Tuesday, 19 August 2014

"You are in danger" - updated

The blog Rorate Caeli has a translation of  this report from a correspondent writing for the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera
"August 9, 2014. 
The young ask for guns. The elderly approve. "Our sufferings today are the prelude of those you, Europeans and Western Christians, will also suffer in the near future," says Amel Nona, 47, Chaldean archbishop of Mosul exiled in Erbil. The message is unequivocal: the only way to end the Christian exodus from the places that witnessed its origins in the pre-Islamic age is to respond to violence with violence, to force with force. Nona is a wounded, pain-stricken man, but not resigned. "I lost my diocese. The physical setting of my apostolate has been occupied by Islamic radicals who want us converted or dead. But my community is still alive." He is very glad to meet Western media. "Please, try to understand us," he exclaims. "Your liberal and democratic principles are worth nothing here. You must consider again our reality in the Middle East, because you are welcoming in your countries an ever growing number of Muslims. Also you are in danger. You must take strong and courageous decisions, even at the cost of contradicting your principles. You think all men are equal," Archbishop Amel Nona continues, "but that is not true: Islam does not say that all men are equal. Your values are not their values. If you do not understand this soon enough, you will become the victims of the enemy you have welcomed in your home."
Without in the least wishing to impugn the motives and values of the vast majority of British Muslims, most of whom wish, like the rest of us, to live in peace with their neighbours and be free to practice their religion freely and  without fear of violence or discrimination, one has to admit that the Chaldean Archbishop, deeply scarred by the atrocities committed against his people by ISIS and others , may not simply be guilty of alarmism or scaremongering in order to promote the Iraqi Christian cause.

The dangers and tensions to a large extent inevitable in the welcoming into our country of millions of those with a different culture and faith (itself a legacy of the injustices, complexities and ambiguities of an imperial past, lest we forget) have certainly been exacerbated by the rise of  a fundamentalist form of Islam. We already know that the security services are deeply concerned by the numbers of young British Muslims seeking meaning and foreign adventure in allying themselves to the jihadist cause. * We should also be aware by now that the established policy of 'multiculturalism' (such is our recent transatlantic enthusiasm for the recognition of 'communities' of all kinds),  far from having encouraged a high degree of integration and harmony, has instead, very predictably given the natural desire of incomers and their families to live in a  familiar and friendly cultural environment, promoted the creation in many of our large towns and cities of parallel societies with sometimes rather tenuous links to British society as a whole. 
This, of course, has been a taboo and even toxic subject in the United Kingdom for a long time, our politicians, partly out of a fear of being accused of racism or Islamophobia - and, of course, either of inflaming the situation or of losing votes, until recently largely choosing to ignore rather than attempt to address and in some way ameliorate the social problems which have arisen.

But the major difficulty, of course, lies not so much with the British Muslim community as with contemporary western secular culture which, while in effect discouraging positive social integration,  has turned its back on our own faith, history and culture, preferring to pursue the philosophical dead-end of relativism whilst creating a rootless social climate of hedonistic consumerism. 
Moreover, the Church (that is Christians of all traditions and most particularly their leaders) can't be absolved from its own responsibility over the last half century or so for the virtual disappearance (save in a purely ceremonial, constitutional, or vestigially nostalgic sense) of the Christian faith from the lives of most British people. It is not so much an Islamic take-over which should concern us, but that, in culture as in nature, vacuums have a habit of being filled ... and as we know from recent European history, given the right conditions the most evil and fanatical ideologies can easily gain a foothold even in the most outwardly civilised of societies.

Liberal secularists, of course, place their hopes in the belief that immersion in the globalised 'culture' of the western world will gradually, within a few generations, result in the complete assimilation of those of other faiths; that, to put it crudely, the appeal of a combination of Harvey Nicks and the satisfaction of unbridled sexual appetite will prevail over that of the mosques as it has over the churches.
Time will tell. 
But it would, however, be a little premature to write off all religious faith as a thing of the past. The human spirit seems naturally to crave ideals which are nobler and more self-sacrificial than that offered up to us by the interests of international economics and the prevailing atomised narcissism of our elites. If so, given the present downward cultural trajectory of the West, the Archbishop of Mosul may prove more prescient than we think ...  
We have been warned.

* Update 20.08.2014 
See here for a very alarming insight into the problem we face now in Britain.
From The Telegraph:
"Islamic State jihadists have released a video in which a militant speaking English with a British accent beheads a man they claim to be an American journalist.The journalist, claimed by Islamic State to be James Foley, has been missing since he was seized by armed men in Syria in 2012.The terrorist group, formerly known as Isis, released the graphic video of the beheading, saying it was conducted in retaliation for US air strikes in northern Iraq.The killer then issued a threat to President Barack Obama that a second journalist would be killed unless air strikes are called off.White House National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said: "We have seen a video that purports to be the murder of US citizen James Foley... the intelligence community is working as quickly as possible to determine its authenticity..."

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