“The death of democracy is not likely to be an assassination from ambush. It will be a slow extinction from apathy, indifference, and undernourishment.” — Robert Maynard Hutchins, 1954
It would be no small feat to pinpoint when, exactly, Western journalists and politicians began losing their grip on reality. I’m much too young and inexperienced, even at sixty, to attempt such a feat. But I’ve always thought the day Yasser Arafat received a Nobel Peace Prize was a watershed moment in modern history, a turn for the worse. I just couldn’t wrap my mind around how a man best known for murdering Jews indiscriminately (but much less known for falsifying their history), even advocating the extermination of all Jews in the Middle East, could possibly deserve such an honour as a “peace prize.” Adolf Hitler was much of the same mind as Arafat, and he hasn’t received half the honour. Jay Nordlinger, who wrote a history of the Nobel Peace Prize, recounted in The Times of Israel that after it became public knowledge Arafat was one of the recipients of this prestigious award, “One of the committee members [Kare Kristiansen] announced that he was resigning. He could not stomach a prize to Arafat.”
This was back in 1994, decades after Muslim terrorists began obtruding their warped personalities and their lunatic ideologies into the fabric of the Western world and during which time we began accepting such obtrusions without objections. Terrorists ceased to be terrorists and became statesmen, even a statesman carrying a .357 magnum into the UN General Assembly in New York City. We’ve arrived at a point in our human evolution where it’s acceptable to wave the ISIS flag on campus but ultimately dangerous to do the same thing with the flag of Israel; where it’s acceptable to physically harass Jewish students in the halls of our universities but deserving of scorn to profile the religious ideology functioning in the background of that harassment; where it’s acceptable for Rafael Barak, Israel’s ambassador to Canada, to bolster the obfuscatory and erroneous notion that “The root of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is not, and has never been, about religion.” The closer the few get to the truth, it seems, the further the many are removed from it.
Harold Joseph Laski warned, “We must plan our civilization or we must perish.” The majority of Western politicians and journalists have forgotten prudence, the virtue of looking ahead. To purport that Muslims have a choice between a good Islam and a bad, to pretend that Islam the good has been hijacked by the bad, is nothing more than the specious claim that Islam the good will save the Western world from Islam the bad. (The jihadists say the same thing, only in their anarchic world the appellations are reversed: Islam the bad becomes Islam the good.) That American or Canadian or British Muslims are travelling to Syria to become mujahidin in the service of ISIS is a direct consequence of Western journalists and politicians minimizing or dismissing the efficaciousness of Islam the good to creating Islam the bad—even from within a democratic society where Muslim religious are provided the many freedoms their parents were denied in the totalitarian autocracies they immigrated from. Imams are now publicly making a distinction between Westernized Islam and the Islam of the Middle East, boasting that the Middle Eastern version, with all its attendant violence and overt Jew-hatred, is the pure Islam. The danger (read: future) the Western world now faces is that the Middle Eastern version is close to becoming the preponderant interpretation taught in our mosques.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet Louis Simpson wrote, “It is one thing to suspect that the news media are corrupt; it is astonishing actually to see lies being fabricated before your eyes.” We are witnessing the slow death of Western democracy, and our politicians and journalists are delivering the blows. Far from nourishing our society with denouements to political and/or religious impasses with honest criticism and objectivity, they simply and shamelessly excoriate those of us brave enough to face these impasses head on. It’s not proper for ordinary citizens to tell the world that four Jewish rabbis were hacked to death while at prayer in a synagogue in Jerusalem by two Palestinian Muslim terrorists, but it’s a good news story to report “a police shooting of two Palestinians,” later to be changed to “4 Israelis, two Palestinians, killed in synagogue attack.” And the attack had nothing to do with the religion of Islam.
Those who tell the truth are now silenced by those who tell lies. The voices of those who speak out in defence of our freedoms are constrained by those who remain indifferent and apathetic even while these freedoms are under siege. Like sheep inured to the slaughter we have become inured to the constant stream of lies from Western journalists and politicians more concerned about forgiving Islam its crimes and cruel manifestations—no matter how atrocious—than they are about preventing Democracy’s slow extinction.
Michael Devolin has been a member of JDL Canada since the 1980s, and has served as the personal bodyguard to Meir Weinstein, National Director of JDL Canada, at several high-profile trials, including the Jim Keegstra hate crimes trial and the Imra Finta war crimes trial.