Posted by: Jacob Thomas on Jun 16, 2006
It was natural for Western media to be preoccupied, during the week of June 4, 2006, with the news from Canada and Iraq. Early that week, the Canadian authorities uncovered a plot of Islamist residents who were planning to perpetrate some horrific acts of terrorism. The mainline media kept telling us that some of these terrorists were Canadian citizens, while others were long-time residents, but the “M” word was absent. There was complete silence about the fact that all those arrested were Muslims.
On Saturday evening June 9, PBS broadcast its “Washington Week.” Four journalists appeared with moderator, Gwen Ifill. First they dealt with the hottest news item: the killing of Zarqawi, near the northern Iraqi city of Ba’qubah, earlier during the week. Then, the moderator turned to the terrorist plot in Canada, saying,
“The threat of terror hit closer to home this week with the arrest of 17 suspected extremists in Canada. The arrest of 12 men and five teenaged suspects also raised questions about U.S.-Canadian border security amidst the on-going debate over immigration reform. NBC News Justice Correspondent Pete Williams updates us on the investigation into the homegrown terror suspects in Canada and the arrest of two more terror suspects in Britain with possible links to the Toronto group.”
I watched carefully to see whether any of the four commentators would mention the true identity of the plotters. Almost all, with one accord chanted the cliché that these men were “home grown terrorists.” But they were all Muslims. What’s wrong in identifying them with the “M” word? The fact that some or most of them were born in Canada meant nothing to those Muslims. As men who had embraced the teachings of radical Islam, they had only one loyalty --- to the Islamic Umma. The acts of terror they planned; such as storming the Parliament building in Ottawa, holding cabinet ministers hostages, beheading the Prime Minister, all those acts would hasten the victory of Islam over the world!
The mainline media, both in Canada and the United States, played down the true identity of the terrorists. After all, they must not offend the growing Islamic community in both countries, by any reference to the true source of the terrorists’ ideology.
The reticence of so many Westerners, both in government and in the media, to utter the “M” word, is shocking. But it has been coming for a long time. Back in July 1991, the late Jacques Ellul*, the French Protestant scholar of the University of Bordeaux, alluded to this phenomenon in his “Foreword” to Bat Ye’or’s Book, “The Decline of Eastern Christianity under Islam from Jihad to Dhimmitude.”**
Ellul’s “Foreword” remains as an excellent essay that should be read by all concerned about the global threat of Islamic extremism. The French scholar predicted the growing phenomenon, on both sides of the Atlantic, of the “Dhimmitude of the West.” Here are some very pertinent quotations:
“I have greatly stressed the characteristics of this war, [Ellul was referring to the institution of Jihad in Islam] because there is so much talk nowadays of the tolerance and fundamental pacifism of Islam that it is necessary to recall its nature, which is fundamentally warlike! Moreover, the author [reference here is to Bat Ye’or’s book] provides us an enlightening explanation of “Islamization,” a complex process whereby Islamicized populations supplanted peoples, civilizations, and religions in the conquered countries. This comprised two phases …the first is war; the second is the imposition of the dhimmi status.
“We are again faced with the fundamental choice: the world is still divided between the world of Islam and the world of war. And inside the umma, the only possible existence for the infidel is dhimmitude.
“This leads the author to pose the question which has become so alarming today: “Dhimmitude of the West”? After having thus covered thirteen centuries of history, read in the light of this question, we reach our present situation, actually feeling its ambiguity and instability. We misunderstand this situation, for lack of a clear vision of the alternative which, whether explicit or not, existed throughout the centuries and which the present book has the immense merit to analyze rigorously. The author has the courage to examine (summarily, because this is not the purpose of the book) whether a certain number of events, structures, and situations that we know in the West do not already derive from a sort of “dhimmitude” of the West vis-à-vis an Islamic world that has resumed its war and its expansion. Hostage-taking, terrorism, the destruction of Lebanese Christianity, the weakening of the Eastern Churches (not to mention the wish to destroy Israel), and conversely, Europe’s defensive reaction (antiterrorist infrastructure, the psychological impact of intellectual “terrorism”, political and legal restraints regarding terrorist blackmail): all this recalls precisely the resurgence of the traditional policy of Islam. Indeed many Muslim governments try to combat the Islamist trend, but to succeed would require a total recasting of mentalities, a desacralization of jihad, a self-critical awareness of Islamic imperialism, an acceptance of the secular nature of political power and the rejection of certain Koranic dogmas. Of course, after all the changes we have seen taking place in the Soviet Union, it is not unthinkable, but what a global change that would imply: a change in a whole historical trend and the reform of a remarkably structured religion! This book thus allows us to take our bearings, so as to understand more easily our present situation, as every genuine historical study should do --- without, of course, making artificial comparisons and by remembering that history does not repeat itself.”
Fifteen years have passed since Jacques Ellul penned these clear sounding words! How relevant these words, as the Islamic terrorism is multiplying shockingly! And how blind are Western politicians and the mainline media in exercising self-censorship when dealing with Islam and Muslims! “The Dhimmitude of the West” is here with us; it’s become a fait accompli, thanks to the ideologies of multiculturalism and political correctness.
Thus, as long as we refuse to use the word “Muslim” when dealing with the various manifestations of Islamic terrorism, our efforts in the “War on Terror” will be in vain. The enemy must be clearly identified, in order to stop his advances; and gain complete victory over him. We must throw off the self-imposed shackles of dhimmitude; this is the only way to achieve victory.
* Jacques ELLUL died in 1994 at 82. A jurist, historian, theologian and sociologist, he published more than 600 articles and 48 books, many of which were translated into a dozen languages (more than 20 into English). From 1950-70 he was a member of the National Council of the Protestant Reformed Church of France. Professor at the University of Bordeaux, his oeuvre includes studies on medieval European institutions, the effect of modern technology on contemporary society, and moral theology. In American academic circles, he was widely known for "The Technological Society" written in the 1950's (English edition, 1964) and recognized as one of the most prominent of contemporary thinkers.
** The Decline of Eastern Christianity under Islam: From Jihad to Dhimmitudeby Bat Ye’or, with Foreword by Jacques Ellul, published in 1996 by Associated University Presses, 440 Forsgate Drive, Cranbury, NJ 08512