Aardvark Alley

Lutheran Aardvark

Confessional Lutheran theology, hagiography, philosophy, music, culture, sports, education, and whatever else is on the fevered mind of Orycteropus Afer

07 July 2005
  Parlez-Vous Holy War?
The Hydra (Al Qaida) reared one of its many venomous heads today, tearing flesh and taking lives in London's mass transit. Various nations and leaders responded with anger, resolve, and other expected reactions. Meanwhile, message boards and blogs brought pontification from throughout the political (and mental health) spectrum.

What so many of the respondents fail to grasp is what a true "holy war" entails. Of course, in the case of Islam, "holy" sits diametrically opposite the truth. Islam is a godless, indeed, satanic, belief system which, in its radical form, wants the eradication of all opposing religions and philosophies. Be that as it may, the West generally and collectively fails to understand sincere, impassioned religious fervor.

After 9/11, when President Bush first called for a "crusade" against terrorism, the Arab world &mdash almost without exception &mdash condemned the idea. It wasn't that many didn't want world terror ended, nor that all of them supported violent jihad. Arab Muslims, however, remember the original Crusades, not only historically but also religiously. Whether Bush's word was chosen with intent or out of ignorance, I notice that I don't hear it come from Washington anymore.

Yet politically speaking, some sort of "crusade" needs to be mounted. It remains to be seen whether a largely godless West can do so against Islam and its false god. The governments and people of Europe and the Americas must realize that they fight only partially armed when they battle Islamic terrorists without the same degree of religious conviction.

Sadly, we've largely forgotten the power of ideas and the powerful hold they can have on minds conditioned to receive them. Even agnostics and atheists can cling to a higher cause &mdash but how many of them do? And among those who claim religious faith, including Christians, few appear to hold these beliefs with any great depth, strength, or fervor. Until things change, we'll continue to underestimate the might of the enemy.

The chaff is piling up; when will the torch ignite it?
 
Comments:
I agree with you that we do not realize the conviction that the enemy has for fighting us. This is because they are united in fighting for their god and destroying anyone in their path. The general public tends to lose grasp on why we are doing what we are doing until something like today's London attacks take place. Even if we don't support the war supporting the troops whose attitude towards their work is affected by the support of their public. If they feel unappreciated then it's harder to see the need to unite for a common cause.
 
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