September 5th, 2011Secular Fundamentalism and Islamic Fundamentalismby Joseph Pearce

I recently received a bulk e-mail disseminating “A German View on Islam”. I tend not to involve myself in the debates surrounding such e-mails but I was prompted to respond in this case in order to make the important distinction between two very different forms of fundamentalism, both of which are inimical to freedom and civilization. I’m posting my response first; below my response is the text of the e-mail:

Many years ago, Edmund Burke encapsulated the problem: "All that's necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." Burke warned an unheeding world about the fundamentalism that had been unleashed by the murderous French Revolution; a revolution that culminated in the Great Terror and the mass extermination of the French population. This established a pattern of anti-Christian secular fundamentalism that would be emulated by the communists in Russia, China and elsewhere, and by the Nazis in Germany. Please note that the examples given below in this "German view" are mostly of regimes that were not Muslim but were avowedly atheist and anti-Christian. There is no doubt that Islamic fundamentalism is pernicious and deadly, but those who seek to counter the problem by supporting secular fundamentalism, such as that espoused by the European Union or by Obama, will be avoiding the frying pan by jumping into the fire!

A German's View on Islam

A man, whose family was German aristocracy prior to World War II, owned a number of large industries and estates. When asked how many German people were true Nazis, the answer he gave can guide our attitude toward fanaticism. 'Very few people were true Nazis,' he said, 'but many enjoyed the return of German pride, and many more were too busy to care. I was one of those who just thought the Nazis were a bunch of fools. So, the majority just sat back and let it all happen. Then, before we knew it, they owned us, and we had lost control, and the end of the world had come. My family lost everything. I ended up in a concentration camp and the Allies destroyed my factories.'

We are told again and again by 'experts' and 'talking heads' that Islam is the religion of peace and that the vast majority of Muslims just want to live in peace. Although this unqualified assertion may be true, it is entirely irrelevant. It is meaningless fluff, meant to make us feel better, and meant to somehow diminish the spectre of fanatics rampaging across the globe in the name of Islam.

The fact is that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history. It is the fanatics who march. It is the fanatics who wage any one of 50 shooting wars worldwide. It is the fanatics who systematically slaughter Christian or tribal groups throughout Africa and are gradually taking over the entire continent in an Islamic wave. It is the fanatics who bomb, behead, murder, or honour-kill. It is the fanatics who take over mosque after mosque. It is the fanatics who zealously spread the stoning and hanging of rape victims and homosexuals. It is the fanatics who teach their young to kill and to become suicide bombers.

The hard, quantifiable fact is that the peaceful majority, the 'silent majority,' is cowed and extraneous.

Communist Russia was comprised of Russians who just wanted to live in peace, yet the Russian Communists were responsible for the murder of about 20 million people. The peaceful majority were irrelevant. China's huge population was peaceful as well, but Chinese Communists managed to kill a staggering 70 million people. The average Japanese individual prior to World War II was not a warmongering sadist. Yet, Japan murdered and slaughtered its way across South East Asia in an orgy of killing that included the systematic murder of 12 million Chinese civilians; most killed by sword, shovel, and bayonet.

And who can forget Rwanda, which collapsed into butchery. Could it not be said that the majority of Rwandans were 'peace loving'?

History lessons are often incredibly simple and blunt, yet for all our powers of reason, we often miss the most basic and uncomplicated of points:

Peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by their silence.

Peace-loving Muslims will become our enemy if they don't speak up, because like my friend from Germany, they will awaken one day and find that the fanatics own them, and the end of their world will have begun.

Peace-loving Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians, Rwandans, Serbs, Afghans, Iraqis, Palestinians, Somalis, Nigerians, Algerians, and many others have died because the peaceful majority did not speak up until it was too late. As for us who watch it all unfold, we must pay attention to the only group that counts—the fanatics who threaten our way of life.

Lastly, anyone who doubts that the issue is serious and just deletes this email without sending it on, is contributing to the passiveness that allows the problems to expand. So, extend yourself a bit and send this on and on and on! Let us hope that thousands, world-wide, read this and think about it, and send it on—before it's too late.

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  • September 6 2011 | by Dena Hunt

    I've heard that quote a zillion times and never knew who to credit it to--Edmund Burke--thanks very much.

    But I've also always felt a bit of reservation about it. He said, "good" men, not "Christian" men. What is a valid consideration of good men is not necessarily valid for Christians. And then there's also the verb "do" instead of "say".

    A Christian has more to consider, namely these (paraphrased) statements of our Lord:

    "Offer the other cheek also."
    "You would have no power over me were it not given you from above."

    As for "say" vs. "do":
    "He who denies me before men, him will I also deny before my Father."

    So--if we are to be Christians, we are to be more than "good men". And in choosing to abstain from violence, we are nevertheless not allowed to be less than brave. We must not do, but we must speak. This puts us on the same path as our Lord, the via dolorosa. Which is what he wanted. "Pick up your cross and follow me."

    This is exactly the path of Edith Stein and Maximilian Kolbe, whom you mention in your other post on this subject.

    To "fight for the right" is not just a risk of righteousness, it makes us the same as our enemies, who--we must always remember--believe they are right. That they are wrong is not just cause for condemnation. ("Forgive seventy times seven.")

    On the rare and isolated occasions in the Church's history when she has engaged in the kind of evil that our enemies engage in (coerced conversion), she has come to regret it very strongly, to cry mea culpa, and to this day, she is ashamed.