That line appeared in a circular e-mail showing an old painting of Turks storming Byzantium’s capital in 1453. I laughed, but somewhat sardonically: the joke cut too close to the bone.
The message is clear: every atrocity committed by Muslims has to be ascribed to a madman acting alone or, at best, to a particular Muslim group. We refuse to portray the ongoing carnage for what it is: Islam’s war on the West.
In that spirit François Hollande declared an “all-out war on ISIS”, making one wonder what was wrong with his previous such declarations over the last couple of years. Once declared, a war should proceed apace, with no further declarations necessary.
Another historical analogy, if I may. On 14 October 1939, Günther Prien’s U-boat sank HMS Royal Oak at Scapa Flow. Yet Chamberlain didn’t announce that, as a result of that cowardly act, Britain was declaring war on Germany’s Unterseeboote Command.
Had he done so, he would have been laughed out of Westminster and into a madhouse, for Britain wasn’t at war with German U-boats. She was at war with Nazi Germany.
Incidentally, why are Muslim suicide murderers always described as cowards? Since when do people prepared to die for their beliefs qualify as such? They’re all sorts of things, Muslims prime among those, but cowards they aren’t. One wishes they were.
Pope Francis haltingly specified what kind of war is under way: “The real word is war… yes, it’s war… I only want to clarify, when I speak of war, I am really speaking of war… a war of interests, for money, resources. …I am not speaking of a war of religions, religions don’t want war. The others want war.”
Your Holiness, those murderous savages don’t shout “Long live our oil wells!”. They scream “Allahu akbar!” Shouldn’t we take them at their word?
And how do you explain those hundreds of churches, synagogues, Christian and Jewish cemeteries being desecrated throughout Europe? Who do you think is doing it? I’ll give you a clue: the vandals often spray-paint a pig’s head, and I don’t think Methodists treat pigs as evil incarnate.
It’s also amazing that the Pope talks about religions generically, just like Richard Dawkins does. Religion in general doesn’t exist. Christianity is as different from Islam as either of them is from the totemistic cult of the Aranda tribe.
It defies sanity to claim that Islam, which has been waging a continual war on the West for 1,400 years, doesn’t “want war”. The Centre for the Study of Political Islam (CSPI) estimates that the ‘religion of peace’ has killed 270 million infidels during this time. The Koran, especially its later part written after Mohamed moved from Mecca to Medina, contains 300-odd verses explicitly calling for the killing – or, at a quieter moment, ostracism – of Christians and Jews, and Muslims practise what their scripture preaches.
Moreover, ever since St Augustine defined the doctrine of just war, Christians too have been prepared to fight wars, provided they were indeed just. His Holiness is therefore mouthing meaningless platitudes that wouldn’t be out of place in The Guardian.
In fact, ISIS, the vanguard of Islam, has for a long time been pledging an attack on what in the colloquial Muslim parlance is called ‘crusaders’, meaning churches. Why, they’ve even threatened to assassinate Pope Francis, one suspects for his symbolic value rather than for any danger he presents to Islam.
If only today’s Catholics really were crusaders, the Muslims wouldn’t be able to terrorise today’s answers to Constantinople. In fact, the Church has lost its backbone, along with its influence in Europe.
It’s a tragic misnomer to refer to today’s France as a Catholic country. Even occasional church attendance in France stands at a generously estimated 12 per cent of the population. It’s normal for one priest to cover 20-40 parishes, and many churches are boarded up. Some, such as the beautiful Gothic church in a village down the road from us, are being pulled down.
As indirect proof, Fr. Hamel was butchered when celebrating Mass before merely four parishioners, two of them nuns. This in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, a town of 28,000 people, most of whom doubtless describe themselves as Catholics.
No wonder the pontiff talks as if he were in charge of social services, not the Holy See. In fact, various departments of social services are becoming the central institutions of modernity, forcing their bulk into the slot once occupied by the Church.
It’s characteristic of our philistine age that any conflict has to be described as “a war for money, resources”. Yet it’s not for money or resources that Islam is waging war on the West. It’s for Allah.
The West too used to be able to fight not only for physical lucre but also for metaphysical intangibles: faith, freedom, honour. Now we’re prepared to do an Esau, by selling our birthright, or a Faust, by selling our soul to Satan. Both transactions are – and will continue to be – anointed with the blood of Western martyrs murdered by a religion that does want war.
Père Jacques Hamel, requiescat in pace.