. The good news is, this act was quickly condemned by local Muslim residents.
That may have to happen more and more as fundamentalist Muslims come to the fore and our moderate Muslim friends and neighbors try to explain to the rest of the country why radical Islam has no relation to what they know of Islam, any more than the Westboro Baptist Church bears any relation to what we know of Christianity.
In a widely-shared piece, Matt K. Lewis has picked up on an expressed idea that young men and women of the West are so tired of their passionless, meaningless, too comfortable lives that they are attracted to ISIS, and to totalitarianism for the notion of belonging to something radical and extreme and bigger than themselves:
Sometimes asking people to do things that are hard fills them with purpose. But we rarely do that in modern America.
Going back to ancient times, young men have craved honor and glory. But when there’s no communal higher calling, and no Wild West frontier for those afflicted with wanderlust to conquer, they’re left empty. Playing video games isn’t enough.
True, but why fall in with the Islamic State, then? If someone is searching for meaning, and looking for a radical life of danger, hard work and sacrifice that brings about something great, why wouldn’t they be flocking to volunteer with Father Rick Frechette in Haiti, or helping to address Appalachian poverty, here in America?
Is it as simple as “passionless lives demand radicalism?” I suspect that when a former member of an English all-girl rock band pledges to “behead Christians with a blunt knife”, she’s not looking for a radical diversion; rather she has determined for herself where the “strong horse” resides, and hopes to ride within its power.
Unless, of course, the only radicalism by now left unexplored, and still considered acceptably counter-cultural, is going after the bad-old Christians, because Christianity pretty much formed Western Civilization — and for that it must be punished — and also because for all their foibles and failings, Christians tend to work for peace?
Here is what has me antsy; what if the pundits are right, and the bored children of the West are keen to become Rebels with a Cause. What happens if some of them head toward radical Islam and some of them move toward radicalized “God and Country” resistance?
Rape and subjugation is one way to conquer a people. Getting them to destroy themselves is another. A conquest is a conquest. For that matter, one needn’t use a blunt knife to behead a culture; you just blunt their thinking as much as possible.
What if the West has already been conquered, but simply doesn’t know it yet, because a painless coup happened while the West was naval gazing, or buried in its twitter feed?
I shared these thoughts with a friend tonight, and she responded, with typical brilliance and sensitivity: “Passion wins the world for good in the end (we already know that) or for evil in the interim. In the non-Muslim world, the fire is out. Is the only thing left to ignite it war? I pray not.”
I pray not as well. But it almost seems to me like the whole world is itching for ignition. Yes, on this anniversary of the start of World War II, I did say, “the whole world.”
I keep thinking of President Obama’s recent remarks about the world, upended:
“…the old order is having a tough time holding together and the new order has yet to be born, and in the interim, it’s scary.”
That’s certainly how things feel, right now. Old orders cast aside, new ones not quite in place. And not just in the Middle East.
Look at the bright side. Very soon we may be done dealing with a fake “war on women” and the illusory crisis of free birth control. Let us find our mercies where we may.
UPDATE: Allahpundit has A good roundup
And if I am depressing, read Mark Steyn
Rebecca Hamilton: taking no prisoners