For many years I have been writing, here and elsewhere, until I have thought that I must be blue in the face, that the West should cease to concede the religious high ground to our militant Muslim assailants. It is routine, and rarely contradicted by our secular leaders, for Islamists to proclaim a monopoly of religiosity and to dismiss the West entirely as “infidels” — which is an even more odious category than “heretics.” Where heresy is doctrinal error, to be an infidel is to have no faith; in the canon of the religiously fervent, this is a morally vacuous state that reduces the person to the condition of an ambulatory, malignant robot, an affront to man and God, undeserving of continued toleration of its impudent pretense to qualify for the respect that godly humans are held to deserve.
Our secular leaders in the West, torn between adherence to the agnosticism (or atheism) of most of our media and a mere desire not to offend the fashion, have conspicuously failed to assert Christianity’s rightful claim to seniority in chronology, and in intellectual rigor, to all other religions except the closely related monotheistic and messianic one of Judaism. Our political leaders have not made the point that the West is a profoundly Christian culture, even for most of those who do not, in fact, believe that Jesus Christ was a divinely inspired person, and that, while the lengthy experience of the Judeo-Christian world has arrived at a division of secular and religious jurisdictions that entirely tolerates an infinite range of opinions, including complete religious doubt, the West is the world’s premier center of religious thought and practice. Instead, they have chosen to sidestep the issue, and, by not asserting the West’s religious distinction, have abdicated and surrendered this entire vast field of thought and endeavor to the most intellectually disreputable claimants of belligerent Islam. In the process, they have largely overlooked the immense annual persecution of Christians, including thousands murdered every year, mainly in Islamist and Communist countries, and have sat as silent and inert as suet puddings in the face of the anti-Christian atrocities that their craven silence effectively tolerates and even legitimizes.
The credentials of Christianity as the world’s principal religious option, even if considered most crudely as the brand-leader with the premier market share, are ignored while Islam has been largely kidnapped by dogmatic lunatics and the entire West mumbles an incantation about avoidance of sectarian discrimination. Of course, there must be no discrimination, but pointing out that there are at least twice as many practicing Christians as practicing Muslims (without mentioning that they have a substantially higher level of socioeconomic accomplishment) is justified and necessary, and would come especially well from some of our many non-Christian (in any but the most technical sense) leaders.
The problem of this deafening cultural quietism is aggravated by the almost universal Western practice of overlooking, whether from generosity of spirit, ignorance, indifference, or the fear that grips the intimidated, the fact that Islam’s claim to religious toleration is mitigated by the fact that it is not a religion by Western or Eastern standards. That is, it is not only a religion. It is a complete system of life that includes a social, judicial, and political system, replete with geopolitical ambitions to regain territory and prestige lost in the 13-century retreat from Charles Martel’s defeat of the Muslims at the battle of Tours in 732. Islam later approached Europe from the southeast and was twice hurled back from the gates of Vienna and repulsed in its ambition to dominate the Mediterranean in the battle of Lepanto in 1571. Forgotten amid the confessions of Christian guilt about the wantonness and impiety of many of the Crusaders is the naked aggression of Islam against the West for almost all of its first millennium, now revived, implausibly and, in fact, comparatively feebly, in sponsored terrorism and acts of mob violence, a considerably less distinguished effort at proselytization by force majeure than the march of Muslim armies, the assault of Muslim siege engines, and the challenge of Muslim fleets, no equivalent of which could be sent forth with any possible success today.