The following column from Family Security Matters touches on many things we've discussed here before. But constant reminders about basic things helps. Thanks to Wendy Woodley for sending this link to us.
Jihad Means Offensive War to Spread Islam: Osama Bin Laden’s Warning to Europe
Clare M. Lopez
Just in case Europe didn’t catch his drift with one new message, al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden launched two audio taped broadsides on the Internet during the third week of March 2008. In them, he specifically threatened Europe with Jihad, apparently in response to recent stirrings of self-assertion on the Continent. It would seem that the republishing of some of the Danish cartoons, the release of a short film about Islam by Dutch filmmaker, Geert Wilders, and a sterner approach to the expansionist Islamist agenda by a crop of tough new European leaders have sparked a yelp of protest from the al Qaeda leadership.
To the Jihadi vanguard, it must have looked like Europe was well on its way to slipping back into a dhimmitude last seen centuries ago, when Jihadi warriors overran much of southern Europe, white women were prized features on auction blocks across the Caliphate, Christians and Jews knew their places in societies dominated by Islam, and it was ransom and tribute that flowed out of Christendom’s kingdoms, not impertinent caricatures of their Prophet. France already had cordoned off over 700 no-go zones where neither Napoleonic Code nor police were welcome. Belgian bishops had permitted North African illegal immigrants demanding sanctuary from threat of deportation to hold Muslim prayer services in beautiful Brussels cathedrals. A German judge had refused the desperate plea of an abused Moroccan-born woman for an expedited divorce, because, as she intoned from the bench, in the culture of Islam, it is permitted for a husband to beat his wife. The Archbishop of Canterbury had urged Britons to just accept the coming of Sharia in the UK. Theo van Gogh had been shot and stabbed to death because he stood unrepentantly for free speech, and his colleague, Ayan Hirsi Ali, had been hounded from the Netherlands altogether. Taxi drivers in Norway, the UK, and elsewhere were refusing blind passengers with Seeing Eye dogs, because they said dogs are deemed unclean animals in Islam. The newest architectural trend from Oxford to Cologne was the building of mammoth, Saudi-funded mega mosques. Yes, the establishment of Eurabia must have seemed well underway.
But then Europe began to push back and a new Pope mounted the throne of Peter, a “Panzer Pope” he’s been called, and gave a 2006 speech at the University of Regensburg in the sturdy Teutonic heart of this continent. He didn’t actually say anything about a crusade; in fact, Pope Benedict XVI, at Regensburg and since, has sought quite sincerely to present Christianity as a vehicle for discourse and reason among faiths. The 2008 establishment of a permanent council for dialogue between the Vatican and Islam was meant to build bridges, not spark fury and menace.
This is where the well-reasoned temperance of the Enlightenment falls flat, however. For the Islamic Jihad is not about reason, or temperance, or enlightenment. It is about conquest. And right now, al Qaeda and its Jihadi cohorts both home-grown and international, including the Muslim Brotherhood, the Union of Islamic Clerics, the European Council for Fatwa and Research, and their smooth-talking spokesmen such as Dr. Mustafa Ceric, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, and Tariq Ramadan, have set their sights on Europe. Europe is too liberal, too free, too open, too outspoken, too rich, and also nicely softened up by decades of inroads by concepts like multiculturalism, a paralyzing antipathy to discriminating judgment, and an abhorrence of self-defense.
Make no mistake: Osama bin Laden’s threat is real. Al Qaeda and the Jihadis, whose cultural references were formed in the searing sterility of the 7th Century Hijaz, are coming for Europe. In the Arab desert where Islam was born, the code of the tribes demands challenge, honor, and spoils. A society raised on the values of the strong, where nothing is ever produced but only seized from the weak, where concession and compromise are met with contempt, and where revenge and retribution define human interaction – a society such as this cannot abide a civilization of uninhibited intellectuality and tolerance. In such a milieu, Islam developed, inextricably, as both socio-political system and monotheistic faith. Both remain hard, unforgiving, and bent on global domination. The sacred and immutable doctrine of Islam is laid out for all time in the revealed scripture of the Koran, the hadiths (or sayings of Muhammad), and the Sunna (or accounts of Muhammad’s deeds). There is nothing in any of these about turning the other cheek, loving one’s neighbor as oneself, or the inherent equality of all human beings. Neither will you find virtues of non-violence, self-sacrifice, or truthfulness applicable among any people but Muslims themselves. For the infidel, there is only the choice of three: convert, submit, or die.
Europe needs to wake up, and quickly. The obligatory Islamic warning has been given, the Continent put on notice that unless it agrees to compromise on its liberal lifestyle and legal system, al Qaeda will unleash its Jihadi attackers. The Vatican, too, notably accused of inspiring another crusade only after the conciliatory announcement was made about the new council for interfaith dialogue, will need to muster all the stern resolve and brilliant theological command of its current Vicar if nearly-spent Christianity is to help lead Europe’s defense. For in the end, while its population may well exhibit the studied ennui of a post-faith-based society, Europe nevertheless has much to be proud of and plenty to defend. And even though its advanced technology, orderly and educated native citizens, magnificent artistic expression, complex economies, and sophisticated political systems elicit scant acknowledgment from the savage Jihadis sworn to destroy it all, these are accomplishments that represent a pinnacle of human development. Europe is the well-spring as well as the front line of defense for modern concepts of liberal democracy now spreading inexorably the world over (except for the Arab/Muslim part of it).
Unless Europeans at every level, from the small village grocer to the leaders of academia, government, labor, and media, somehow grasp that the world view driving al Qaeda’s warnings shares virtually nothing in common with their own and adapt their defenses accordingly, it is completely conceivable that Bernard Lewis’s dire prediction about the likely Islamization of Europe by century’s end could prove true. Or, as Daniel Pipes put it some time ago, Europe must either somehow assimilate its burgeoning and increasingly hostile Muslim elements, adopt a draconian program of expulsion and immigration control, or acquiesce to Muslim dominance.
Islam does not really mean peace and Jihad is not inner yoga. Islam means submission: submission to Allah, to Islam, and to Sharia. The only peace being offered by Osama bin Laden is under the shade of the Koran and the sword. Whether by da’wa (preaching and persuasion), infiltration and destruction of faith from within, or the outright terror that al Qaeda promises its enemies, it is not just Europe that faces the Jihadi onslaught. It is every society that dares to be free to choose its own way of life, elect its own leaders, and enact its own laws. It is Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel, and the United States of America.
Knowing the enemy, naming the enemy, and mastering the enemy’s culture, history, ideology, and tactics are essential to meeting and defeating his challenge. Only by frankly facing the Islamic Jihad and resisting every urge to dismiss it as primitive, already defeated, or somehow unequal to modern civilizations such as our own, will we have any chance of prevailing.