It Is Time To Choose
The other day I woke up and my phone had five updates from CNN on it. Before I even read what they were a familiar, icy chill had settled into the pit of my stomach and that is a statement on the sad new reality we now live in. I hoped this was not what I thought it was, I prayed with all my heart that it would be something else, but it was. A man named Omar Mateen, a second generation Afghani-American, had entered Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, with an AR-15 and opened fired into the crowd. It was Latin night apparently, and the club was packed; Omar didn’t need to aim, the club was so full he couldn’t miss, he only had to fire round after round into the panicking partiers as one by one they died. When the smoke had cleared (figuratively speaking – the AR-15 fires smokeless cartridges) forty nine were dead and fifty one were wounded; we’ve been advised the number of fatalities will only go up.
In case anyone is actually questioning what this was, Omar Mateen was ever so helpful as to dial 911 just before he began his rampage where he declared his allegiance to ISIS to the unfortunate operator who received his call and claimed he was following in the footsteps of the Boston Bombers. Unconfirmed reports have him crying “Allah Akbar” as he mowed down patrons of Pulse. Beyond that, there is little I can say on what happened that I have not already said before. Radical Islam has once again reached out its grubby and filthy fingers to America’s shores and it has delivered the deadliest terrorist attack upon the States since that day, almost fifteen years ago, when the Twin Towers were brought down and this long war we have been fighting ever since (and for many years before) became public to all of us.
There is little to be added to the immediate reaction in the aftermath of this day of infamy. Draw a cartoon for the victims. Lay your flowers in the square. Chain retweet that trending hastaq. Hold your pens aloft in faux defiance as you’re surrounded by security services. Light up your Facebook profile with a rainbow filter, and then applaud as the Eiffel Tower does the same, as no doubt the White House will follow in short order. The response to these acts of terror and death have become so formulaic and routinized we might as well do up a checklist. It’s what you did the last time. It’s what you’ll do the next, because this is never going to stop.
Instead what I have is a message to an audience I never thought I would deliver one to, my honourable (and at times despised) opponents on the left. Not the Social Justice Warriors and post-modern progressives; those worthless wastes of oxygen are beyond redemption at this point. No, my message is to the broader left in general. The time has come for you to choose. What has been brought home by this dreadful deed in Orlando is an inescapable fact: you can have Islamic radicalism or you can have your values for the two are irreconcilable.
For the moment, far too many of you for far too long have chosen Islamic terrorism. Now, I will at this point make the by now clichéd qualification that we are not referring to the religion of Islam as a whole here, only one extreme interpretation of it that has driven its adherents among the Sunni Wahhabism to declare war against the entire world (Shiite extremists, while equally vile, are actually less prone to terrorism, I suspect because they already have an established state of their own in Iran and are too busy terrorizing the inhabitants of it to bother with the West). Still, by embracing the tribalism of modern day identity politics and the grievance based privileging of the underprivileged, the conventional left has put themselves in a position where they will forgive any infraction, however grievous it may be, provided it is committed by someone on their list of the persecuted and oppressed, and Muslims sit squarely at the top of this it would seem. The problem is that Muslim extremists want to murder everyone else on the list, from gays to women to other religious minorities (all of whom face annihilation at the hands of ISIS and their proxies).
Don’t deny it, for it is undeniable. You have only to look at the reaction to events in Orlando and compare them to the aftermath of a similar set of events in Charleston, the only difference between the two being that the latter involved a white supremacist shooting up a black church. After Dylan Roof’s day of infamy, we were treated to days after day of the newspapers, the cable news service, and the day time talk shows opining endlessly on the theme of how America was still racist, how it was structurally racist, how it was tacitly racist, how racism still inhabited every fibre of Western society. Contrast that to the last few days and the difference is like night and day. Hillary Clinton spoke a few clichéd and vague words about her sympathies going out to the victims of murder and terror, then made it clear in no uncertain terms that Islam was a religion of peace and that Muslims have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism (except of course for the one that murdered and maimed a hundred people in Orlando). Twitter exploded with the usual suspects giving helpful reminders that prejudice and bigotry can be found in all faiths; it certainly does but the problem is only one of them is using it to justify murder at this time. Obama quite considerately cut short his golf game to show up and give Donald Trump a good telling off for having the audacity to say “I told you so”. If someone with no knowledge of the deadly details of the preceding day’s events had watched the fallout they would be forgiven for thinking Muslims had been the actually victims of what had occurred.
Had the shooter in question been a devout Christian whose Twitter profile was littered with quotes from Leviticus, the reaction would doubtlessly have been somewhat different. After all, this is the same regressive left that will rain fire and brimstone down on a baker in small town nowhere should he have the audacity to ask a gay patron if he’d mind getting his wedding cake from another shop. Had Omar Mateen been a registered Republican (and not a Democrat as was actually the case) I’m certain the talking heads at MSNBC would already be making the case that this entire affair was entirely the fault of Donald Trump with the glee positively reeking off of them as they did so.
The left has to make a choice. If they believe, as they claim they do, in equal female participation in society, sexual liberation, gay rights, freedom of speech, tolerance for minorities, and a society of live and let live, then this unquestioning defense of the indefensible must end. Hatred and bigotry are found in all faiths and creeds, and they must be condemned in all faiths and creeds. If the West does not stand together on this as one, then we shall all hang separately.
This war has gone on for so long I can barely remember a time when we were not fighting it. I was a kid when the Twin Towers came tumbling down and looking back I cannot shake the feeling that the last fifteen years have been nothing but a vainglorious rear guard action to compassionately oversea the terminal decline of Western civilization. That will not change until all of us begin to stand up and speak out, whether we stand on the left or the right or the crazy fringes of the reactosphere. If we do not, I fear that when in the far off future the history books of the West are written the last chapter shall be titled with one word and word only…. and it will be“Islam”.