Not too long ago the West was involved in a life and death struggle against totalitarian communism. The battles were being fought across the globe, and the fate of freedom and democracy hung in the balance. Fortunately the West found itself with a trinity of heroes who helped resist the Soviet threat.
These three were Reagan, Thatcher and Pope John Paul II. Together they withstood the advance of the communist threat, and today the West is the dominant force in the world. But other threats have arisen, none more so than militant Islam. If the Soviet menace once threatened the stability and peace of the whole world, today the global jihadists occupy that place.
To understand the global nature of this new threat, columnist Don Feder has recently delivered an important speech in which he outlines the nature of the enemy and his goals. Posted in the December 19, 2006 frontpagemag.com., this important article deserves wide circulation. He begins this way: “You have a problem. It’s a problem shared by Jews in Hebron, Serbs in Kosovo, Hindus in the Kashmir, Catholics in Lebanon and Americans walking the streets of New York.”
He then lists a number of incidents, some of which I present here:
“-In Indonesia, three Christian school girls were beheaded.
-In Iraq, A Syrian-Orthodox priest was kidnapped, tortured and murdered.
-In Somalia, a nun was shot to death as she left the hospital where she worked, tending the sick and dying.
-In Lebanon, just days ago, a cabinet minister was assassinated.
-In Britain, authorities uncovered a conspiracy in which native-born Brits plotted to blow up several trans-Atlantic flights, killing as many as 3,000.
-In France, a high-school philosophy teacher is in hiding after very credible death threats following publication of a September 19th commentary in Le Figaro.
-139 died in riots in Nigeria, Libya, Pakistan and Afghanistan – following the publication of Danish cartoons.
-Europe is experiencing the worst wave of anti-Semitic violence since Kristallnacht. The former director of the U.S. Holocaust Museum reports there an average of 12 assaults a day on Jews in Paris.
-In Kosovo, 90% of Serbs have been ethnically cleansed from the province since 1999. The rest live in a state of siege.
-In Mumbai, India, a series of blasts killed almost 200.”
The common denominator? “To quote columnist Mark Steyn, in his excellent book America Alone: The End of The World As We Know It, it begins with an ‘I’ and ends with a ‘slam.’ I am not saying that all Muslims are terrorists. I am saying that almost all terrorists are Muslims – the mother of all no-brainers – and that Islam is a faith that is, shall we say, terrorism-friendly. I challenge you to name another faith in which your entry into Heaven is assured by killing those of another faith in a holy war.”
However, the terrorism is only part of the battle we find ourselves in: “But we make a fatal mistake if we think of Islam only in terms of suicide bombings, sniper attacks, death threats, forced conversions, female genital mutilation, honor killings, jihad this and fatwah that. Every bit as important is what’s going on in maternity wards from Brussels to Bombay. Of the 10 nations with the lowest birthrates, 9 are in post-Christian Europe. And the 10 countries with the highest fertility rates? That’s right – starts with an ‘I’ end in a ‘slam’.”
He then presents some frightening demographic figures, comparing fertility rates between the West and the Muslim world. Consider a few Islamic countries: Niger (7.46 children per woman), Mali (7.42), Somalia (6.76), Afghanistan (6.69) and Yemen (6.58).
The West, by contrast, is going through a “demographic winter as far as the eye can see – Canada (1.5), Germany (1.3), Russia and Italy (1.2) and not-so-sunny Spain (1.1). The latter three nations could cease to exist, as they are currently constituted, within the next 50 years.”
These figures are just as alarming as the daily reports of terror. “What it really boils down to is this: Confident societies have babies. People with a sense of mission have children. Nations with a sense of destiny and faith in the future fill maternity wards, and nurseries and cradles. Those that believe in God as a vague, philosophical concept (if at all), don’t. Instead of the future, they put their trust in 401-K plans (or their equivalent), elaborate state-welfare systems and gated retirement communities. There are still enough of those of us who care enough to act. But the hour grows proverbially late.”
Indeed, the Islamist threat is all too real, and in many ways is similar to the threats of last century, leading up to the aggression of Germany and Japan. “In retrospect, it’s easy to see that a number of events in the 1930s were steps leading to the Second World War – Hitler’s rise to power, the remilitarization of the Rhineland, the Italian invasion of Ethiopia, German and Italian intervention in the Spanish Civil War, the Japanese conquest of Manchuria and so on. It’s always easier to see the interconnectedness of events and the significance of trends in retrospect – well after the fact. But at least after Pearl Harbor, most Americans understood that they were at war. It’s been 5 years since this generation’s Pearl Harbor, and most of us still don’t have a clue.”
Once the reality of what was happening sunk in, leaders in the free world began to understand the mutual struggle they were facing. “When word of Pearl Harbor reached London, Winston Churchill called Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The conversation ended with the British prime minister telling the American president: ‘Well, we are all in this together now.’ As indeed they were – as they probably had been since the early 1930s, though almost no one was aware of it at the time.”
Concludes Feder: “Well, my friends, we truly are all in this together – Jews and Catholics, Lebanese Christians and Hindus, Orthodox Serbs and Indonesian Christians. Until we begin to understand that, we have no hope of countering the global jihad.”
It is hoped that those who love freedom and democracy will not wait until it is too late. The warning signs are there. The stated aims of the Islamists are unmistakable. How many more 9/11’s do we need before we snap out of our slumber and collectively take a stand against this common foe?