Let's Not 'Lose
Our Heads' Over IS Barbarism (De Volkskrant, The Netherlands)
paint all Muslims with the same brush, but it does happen. We've had Mohammed
A. and Mohammed B. and the head of Osama bin Laden is already hanging as
contemporary art in the Stedelijk Museum. But with
the advance of IS, which emerged out of nowhere this year and wants to
establish a caliphate in the area between the Euphrates and the Tigris (where
human civilization once began), it seems as if we, as infidel Christian dogs,
will have to drink the poisoned cup until Mohammed Z. … Where the West still
thinks it stands for modernity, IS barbarism has opened the third millennium
with a bang: it's back to the caliphate."
We should have known it on 9-11, when with a big bang, the
21st century began: this is no age of reason. Yet at the time, I thought it
wouldn't get any crazier and that the Muslim world would come to its senses. It was
a typical Western notion. The number of hate preachers, neck choppers and
blindfolded video enthusiasts we've seen since defies description. The world has
forever been marked by these images.
shouldn't paint all Muslims with the same brush, but it does happen. We've had
Mohammed A. and Mohammed B. and the head of Osama bin Laden is already hanging
as contemporary art in the Stedelijk Museum [photo, right]. But with the advance
of IS, which emerged out of nowhere this year and wants to establish a
caliphate in the area between the Euphrates and the Tigris (where human
civilization once began), it seems as if we, as infidel Christian dogs, will
have to drink the poisoned cup until Mohammed Z.
Allah is great and omnipresent. We read about couples from
Gouda and Huizen who have travelled with their
children to Syria for holy war. The video executioner who as punishment
beheaded two American journalists and two British aid workers speaks with a
London accent. Barack Obama and David Cameron have been warned several times,
and now boldly declare that the Islamic State has nothing to do with Islam. This again
gives Islam bashers on the Internet reason to sneer about Stockholm syndrome,
referring to the hostages who became sympathetic toward their kidnappers during
a 1973 bank robbery in the Swedish capital.
Perhaps it was the revolutionary spirit. A year later a similar
pattern was seen in kidnapped millionaire's daughter Patricia Hearst. Also in 1974, Yasser Arafat spoke in New York at the opening of the U.N.
General Assembly - in battledress and stubble. Back then, Islam had yet to
begin its big comeback, but already there were plenty of bombings and
hijackings, and the Popular Fronts for the Liberation of Palestine had no
complaints about a shortage of Western sympathizers.
Therefore, we shouldn't pretend that IS barbarism is something
new – or something medieval. On the contrary, it is very contemporary, whereby
the jihadists are one step ahead of the West when propaganda techniques are
concerned. Where the West still thinks it stands for modernity, IS-barbarism
has opened the third millennium with a bang: it's back
to the caliphate - which was abolished
in 1924 by the reformer KemalAtatürk, who prescribed
Western clothing and pushed Islam back into the private sphere.
This had catastrophic consequences for local Christians.
Where colonial British and French were still working on the partition of the Ottoman
Empire, under their noses occurred the first genocide (of the Armenians), and
later on, during the triumphs of Atatürk, Greeks and
all kinds of ancient biblical Christians were driven out. That has continued
into our time, whereby the West has always looked the other way. In 1974, NATO
did nothing to prevent the Turkish division of Cyprus. During the Lebanese
civil war which began in 1975 (with the PLO as co-arsonists), Christians were
depicted as "fascists." The 1982 massacres by Christian militias in
the Palestinian refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila were blamed on Israel. Earlier that year, Assad's father
[Hafez al-Assad] had the city of Hama bombarded by his air
force, which cost the lives of 20,000 members of the Muslim Brotherhood.
The outside world ignored all that. Still, Western experts
act as if the region has no secrets for them. In regard to IS, which no one
even heard of six months ago, we are told that the movement is very strong,
with its own infrastructure financed by oil sales and bank robberies (is there
any "free money" left in the vaults of Raqqa
and Mosul?). Nobody mentions al-Qaeda anymore: it's too moderate. Khorasan looms as an even more extremist movement on
the Muslim firmament. But what in God’s name are we supposed to imagine here? This
is how a crook like Arafat,
following a martyr's death in a French hospital, transforms into a jewel of
humanity. He has finally lived up to his Nobel Peace Prize, albeit
Posted By Worldmeets.US
IS fighters have now graduated to F-16s. Admittedly, former
Prime Minister Dries van Agt, now a friend to the Palestinians, did something
similar during the 1977 Moluccan
train hijacking. That ended things immediately. [Nine armed hijackers held 54
passengers hostage. Six of the hijackers and two of the passengers were killed by
military gunfire in the rescue mission]. Now, however, no one thinks it [another
military response - air strikes] is going to help - and for Christians it's
already too late. Thirteen years after 9-11, the West still has no answer to
the madness in the Muslim world - and neither do Muslims. It is a journey
through the desert.
In the miracle year of 1989, the Berlin Wall fell and common
sense had prevailed. A quarter century later, we need to take care not to lose
our heads. The world seems more and more like an open air prison. Progress would now
consist of turning it into a closed one.