Thursday, January 25, 2007

Enemy Mine: Our Societal Weakness is Our Enemy’s Strength

There’s been much talk of Mark Steyn’s new book America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It and his warning of the use of demographic jihad against the non-Muslim world. But there is another warning he gives in his book that has gone, so far, unnoticed – at least until now.

Charles Colson reviews another side of Steyn’e book not widely reported – what we have lost by what we have gained from becoming too much of a secular society.

As Steyn sees it, one major reason the Islamo-fascists hate us is not that our beliefs are inimical to theirs, but that more and more of us believe in nothing at all beyond self-indulgence. And they look down on us for this but they are also learning how to use it to their advantage. Observing the rapid growth of radical Islam in Europe, Steyn writes, "If you're a teenager in most European cities these days, you've a choice between two competing identities-a robust confident Islamic identity or a tentative post-nationalist cringingly apologetic European identity.” Radical Islam is not luring Europeans away from a solid belief system; it's providing many of them with the first real belief system they have ever had. It's filling a void for people who have nothing else to believe in or hold on to.

Steyn says that Secularists in Europe - and in America as well - do not understand this.

"One reason why the developed world has a difficult job grappling with the Islamist threat is that it doesn't take religion seriously. It condescends to it." That condescension makes secularists unable to see what's going on right under their noses. It's similar to the situation that's been going on in our prisons for years now, which I've talked about several times on "BreakPoint." Prisoners all share one thing: a need for something to fill the emptiness in their lives. We have seen this in the thousands of prisons we work in. Radical Islamists know this, and they have made a point of targeting prisoners for conversion. Their brand of religion offers people that sense of belonging, of something worth living and dying for, that people need - the very thing that postmodern secular societies do not offer. And that's a big part of what makes radical Islam so dangerous.

As Steyn put it in a recent interview for our "BreakPoint" website, "Islam is a weak enemy, and its strength is determined by what it's pushing against." The problem is that Europe and, increasingly, America are putting up very little resistance.

Read the rest at The Gathering Storm.

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