Islamic Reverence Syndrome
The vast dangers of this new 'IRS' in the West
We are all familiar with the scene: Individual “lone wolf” attackers in France, Germany, the United States, and other countries have been bombing, shooting, knifing, and running roughshod over hundreds of people during the last few years.
These attackers have all had one resounding element in common: their ties to Islamic extremism. Yet all too often, the inept political correctness of the Western world leads the media and leftist propaganda machines to make excuses and not blame those at fault.
There is one thing all these terror attacks have in common. It is radical Islam.
But what if those people doing the attacking were of a different religious or ethnic group? What if those who had been attacking innocent bystanders were Christian, for example? Would the headlines tell a different story?
Let’s try it here just for a moment.
In the wake of this tragedy, some of the individuals have been described as “not very Christian” — they lived immoral lives and generally failed to meet the standards of the average church lady.
However, all of them mysteriously converted back to Christianity (in this fictional scenario) in the months or weeks before these horrific attacks. Some have said that they were responding to a call from an extreme group to kill as many people as possible. Due to the lack of specific links to the group, their final acts of violence would confirm their affiliation.
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Most of them are being described as “lone wolves,” and both politicians and the press are going to great lengths to stress the difficulty of finding any substantive link to that original terrorist group. They say we must not rush to judgment — or tarnish a whole religion because of the actions of a few.
In fact, any mention of the religion of the attackers, or any suggestion that Christianity might in any way have contributed to these attacks, has been decided by the media and politicians to be airbrushed out, to avoid any suggestion of Christophobia.
Here is the truth. There is one thing all these terror attacks have in common. It is radical Islam.
In the real world, the wealthiest terrorist group the world has ever known — which still controls territory in Iraq and Syria in an area larger than Great Britain — is ISIS. They are a group of radical jihadists. And the Islamic State has called on all followers of Islam to kill the infidel wherever they find them.
They do not need direction from Raqqa — the direction has been given already. The act of terrorism defies the “lone wolf” misnomer because all the wolves are members of the same pack.
They do not represent all the followers of the religion of Islam, but all the attackers are indeed Muslims. They follow an authentic — albeit seventh-century — interpretation of the Quran.
Many — perhaps most — Muslims reject this interpretation, but a significant number of Islamic jurists have given permission, or “fatwas,” to both the act of suicide bombing and other terrorist acts.
Of course, if the scenario did involve another religion, such as Christianity, everyone knows that the press and politicians would have little trouble both identifying the religion of the attackers, and examining, ad infinitum, the dangerous, intolerant theology that inspired the actions.
There would be little talk of “lone wolves” and much attention on conservative politicians and preachers who “inspired these attackers by their hate speech.”
There would be no fear of Christophobia — the irrational hatred of Christianity and Christians — because that is the default position of the secular elites now in power in the mainstream media, universities, and the majority of the Left.
For a democracy to authentically and truly function, it is the duty of the press to be both objective and honest, no matter how uncomfortable. Ideally — and we can always hope for the ideal — that would also be the guiding light for the men and women who seek to represent us in political service.
There is no place for hate speech. But censorship of unpleasant facts, when those facts are plain and self-evident, serves neither democracy nor freedom — but brings us ever closer the totalitarian state.
Islamic reverence syndrome, or the new “IRS,” turns the head away from the relevant issue of radical jihadists. This contorts, with the elegance of the greatest gymnast, to obfuscate, deny, and even refuse to see the links between a particular ideology and the act of an individual, which hastens the likelihood of an irrational backlash.
Father Benedict Kiely is a Catholic priest and founder of Nasarean.org, which is helping the persecuted Christians of the Middle East.