Douglas Murray is a commentator from the U.K. and a declinist without equal, even when compared to the other legendary doomsayers of the last century—Oswald Spengler for instance, or my Dad. Murray recently recounted an antic of political correctness from about a year ago that we “Yanks” mightn’t be familiar with.
In 2016, the Manchester, U.K. Police conducted a mock terrorist attack to drill their counter-terror cops for disaster readiness. Much to the horror of right-thinking tolerance troops, things took too realistic a turn when “an actor playing a suicide bomber burst through a doorway and detonated a fake device while shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ (‘Allah is Greatest’).”
What happened in the wake of the Manchester Police’s counter-terrorism exercise was rote, predictable, civilizational self-flagellation. Manchester’s Assistant Chief Constable was paraded in front of the press to make an obligatory mea culpa—it was unacceptable to “so vocally lin[k] this exercise with Islam”—and the city’s crime commissioner piled on, lamenting the “ill-judged, unnecessary and unacceptable decision” to shout the two words that every Islamist everywhere has shouted every time they attack innocent people, ever, ever.
Like Bill Maher said, you don’t hear barbarians bellowing “Merry Christmas” before they detonate/stab/shoot/vehicularly-murder somebody.
Self-negating denialism is one of the peculiar pitfalls of Western civilization. Our culture, which is vastly superior to the rest of the world’s with respect to technological and intellectual progress—40% of medical innovations come from the U.S., the most books per capita are published in the U.K.—has nonetheless produced politicians and plebes too timid to preach the civilizational gospel truth.
The Anglo-legal tradition means a citizen of the U.S. or the U.K. can open and run a business, can own property without government interference, and can rely on well-known and equitable rules to settle disputes. This is the Rule of Law. (There are notable exceptions to this freedom.) The Judeo-Christian tradition is a wellspring of dignity and moral meaning. The two traditions are connected.
We are self-evidently better than the rest of the world. But we don’t act like it. We ought to be yelling from mountaintops about how great we are. Instead, we’re ostriches burrowed head-first and neck-deep in the sands of denial.
If you’re a boy born in the U.K., there’s a good chance your name is going to be “Mohammed.” In America, the fastest-growing name for baby boys is “Kylo.” As in Kylo-Ren, the villain from the updated Star Wars franchise.
While the Saudis are donating millions to found Islamic study centers at the best universities, investing billions in the U.K., scooping up U.S. treasuries, and sending Wahhabi poison through every sluice imaginable, irreligious Americans are turning to the Way of the Jedi. Salafists have training camps all over the Middle-East that turn boys into hardened mujahideen, and we have Ultrasabers.com. Call me crazy, but right now I’d say the smart money is on the scimitar over the saber. (Where’s Richard the Lionheart when you need him?)
Two days after the attack I was sitting in the neighborhood nail salon with my wife. A woman getting her nails done rattled off a set of typical whys regarding the 2017 U.K. attacks—these are the same whys that bedevil every Pangloss and faithless innocent in our secular society: Why would Muslims explode little girls at an Ariana Grande concert? Why would they stab innocent people? They can’t really believe what they say they believe…
Oh, but they do. Best I can remember, this is how I explained it to her:
Not only do they truly believe everything they say, they believe it in a way that your mind can’t even comprehend. I can see it in your eyes. You don’t believe that anyone can believe. But while you might spend five minutes in the week thinking about God, they spend every minute thinking about Allah—what does Allah want, what does Allah command? And they believe that they must follow His commands. They believe—with all the violence in their hearts, with every evil thought churning through their brains—that if they don’t follow His commands then they won’t get to paradise.
They believe there is Dar-al-Islam, the Abode of Islam, and Dar-al-Harb, the Abode of War. They believe we are kaafireen, non-believers, and that it is their duty to kill non-believers that live within Dar-al-Harb. And guess what else they believe? They believe that London is in the Abode of War. They believe it is their duty to kill Brits until the U.K. submits and becomes part of Dar-al-Islam.
Yes. Yes, a thousand times, they really believe what they say they believe.
Everything I was saying, of course, was the SparkNotes version of what every mufassir from Ibn Taymiyyah to Ibn Uthaymeen has said all along.
Soon after, the press identified Khuram Butt as one of the London barbarians. He was known to police—someone had dropped the dime on Butt’s radicalism a while ago—and to most in his neighborhood for saying “very Islamic things.” That’s a pretty serious understatement.
A year before the attack, Butt appeared in a Channel 4 documentary called “The Jihadis Next Door.” According to the documentary’s producer, police never asked for any information on any of the figures who appeared in the film.
The message espoused by the documentary’s subjects was pretty straightforward: “The Sharia is coming to the UK–this black flag you see here one day is gonna be on 10 Downing Street.” The black flag belongs to ISIS.
We might call the police’s non-inquiry the “hands-off” approach to the Clash of Civilizations.
Unless the West can muster the same fervor and pride that Islamists show—the brazenness that lets them announce their seditious plans on public television, the true belief that gives them the confidence to sacrifice their lives—then the barbarousness primitive will triumph.
It isn’t difficult for the crescent to conquer the cross when the cross has sewn its own death shroud.