Ben Hubbard of the New York Times writes of the Islamic State, or ISIS, that “…the group is offering reliable, if harsh, security; providing jobs in decimated economics; and providing a rare sense of order in a region overwhelmed by conflict.” This summary of ISIS and their good deeds sounds eerily similar (and just as disgusting) to the accolades bestowed upon Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party before — and even after — the Second World War and the Holocaust. Hubbard uses the example of a nameless labourer from Raqqa who had “earned good money painting their offices,” who opined of ISIS and their implementation of Sharia law that, “As a way of life, people got used to it.” But the human spirit can adapt to, and even survive, the most trying of circumstances, as evidenced by Jewish survivors of Nazi extermination camps. Or, as the old Yiddish proverb reminds us, “Having no choice is also a choice.”
Leave it to a New York Times reporter to find the smallest measure of good in an entity as shamelessly and overtly nefarious as ISIS and the cruelty they have loosed upon the civilian populations of Syria and Iraq. I remember an openly hostile Muslim in attendance at a conference on Islamic jihad in Grapevine, Texas years ago suggesting to Robert Spencer that “the Prophet Mohammed did a lot of good things.” To which Mr. Spencer immediately replied, “Yes, and Hitler built the Autobahn.” But, tragically, Ben Hubbard’s lummoxic optimism is the measure of the intelligence (or perhaps its absence) of public opinion in our present age.
Tony Judt, in his book Postwar, observes that immediately following World War II, “Few Europeans in that time, well-informed or otherwise, anticipated the scale of change that was about to break upon them.” The ravages of war had “induced in many a skeptical pessimism.” Under the dark shadow of this pessimism they had no idea of how quickly they would recover (much of it thanks to American dollars and goodwill) from the destruction of yet a second world war in less than fifty years. Conversely, this is the same Europe which, “in the years preceding World War One,” as an “optimistic continent,” could not foresee the swift obliteration of the promising future they naively envisioned for themselves.
And this is where, in my opinion, Western democracies are situated today: We have translated into an imprudently and naively “optimistic continent.” We are moving backward instead of forward. Why else would we even consider allowing “returning jihadists” back into our midst without addressing their crimes committed in the name of Islam? Britain’s outgoing Foreign Minister William Hague told the BBC in an interview back in November 2014 that these poor Muslim extremists “just need help because they will have been through an extremely traumatic period.” Apparently the extremely traumatic experiences of their victims have, in the interests of social progress, become irrelevant to Mr. Hague and the British ruling class. How else to explain Mr. Hague’s disjointed morality and his government’s injudicious policy for returning religious psychopaths? Not to be outdone, Canada served up Omar Khadr the same hospitality by releasing him into the public domain. Welcome to Canada, eh.
In July of this year certain of our Muslim population will be observing Al Quds Day in Toronto. Apparently it’s also in the interest of “social progress” that patriotic Canadians should view this “celebration” as no more than an innocuous outpouring of support for Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. This is the “spiritual leader” of Iran, whom many Israeli Jews surely remember for his 2001 declaration: “It is the mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to erase Israel from the map of the region.” In 2010, to reassure his faithful that his anti-Jewish hatred has not been by any means abated over the years, he tweeted, “Israel is a hideous entity in the Middle East which will undoubtedly be annihilated.” My question is, Why does this present Canadian government allow Al Quds Day—a solemnization of the dreams and visions of this genocidal Muslim madman from Iran—to be celebrated anywhere in Canada?
This past Wednesday I contacted the office of Daryl Kramp, Member of Parliament for Prince Edward-Hastings and Chair of the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security, regarding this issue. His secretary promised she would forward my concerns to Mr. Kramp, but as of today (four days later), I have received no reply. One would think that a member of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative government — a government that has promised to stand with Israel through thick and thin — particularly Canada’s Chair of the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security, would be, at least, recognizably alarmed about members of Canada’s Muslim communities celebrating the life of an Iranian anti-Jewish bigot whose obsession with the annihilation of the State of Israel has not exactly been kept a state secret. Personally, as a Canadian and as a friend of many loyal and patriotic Jewish Canadians, I cannot see how the celebration of Al Quds Day in downtown Toronto (an affront to all Canadians) can be dismissed by PM Harper’s Conservative government (and Daryl Kramp in particular) as harmless political activism and not a threat to national security.
Our sufferance of Islamic religious fervour, fervour so obviously foreign to our cultural traditions, should be regarded as a prime example of our public intelligence. And if our accommodation of violent religious lunatics and the opening of doors to returning ISIS jihadists is any kind of indicator of the measure of this intelligence, then I must say that Western democracies are today found wanting. We are not exhibiting social progress but rather social disintegration. Our ostentatious fidelity to political correctness (a fidelity borne of the fear of how elitist Western journalists publicly excoriate the prudent of this world) is no different than the heedlessness that ushered in first Kristallnacht, and afterward Bergen-Belsen and Babi Yar. We refuse to acknowledge this grim regression, which is not public intelligence at all but rather a blundering stupidity.